Bryce Whitwam
Mar 7, 2022

In China, luxury brands need to prioritise unique experiences

SHANGHAI ZHAN PODCAST: Genesis Motor China CEO Markus Henne says launching a new luxury auto brand in China centers around first defining a unique experience—even before the product is available for sale.

Genesis Studio in Shanghai
Genesis Studio in Shanghai

“What makes us different is how we approach Chinese customers,” says Markus Henne, CEO of Genesis Motors China. “We see customer experience as our core differentiator.” 

Like many luxury auto brands coming to China, Hyundai Group’s Genesis Motors launched its brand a year before its cars were available for sale and needed a unique way to connect with potential customers. So it turned to delivering unique luxury experiences through both online and offline engagements. 

Henne admits delivering something different is a challenge in such a competitive market like China. “Nobody needs us, so we need them to know that we are doing better, he said, “We cannot afford to compromise.”

One of the brand’s highlights was the opening of a high-end Korean restaurant in Shanghai, currently requiring a two- to three-week advance reservation for a weekend table.

Genesis Motor China knew that to deliver its “Genesis Experience”, it had to look outside the auto industry.  “We’ve hired many people outside of the auto industry because we feel they do customer experience better than our industry,” Henne says. “At Genesis Studios, the brand's experience centers, only one-fourth of our staff come from the traditional auto industry.” 

Henne admits that his unique business model will not win over the entire country overnight so he’s launching it first with a city-by-city approach, starting in Shanghai and Chengdu.

Markus Henne

“We don’t try to conquer the entire China in one day, but focus city to city, focusing on excellence, taking it one step at a time,” he says. Genesis Motor China plans to open more than 10 experience centres and service centres across different cities in 2022..

Markus Henne’s full interview is available on the Shanghai Zhan podcast, a "raw, lively, and regular debate about China tech, advertising, creativity and the intersection of it all", hosted by Ali Kazmi and Bryce Whitwam. The podcast is now available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Xiao Yu Zho and via RSS.

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