Brand experience agency Owl Live create an experiential and immersive product and communications training programme for Toyota

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Owl Live, the brand experience agency, has created an experiential and immersive product and communications training programme for Toyota.

Toyota invited the London and Liverpool-based agency to create a comprehensive training programme to engage their 1900+ person sales force to sell the automotive brand’s new crossover, the Aygo X and all-electric vehicle, the bZ4X.

Over three months, the experiential agency delivered two extensive comms and training programmes [one for each vehicle] at Burnaston, Derby, the home of Toyota Manufacturing UK. Owl Live built a temporary structure within Toyota’s grounds and trained Toyota representatives on the all new Aygo X and bZ4X. The temporary structure was adjacent to Toyota’s in-house training academy and enabled Owl Live to create a range of experiential sessions, which comprised of themed room sets, interactive walls, driving and gamification! 

In total, Owl Live delivered eight knowledge sessions and three product driving sessions, training more than 990 sales professionals on the Aygo X and more than 1,000 sales professionals on the bZ4X. 

Muriel Holdsworth, Managing Partner of Owl Live, said: “Owl Live’s appointment on the Aygo X and bZ4X projects followed the successful creation of a digital and interactive TV series for Toyota’s Yaris Cross, which was delivered during the pandemic. The digital TV series replaced Toyota’s traditional in-person product training.

“For these latest projects, we went back to long-awaited in-person training and delivered a training programme that was created using our insight-led approach and strategy. It was important that Toyota’s sales professionals understood the evolution of their roles and thought of themselves as relationship managers, ensuring the right customer was partnered with the right car at the right time. It was paramount that our solution left Toyota’s sales professionals feeling inspired and motivated.”

Holdsworth continued: “Consumers that visit car showrooms and dealerships are so much more aware of what they are buying. They do their research before they visit a centre so old sales techniques no longer work. It was paramount that the training we delivered armed Toyota’s sales professionals with all the information they needed to understand the car and the customer to cement the connection between the brand and the consumer and deliver a more personalised experience.”

Dave Catt, manager sales, product, and brand training at Toyota said of the Aygo X training programme: “The experiential training programme was a great success, demonstrated by amazing feedback from our sales professionals. We surveyed our colleagues post-training and a staggering 97 per cent felt confident in their knowledge of the new car and their ability to communicate key information about the latest model. Owl Live’s strategy-led approach ensured fantastic results, demonstrated by comprehensive delegate feedback.”

Owl Live’s work on the Aygo X and bZ4X built on the agency’s previous digital training programme for the Toyota Yaris Cross. Previously, Toyota’s sales professionals would have been able to physically get to grips with the Yaris Cross. However, COVID ended all ride-and-drive experiences. As a result, Owl Live developed an interactive and memorable training and communications programme that concentrated on knowledge retention and relationship building. 

Holdsworth said: “It was our job to deliver a digital programme that transcended in-person learning and one-to-one training. Any digital solution delivered had to grab salespeople’s attention online, as retailers expressed online fatigue. We created a Yaris Cross TV mini-series of five bite-sized episodes that showcased key product features using high energy and impact. This creative solution allowed dealers to receive the information they needed and undertake their training in their own time. Over two weeks, they increased their knowledge and digested easy-to-consume content that was specifically engineered to be short, sharp, highly visual, and entertaining.”

Owl Live enhanced the digital experience by creating a quiz that tested Toyota retailers’ skills and knowledge through an entertaining and game-like digital format.

The digital TV mini-series was a great success. Catt said: “The interactive TV series had amazing results. We surveyed our retailers and sales consultants. The number of respondents who reported feeling confident talking with customers about the Yaris Cross features and benefits grew from 20 per cent before training to 100 per cent post-training. This is an incredible statistic, and it shows just how memorable the training was. Our workforce was engaged.”

Holdsworth concluded: “Our strategy of distilling Toyota’s training objectives, product pillars and content into a learning experience that engaged the audience and encouraged message retention was brilliantly received both by the Toyota team and its dealers.”

Following the success of the Aygo X, bZ4X, and Yaris Cross campaigns, Owl Live have been organising in-centre training roadshow throughout July and August. 

Rebecca Dixon
Author: Rebecca Dixon

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