Innovation That Matters

Premium tire chain focuses on transparency

Mobility & Transport

Visits to auto garages are rarely a pleasant experience, fraught as they are with jargon-filled descriptions, unclear pricing and less-than-pristine surroundings. Not so at the UK’s HiQ chain, which is rebranding itself as the transparent, no-stress fast-fit tire company. As part of its rebranding (and premiumizing) effort, which launched last year, HiQ promises never to use hidden costs or perform any work without the customer’s permission. It also pledges to use only plain, jargon-free English in its communications with customers, and to undergo routine audits to maintain national standards. An online tire finder, meanwhile, lets customers find the tires they want online—without any sales pressure—and book a fitting at their convenience. HiQ’s site also offers educational information on buying tires, as well as a do-it-yourself guide. Perhaps most tangible, however, is the new design at the chain’s first post-rebranding store in Nottingham, which virtually screams transparency with a clean, black-and-white colour scheme, clearly worded signs and even glass walls that let customers see onto the shop floor themselves. “The redevelopment of our Nottingham centre reflects extensive research that highlighted what we suspected—that customers are negative about visits to fast-fit centres because premises are dirty, staff are either unhelpful or speak in technical jargon and prices are unclear,” managing director Neil Burrows told Motor Trader. There’s no denying that the auto industry as a whole has been sorely in need of some transparency. Add to that a premiumized experience amid a sea of cost-cutting competitors, and there’s no telling how far this competitive advantage might go. One to make universal! (Related: Car dealership catches female fever.) Spotted by:



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