Achieving sustainable design-led change in a large organisation

Achieving sustainable design-led change in a large organisation


Challenges and opportunities


Despite being the country’s best selling car brand, Hyundai faced fierce competition from premium European brand imports.

They needed to re-establish their reputation in the domestic market and develop new service propositions to attract customers back to the brand.

With strong, change-resistant unions, introducing new, more service orientated roles alongside the established sales network of ‘Car Masters’ would be met with resistance.

There had to be a strong business case for changing legacy systems and processes and the traditional staff hierarchy in the network.

The scale of the organisation meant there were multiple stakeholders from different departments involved.


To improve brand image in the home market so as to better compete with new European market entrants.

To drive perceptions of the brand's aspired Modern Premium positioning through a new retail sales and service experience that transcends those typically associated with car dealerships.

To find new ways of satisfying customers' changing expectations and increasing business efficiency, moving away from a purely transactional process to a model based on building relationship for reasons beyond car sales and maintenance.

  • Hyundai result 1

What we did

Through researching both the customer and staff experience, we identified new opportunities to engage with different customer segments and improve the daily working lives of employees.

We defined new staff roles to deliver the experience, firstly at the Motorstudio brand centre and then introduced into commercial dealerships; the centre Host and Brand Guru, to work alongside the established Car Master.

We developed the 'Serve With Pride' customer service model and behavioural framework with which to engage and train staff in new ways of working.

We defined the physical components, retail plans, customer and staff facilities and communications for implementation at the new flagship stores in Seoul.


Motorstudio is now recognised as a landmark in Seoul with further developments scheduled for Moscow and Los Angeles.

Daily visitor footfall is over four times initial expectations peaking at 450 visitors on week days and 800 visitors at the weekend.

Over 200,000 visitors to Motorstudio in just eighteen months of opening.

Much younger visitor profile than dealerships, including more female visitors and 20 - 30 year olds, drawn by leisure facilities and art exhibitions.

Engine’s designs have been incorporated into the architectural plans for major investment new-build sites in Seoul.

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