The Five Building Blocks of the Automotive Industry Disruption

by Nicholas Webb
The Five Building Blocks of the Automotive Industry Disruption

As with any concept, to understand disruption, and its power to either help you or damage you, let’s break it down into manageable chunks. In the business marketplace, we see disruption emerging as an increasingly powerful force in five key areas:

1. Increased customer power. People who buy your products have more choices and they’re more involved in the brands and suppliers they love (and hate!). They not only “vote” with their cash, but they can make their voices heard through social media and on platforms such as Yelp and Angie’s List. They want and expect 100% on-time delivery in full, and no-nonsense returns.

No company can survive without managing the disruptive power of the customer—which means exceeding expectations, first time, every time. We spend a great deal of time training salespeople and yet most of our customers are having bad experiences. In the automotive industry, we have an inordinate focus on sales and we often ignore the human experience. This results in as much as 30% reduction in top in sales. Change your focus from sales to customer experience to drive sustainable growth and profit, that’s what 89% of the top brands will be doing.

2. Revolutionary connection architecture. Digital media has disrupted the way we do business. Internal tools now include intranets and real-time dashboards that can deliver up-to-the-minute company performance metrics and reveal problems demanding action. We now shop online, putting enormous pressure on bricks-and-mortar retailers to innovate and redefine the customer experience. In the supply chain, the Internet of Things (IoT) means that every step is tracked and verified—there’s no place for sloppy work to hide! 98% percent of the time customers will begin their automotive search through a connected device. What they often find is bad ratings and frankly better options. Understand how to leverage customer experience and pre-touch design to significantly increase sales and profit.

3. Rapid innovation. The pace of disruption is increasing. Product lifecycles are shrinking. Analysts say that across a range of industries, fifty per cent of annual company revenues are derived from new products launched within the past three years. This means that long-term product “cash cows,” which may have been in a company’s portfolio for many years, are becoming a thing of the past. And if a business is slow to introduce a new product to market, it risks launching something that has already been superseded by competitors. Disruptive innovators are looking to displace established automotive dealers and other automotive businesses. Innovation may seem too lofty but the truth of the matter is your organization needs to develop innovation as a core competency to grow, thrive and prosper.

4. Evolving economic models. The days of the old top-down, hierarchical company are fading. Today’s digital world of work has shaken the foundation of organizational structure, shifting from the traditional functional hierarchy to a network of teams. As teams operate and customers interact with the company, they must share information about disruptions, what’s working, what isn’t working, and what problems they need to address. Over the last 10 years we have seen major disruption in the economic models in the automotive industry. This disruption will drive completely new business models that everyone in the automotive industry needs to pay attention to so they can be proactive rather than reactive.

5. Emerging employee personas. Too many employers treat their team members as if they live in a single demographic bucket. In fact, leaders are increasingly recognizing a range of what we call employee personas, based on what employees love and hate. It’s not about their age, income, position, ethnicity, or any other traditional demographic factor. Great leaders know how to identify their team members across a range of personas, and by doing so they can engineer beautiful experiences for them across a wide range of what I call team touch points.

When a leader can be extremely granular about each of their team members and understand them based on what they hate and love, they do a far better job of engaging them, connecting with them, and ultimately creating a work environment that delivers the best human experience for them while delivering the best productivity and results for the enterprise.

The key to the automotive industry success is its ability to adopt customer experience innovation in a meaningful and robust way. This requires attracting and keeping the best stakeholders, and that requires developing exceptional experiences for both your customers and stakeholders.

The automotive industry will be the subject of massive disruption as these disruptive trends change both business and retail models. The best dealerships will transmute from a sales centric focus to an experience centered focus. These emerging automotive industry superstars will be disrupted innovators, connection architects and most importantly customer experience designers.


Discover more at Drive ‘18

In a time of massive disruption and consumerization, consumers and businesses are faced with virtually unlimited choices, from the vehicles they choose to the dealers they do business with. During his breakthrough keynote at the Drive ’18 Conference, bestselling author and business growth strategist, Nicholas Webb will share insights from his number one best-selling book, What Customers Crave on Customer Experience (CX) Innovation.

He’ll reveal to attendees how to recapture as much as 30% new business without investing in any advertising or promotions. Nicholas will breakdown why old-fashioned sales and marketing tools are destroying customer relationships and revenue, and will share the secrets of the best businesses in the world — how they drive sustainable growth and profit using the power of Customer Experience (CX) Design.





About the Author

Nicholas Webb
Nicholas Webb is a world-renowned Corporate Strategist and Innovator. Nicholas is the author of several bestselling books including, The Innovation Playbook, The Digital Innovation Playbook and his Number One Bestselling book, What Customers Crave. As a Certified Management Consultant, he works with some of the top brands in the world to help them lead their market in Enterprise Strategy, Customer Experience (CX) and Innovation. Nicholas was awarded his Doctorate of Humane Letters and serves as both an Adjunct Professor and Director of the Center for Innovation at WesternU, a top Southern California Medical School. As a partner at Cravve, Nicholas and his firm have conducted comprehensive research in the automotive industry for OEM’s. Additionally, he has extensive research specific to emerging trends in the area of automotive dealerships. His clients include: Daimler Motors, Freightliner, DealerOn and Polaris Industries for the incredibly successful launch of the new Indian Motorcycle. As an inventor, Nicholas has been awarded over forty patents ranging from one of the smallest implants to one of the world's first wearable technologies.