Launching a $101M online car dealership in 12 months
Our client came to us with the idea to disrupt the final white space in Australian e-commerce: to approach the $55 billion used car market and take it entirely online. Establishing an e-commerce model within a predominantly offline industry wasn’t going to be easy. The brand had to immediately engender trust and the user experience had to be exceptional. We were tasked with creating the brand, and designing and building an e-commerce from the ground up. From there, we went on to lead a complete brand rollout. UntilNow operates as Carma’s product partner and brand agency and continues to help them scale.
User testing & customer research
End to end UX/UI e-commerce product
Brand campaign delivery
Product optimization, iteration & testing
"Record funding for virtual car yard that gets rid of used car salesmen"
“It was a highly collaborative process. They took the time to become well-versed in the intricacies of our business, and instead of big reveals at set milestones, we were in constant communication throughout the process. That enabled us to experiment with a wide variety of ideas and to incorporate findings quickly.”
concept to MVP
combined seed raise
cars sold in 6 months
Disrupting a substantially offline experience required an intensive amount of problem discovery to test and confirm that this was a problem that users could resonate with. We conducted many deep sessions to map out the ideal user journey and the opportunity space. We workshopped known pain points and delights, and kicked off a customer-in-residence program, to ensure we’d have a consistent customer voice feedback loop for all designs and iterations moving forward.
We knew that the brand also had a big job to do - to instill trust and clearly represent a ‘better way’. We got to work leading workshops and brainstorms designed to capture the spirit, personality, and purpose of the brand—their why. We needed a name that could work on a number of levels and endure the road ahead. After much discussion, research and expert advice, we locked in Carma and got moving. Our design team set out to establish Carma’s visual identity, designing the logo, colours, iconography, illustrations and more. The final logo was inspired by the Golden Age of the auto industry. Tapping into this legacy created a sense of enduring familiarity, which, filled with a warm ‘tail-light’ pink, made for an entirely modern interpretation of the cherished automotive signature.
Launching the MVP
Launching the MVP was going to be no small feat. We knew we needed to provide enough value and delight upfront to guide users throughout the whole journey, from browsing to purchase. A very first initial version of the product was launched to just friends & family in order to test and learn as much as possible before launching the official MVP into the market.
Before unveiling any of this work publicly, we worked with Carma to develop a stealth launch strategy. This was a strategic play to enable Carma to access talent and continue to build crucial momentum before the company had raised $28M in seed funding. By the time the press arrived, we had everything branded: the headquarters, staff uniforms, customer gift packs and even the delivery trucks. From here, the go-to-market strategy proved to be successful, generating PR and an additional $75M in funding 6 months on.
MVP to Scale
With the MVP out in the market, we began to gain a richer understanding of how users were using Carma. Alongside a rigorous customer feedback process, we began iterating and launching updates and optimisations. Carma was growing fast and we knew this was also our opportunity to make a big bang through the creation of a full-scale brand awareness campaign. Carma was set to become the market disruptor and delighter they were determined to be.
Carma needed an eye-catching campaign that could work on multiple levels. Via multiple, data-informed workshops, we developed psychographic personas to round out key audiences. Then, through a 5-week process, we took the team through roughly 25 campaign concepts over 4 key meetings, exploring potential strategic areas through creative ideas and drilling down to the winning territory and the winning execution of that territory. We facilitated discussions with a media agency partner to identify the best channels through which to target our audience. We then sourced and briefed appropriate production partners and directors, before supporting in the selection and onboarding for the chosen companies who would deliver the various production elements.
The final campaign was bold and endearing, launching across TV, digital, out-of-home, social, transit and more. Exciting versions are now being utilised in unique audience settings such as stadiums and petrol stations, with more on the way.
Carma continues along its ambitious growth trajectory and we’re supporting them as they secure sports sponsorships, launch in new markets and uncover other avenues for growth.
Our partnership continues to deepen with UntilNow operating as Carma’s Product Partner and Brand Agency.