How Cazoo disrupted the used car market

In just over a year Cazoo has gone from being an unknown startup with a name associated with a musical instrument to an established player in the used car market.

At the start of 2020, Cazoo spotted a market that was ripe for disruption. Around 8 million cars are sold annually with revenues of over £50bn, yet it was still a highly fragmented market with high levels of customer dissatisfaction.

With a name that had largely been associated with a musical instrument up until that point, the online car retailer had one aim: to establish a new category and make Cazoo the household name at its heart.

To do this it would need to drive awareness, salience, consideration and key brand image statements that reflected high levels of trust and differentiation in a market where in-house research found buying a used car was still an anxiety-inducing experience for many people.

Cazoo and creative agency partner Engine launched its ‘Cazoo Yeah!’ campaign in January 2020, which celebrated how great it feels to buy a used car with Cazoo. By April 2021, Cazoo had gone from an unknown upstart to an established player with 69% awareness and monthly website visits peaking at over 1.5 million. TV advertising was at the heart of this shift, with the brand seeing a direct correlation between spikes in TV exposures and uplifts in search for Cazoo of up to 160,000 a week.

According to Kantar data, Cazoo now leads the market in ‘giving customers something different’ and ‘innovation’, and beats competitors on ‘making purchasing a car enjoyable’ and ‘giving customers confidence’.

Cazoo became the fastest British business to reach unicorn status in 2020 and had generated a revenue run rate of over £450m with 20,000 orders by March 2021, culminating in the brand winning 2021’s Marketing Week Masters award for Retail and Ecommerce.