They say necessity is the mother of invention, and like many businesses Karrenn began as its founder Anthony Saneh was looking to buy new car himself. What started as a personal research project developed into a database of available models in Lebanon. Karrenn launched its website in December 2016 and since then Saneh has been fine-tuning their value proposition.
Today, the main part of the website helps users sift through automotive advertisements, taking each ad and analyzing it for transparency. They check factors such as whether the car photo in the ad is really the same as the car you’ll get for the advertised price; verify that the price in the ad includes VAT and registration; and look into any hidden costs that would hike up the price.
The website also has a blog section with general features and news related to cars in Lebanon. For example, recent pieces have included details about the process of renewing driver’s licenses in Lebanon, news on the Mecanique payment exemptions, as well as fun road trip suggestions.
Karrenn is also very active on social media, using their Facebook page to create a community for car buyers, owners, and experts, as well as those interested in learning more. All of the blog content is shared on Facebook and there are additional posts that aim to spur engagement. These posts can include anything from comparisons between two cars to asking for recommendations regarding mechanics for specific brands.
By asking questions and allowing people to share their opinions, Karrenn is leveraging users’ knowledge. The users are helping others on the platform by providing their personal reviews of cars, services, and products of which they have experience.
Another way Karrenn is engaging with both its audience and car dealers is through content marketing in collaboration with dealers. Saneh says many forward-thinking dealers are excited to work with them on creating interesting sponsored content, which has included short videos and articles.
“We thought, how can we make content entertaining? People buy cars once every five to seven years but we want them to engage with us not just once in five years. We started targeting other segments like car owners, not just car buyers, and asking them questions and for recommendations,” he says.
Saneh says the ultimate goal is to create a database of car-related services and products in Lebanon. In the future he also hopes to be able to engage banks, insurance companies, aftersales departments, and others stakeholders related to the automotive industry.
In a country where word-of-mouth is everything and in an age where everyone is online, Karrenn’s car community is a platform that’s leveraging user-generated experiences to try to help car buyers and owners navigate an onslaught of ads, while supplementing the missing information.