Mumbai: Brand Nexa, which has become the third-largest automobile retail brand in five years since inception in July 2015, is arguably one of the best examples of how customer-centricity can create a premium brand. Nexa, the premium retail brand from the automotive leader Maruti Suzuki, commands a little over 11 per cent of the car market volume and contributes more than 20 per cent of Maruti's annual volumes, grossing over 30,000 units per month even in this downturn. "Nexa marks the first initiative by a carmaker here to go beyond selling cars by creating a new format of retail experience. In these five years Nexa, with its intelligent brand associations and unique customer experiences, has delighted over 1.1 million customers as it completed five years in July," Maruti Suzuki executive director for marketing and sales Shashank Srivastava told PTI. Since the launch with the sole brand S-Cross, today Nexa sells five premium models of Maruti. In October 2016, it rolled in the Baleno, the premium mini SUV, which was followed by the Ignis, a hatchback in January 2017. In April 2017, it launched the premium sedan Ciaz, and in August 2019 the XL6, a crossover MPV, was rolled out. At present, there are 370 Nexa showrooms across 200 cities. But Srivastava is cautious about expansion this fiscal given the pandemic blow to the industry. "Today, Nexa is the third-largest retail automobile channel with a market share of 10-11 per cent. At present, Nexa contributes close to 20 per cent of our overall sales. With Nexa, we are able to attract modern urban consumers, Srivastava added. In just four years and two months, the brand grossed up 1 million customers in September 2019 and by July 2020, added 1 lakh more customers to the take the total customer family to 1.1 million. Elaborating further, Srivastava said the first step was to tap the fast-evolving market wherein market research has established that driven by rising income levels, many were looking forward to a more customer-centric and a prersonalised experience in car-buying. "So, to offer a personalised experience, we have set up a content management system which has helped us personalise communication to each customer depending on the digital signals in their purchase journey," he said adding nearly half of Nexa customers are under-35. Further, Srivastava said that "we had to ensure that the buying experience is carried forward to the after-sales service and other post-sales connect". As part of the premirisation of customer experience, Nexa had in August 2016 tied up with the Lakme Fashion Week, and in January 2019 Nexa Music was launched. Srivastava said for the brand Nexa, the first step was to tap the fast evolving market wherein market research has established that driven by rising income levels, many were looking forward to a more customer-centric and a prersonalised experience in car-buying. "So, to offer a personalised experience, we have set up a content management system which has helped us personalise communication to each customer depending on the digital signals in their purchase journey," he explains, adding nearly half of Nexa customers are under-35. According to Srivastava, the way forward is to staying connected with the customer throughout the year. "Having established a digital connect throughout the year, currently we are focusing on a connected digital + CRM experience with initiatives such as social CRM," he said and added that to digitise the entire process of car-buying process, it is making financing also online. Already, 21 of the 26-steps car-buying process is digitised and a "pilot for a one-of-its-kind digital finance marketplace that assists a customer in her car-buying process by providing easy finance is underway now", he noted. To drive the customer experience to the next level it has introduced Nexa Music under which it creates new original English music; Nexa Lifestyle wherein it creates avant garde lifestyle; and Nexa Journeys under which offers unique travel experience to customers. Nexa Music, inspired by AR Rahman and other renowned artists, has so far released 29 original English songs and music videos which garnered over 50 million views on Youtube, Srivastava said. On the journey ahead, he said Nexa will constantly endeavour to continue to reinvent and deliver unique experience for the ever-evolving customers.
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