Case Studies / Black Circles

Driving exceptional growth with service design

We used research and service design to increase buyer confidence and open up new markets for Black Circles. Together, we changed the nation’s buying habits.

The challenge
Black Circles had saturated the expert-buyer market. Now they needed to find new customers.

When we met, many considered Black Circles a runaway success story.

They’d successfully captured all the ‘easy’ customers – the enthusiasts, the customers who knew how to navigate all the complex codes and specs to buy their tyres online.

The problem was, most UK car owners had never even considered buying online. It was off-putting. What if they bought the wrong thing?

So Black Circles came to Nile with a challenge: how might we open up their market to the ‘typical’ UK car owner?

Together, we set out to completely transform the nation’s tyre-buying habits.

How we helped

Black Circles asked us to design a new, market-disrupting digital experience.

One that would strike new customers as so good, they’d become brand advocates.

So we built a deep understanding of why people weren’t confident about buying their tyres online. We explored every barrier.

And took this insight to redesign the whole online buying experience.

  • 20%

    Year on year growth

  • £50m


A lasting impact

Black Circles achieved unprecedented growth and is now a household name. They’re the UK’s most significant online tyre retailer, with a five-star rating on Trust Pilot.

Together, we proved the power of good service design. New markets flew open. And a huge new customer base was captured.

Not to mention being voted Best Online Tyre Retailer, seven years running.

All this success didn’t go unnoticed—Black Circles achieved a high valuation and has since been acquired by Michelin.