Combining Coffee Culture with Auto Retail

Combining Coffee Culture with Auto Retail:
MG Carffe.

Transformational trends, such as electrification or shared mobility, are disrupting the automotive industry. Also, the way how cars are sold is changing: While traditional 4S dealerships are losing relevance, new retail formats emerge, using a different approach: More experiential, more customer-centered, more digital.

A new retail concept: The MG Carffe

Car brands, no matter if newly founded electric vehicle companies, or established manufacturers, are experimenting with new retail formats in order to attract their customers.

SAIC, one of the largest automotive conglomerates in China, has worked with mediaman on numerous innovative retail experiences, such as the Roewe Smart Square in Shanghai. In a recent collaboration, mediaman created all digital services of a new retail concept: The MG Carffe.

MG popular among young professionals in China

Besides Roewe, MG is the second strong mass market brand of SAIC. Previously an iconic English brand (MG stands for Morris Garage), SAIC has re-positioned MG for the local market. With 171158 units sold in 2018, MG is an established brand with substantial market share in China, mainly popular among young professionals in 2nd and 3rd tier cities in China.

Car + Coffee = Carffe

Carffe, a term made up of the two words “car” and “coffee”, reflects MG’s ambition to attract the successful, young and urban population of China’s mid-tier cities. The Carffe concept delivers coffee culture to customers at MG’s retail stores. With significant growth during the past few years, coffee consumption has become popular mainstream culture in China, driven by new, innovative concepts, new players and shifting consumer habits.

Not only a place to enjoy coffee

The MG Carffe, however, is not only a place to enjoy coffee: Carffe also has a strong social component; it is a community whose members mingle, communicate and enjoy benefits of their membership. Those benefits range from discounts, coupons or reservations to participation with priority, when it comes to social campaigns, new product launches or VIP events.

What was the task

mediaman was tasked with developing and implementing of all digital elements within MG Carffe, including the customer-facing application, the digital services, the management backend and all required hardware.

The customer application is based on a WeChat Mini Program, which users onboard to when scanning a QR code onsite or following campaign content online.

After a short registration process, customers can access most of the digital services openly available at MG Carffe, for example ordering, redeeming a voucher, networking with other members, or engaging with one of the digital experiences placed on site.

The Result

Since its launch in 1st of June at Shanghai, the MG Carffe has attracted quite a large and active community. More than 1,500 owners registered during the first few weeks

This is only a first step: as user's needs and interests will continue to change, the MG Carffe digital platform project is also being iterated continuously, and will be adapted to more scenarios, such as auto shows, pop up, launch events, and other activities, in order to further nurture its brand community.

Project Gallery