mycar appoints customer chief, sets out brand strategy and engagement ambitions

Rebranded Kmart Tyre & Auto business looks to highlight and lift its customer credentials with appointment, a raft of customer insight work, digital improvements and marketing campaign creative

Tyre and auto repairs chain, mycar Tyre & Auto, has appointed a chief customer officer and set its sights firmly on making customer care the point of difference as it builds out its brand in Australia.

The ambition has seen the group invest in a raft of customer insights projects, begin overhauling its digital offering and kick off its first integrated campaign since rebranding from Kmart Tyro & Auto last year.  

The group has named Adele Coswello as its first chief customer officer, one step in what’s being described as a deep customer journey strategy. Coswello has been with the group since 2017 and was part of the senior team leading the migration from Kmart Tyre & Auto to mycar.

Over the last 18 months, she has led brand and customer efforts around the rebrand, with a specific focus on customer care, and relinquished her CFO duties throughout this period to transition to customer care. Her new executive-led role covers marketing, merchandise, customer care and business development functions.

“We want to be the tyre and auto brand that’s famous for customer care and bucks the trend and expectations people have of our industry,” mycar managing director, Adam Pay, said.

“As a sign of our commitment, we engaged TBWA Sydney on a deep customer journey strategy to understand how we can serve our customers better. As a first step, we've appointed Adele Coswello as our first-ever chief customer officer. Adele and her team will be responsible for how we show up for people through their interactions with mycar.” 

A mycar spokesperson told CMO the business is looking to provide a point of difference to customers across the entire customer experience.

“In addition to being deeply passionate about customer care, it was clear Adele was experienced in working across the many areas of the mycar business that engage with customers and shape their perception of the mycar brand,” the spokesperson said. “It is a natural fit for both Adele and mycar and we have already seen strong engagement from our team members and partners around the early work Adele and her teams have led to position mycar brand as people first.” 

Building out a customer-led brand

The organisation initially rebranded in June 2019 as part of the transition of ownership from Kmart Tyre & Auto to mycar (Continental AG).

“We deliberately kept that rebrand light – not much more than changing the name over the door – so we could take the time to work out exactly who we wanted to be under the mycar banner,” Coswello told CMO. “We’ve spent the past nine months or so on that journey.

“What we discovered was our passion for customers sets us apart from the rest of the category. We wanted to make sure the customer had a strong and resonant voice across all areas of our business, and the best way to ensure that is to appoint someone with the accountability for ensuring we deliver a great customer experience.”

In addition to developing the mycar brand strategy, the team has undertaken market analysis to glean deep consumer insights and understand consumer segments based on the usage and attitudes that exist between the tyre and service categories. The plan is to prioritise those that offer growth potential and understand the drivers of choice for each segment.

Customer experience mapping has also enabled the group to clearly understand the customer touchpoints and areas where it excels as well as areas that need focus to be more effective in acquiring and retaining customers, Coswello said.

TBWA Sydney has also worked with mycar on its first integrated marketing campaign, which debuted this week. It’s aimed at showing how mycar’s staff don’t just understand cars but also the people who drive them. The campaign centres around a 30-second TVC and the tagline of ‘people first’, with creative highlighting driver quirks and habits.

Scenarios include mycar coming to the rescue of those in need, such as a mother having to replace her car’s tyres after her L-plater son damaged them, a couple on a first date with a flat tyre, and a customer driving off with a briefcase on the car roof. 

Product and service spots will then highlight mycar’s Tyre Care Plan and Logbook Service across radio, out-of-home, digital channels, social and PR. The campaign is running until 28 December 2020.

Pay said team members are the key to setting the brand apart from competitors. “We pride ourselves on genuinely helping our customers with a warm and personable approach,” he said. “Our team also has a genuine love of cars and it shows. We very much wanted this personality to come through in the creative.”

Coswello said the business was already heading in the direction of ‘People first’ well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“We strongly considered whether it felt opportunistic, which is not at all aligned to our values. In speaking with our team members and customers it was clear that it was a promise that resonated with them now, and well into the future,” she added.  

To back up this promise, mycar has kicked off extensive training and development for its 1200 team members around customer care.

It’s also working to improve the online experience and has rolled out the first phase of its updated website. The new digital capabilities include functionality to book and buy tyres online. From this month, Queensland customers can also trial the ability to add to cart and schedule a booking directly with a local store. Nation-wide access is then expected in coming weeks. The online capability is part of plans to extend overall website functionality.

“We need to be everywhere our customers are, so while our 266 stores make us one of the largest in the nation, we are also looking to expanding our mobile services,” Coswello said. “We are investing in our digital communications with customers for continual learnings and improvements in how we engage with them.”  

Throughout COVID, mycar has also offered its vehicle safety 10Check at customer’s homes, and already has a mobile tyre fitment service on the east coast.

The mycar business was acquired by Continental AG in November 2018 for $350 million and launched its fresh visual branding in September last year.

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