evrdrive revs up the automotive retail experience
Combining cutting-edge technology with a people-first mindset, evrdrive has transformed pre-owned vehicle shopping
Brand strategy, brand identity and customer experience design for a pre-owned car retail innovator
The Woodlands Mall Houston, Texas
Stepping into evrdrive’s Customer Experience Center (CXC), it’s clear that buying a pre-owned vehicle here will be an unexpected and enjoyable experience. Interactive screens make car shopping easy, and a large 3D hologram transports consumers into a tech-enabled wonderland. Comfortable booths are perfect for researching evrdrive’s online inventory and discussing more details with the friendly, knowledgeable, no pressure sales staff. Enjoy a freshly made cappuccino while you browse.
Owned by Houston-based Foundation Automotive, evrdrive saw an opportunity to challenge outdated models for selling pre-owned cars by removing the unnerving, inflexible experience. Now—with evrdrive’s launch—consumers can decide how they want to shop, whether in an easy-to-navigate online auto-buying showroom or in person at evrdrive’s mall-based technology-powered new CXC—or both. evrdrive has revolutionized the industry and created a memorable retail experience that meets their customers where they are.
A bold vision that needed a home
As a start-up, evrdrive lacked a brand identity and design aesthetic. The founders had a vision for the CXC, but needed an experienced partner to create a brand image that reflected evrdrive’s culture, tone and market opportunity.
evrdrive turned to JLL’s Design Solutions to bring its vision to life. JLL was tasked with co-creating evrdrive’s brand strategy, brand identity assets and a compelling design for the first CXC. The ultimate goal? A retail environment that evokes feeling and puts people at the center.
One important first step was to create a brand image for evrdrive to use in its digital and physical shopping environments and marketing. The evrdrive brand strategy would need to counteract negative stereotypes of the used car industry and its historically aggressive, misleading sales tactics. In contrast, evrdrive wanted to communicate its core values of transparency, world-class service and putting consumers in the driver’s seat.
To relinquish control to the buyer, evrdrive needed to understand deeply how consumers might navigate the evrdrive online and in-person shopping channels. The ideal experience would educate consumers about pre-owned vehicles, instill confidence and even bring a sense of joy to the buying process.
Most important, the CXC had to offer a distinct, differentiated car-buying experience with a human touch.
Defining the customer target and establishing the brand strategy
First, the JLL design team designed the evrdrive logo, using a strong font with shades of blue, purple, pink, red and yellow-orange —colors that consumers commonly associate with trust, good value, optimism, friendliness and enthusiasm.
With the logo and brand assets established, the next step was to help evrdrive construct a customer experience strategy for the CXC. One significant challenge was making a prototypical CXC work in a mall setting, where the sizes and shapes of the retail spaces often require site-specific adaptation.
JLL provided multiple concept directions in phases—from sketches to 3D renderings to walk-throughs and prototypes—demonstrating how the consumer might navigate the digital and in-person experience. Test fits in multiple mall spaces were conducted. Special considerations—like the amount of ambient light—drove recommendations for technology placement. Once the foundational elements of the CXC were determined, JLL got to work designing the flooring, lighting, fabrics and furniture scheme.
An unforgettable —and effective—shopping experience
The outcome was an uncluttered and contemporary design aesthetic that prioritizes the numerous digital product displays, while counteracting outdated perceptions about unattractive and unwelcoming used-car environments.
At the center of the CXC is the showpiece evrView™ hologram touchscreen display, connected to a searchable inventory database. Here, the consumer can search for the perfect car and take a virtual “walk-around” of a specific vehicle while viewing its CARFAX® history.
The CXC also provides soft seating options and comfortable booths where consumers can meet with sales associates or research vehicles on their mobile phones. Private rooms—glass-walled on one side to welcome natural light—are available for confidential financing conversations. Meanwhile, shoppers can relax in the tall seats at the coffee bar and sample espresso drinks while observing how other shoppers are interacting with the hologram display.
Some shoppers pin down their selection and complete the purchase at the CXC, while others explore the inventory via hologram and make their purchase online. Still others prefer the strictly digital experience. The choice is theirs.
Reviews are in and the future looks bright
From the moment it opened, evrdrive’s flagship Customer Experience Center has attracted a steady stream of consumers delighted to find a pre-owned car dealership that feels like a relaxing, high-tech lounge. The low-key, no-pressure environment delivers a flair for the dramatic with unruffled practicality.
No matter how they navigate their evrdrive journey, consumers are free to choose their own adventure. Looking forward, evrdrive is anticipating rolling out additional CXCs across Houston and, ultimately, other locations across Texas. As the company implements its plans, JLL will be ready to help fuel evrdrive’s expansion.