Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bajaj Discover : Discover the positioning!


Brand : Discover
Company : Bajaj
Agency : O&M


Bajaj has been on a roll these days and if the stock valuations are any indication of firms performance, then Bajaj is Bachchan of two wheelers. It had been an interesting story of Bajaj , interesting in the marketing and strategic point of view of how a company which thrived during the closed economy has evolved to a dynamic company in a free market economy.

The brand has evolved from " Hamara Bajaj" TO " No one can beat a Bajaj" TO " Inspiring Confidence".
Rahul Bajaj , the Part time Chairman of the company has been instrumental in facilitating this change from a Fuddy Duddy image of a scooter manufacturer to a dynamic young M/Cycle manufacturer.

Bajaj which was proudly known as world's largest manufacturer of scooters in the nineties found to its surprise one day that Indians now don't like scooters, they like m/cycles. Bajaj first thought it is not possible. How can people who once waited for 3 years to get a scooter can think of buying a m/cycle. But ultimately numbers proved the point. Bajaj no longer mattered in the new scheme of things. Hero Honda is the leader in the motorcycle segment (which was once dominated by Yezdi, Enfield and Java) and scooter sales are coming down.

Bajaj still believed that things were as usual, people prefers scooters, m/cycle is just a fad, no one can beat a bajaj ...... but ..,

Once Bajaj has realised that Indian consumers have changed, It has to change and it changed for the better.
Bajaj came with a series of M/Cycle launches but it took a long time before Bajaj could establish itself in the M/Cycle market. This proves the point that as a marketer, you cannot take customers for granted no matter who you are.

Pulsar helped Bajaj to establish itself as a serious player in the Indian M/cycle market. Bajaj had failures in establishing its presence in the executive segment where Hero Honda's splendour rules .

Hence Bajaj launched Discover DTSI with much fanfare. The brand ambassador was none less than the legendary Jackie Chan. Things were perfect for a bestseller. But has Discover delivered?

Still No.
Partly because Bajaj is still struggling with the positioning of the brand. The same mistake was done with Caliber. Bajaj is trying to sell Discover by its looks. But then the new commercial suggest something else. The new commercial with a Harry Potter look alike is well executed but has no marketing significance. What is being communicated to the customer ? Just like the Hoodibaba campaign involving cartoon characters which actually killed the product, Discover campaigns are based on Fantasy.

It will be helpful for Bajaj if it realises or rather study its target market.
" M/cycles are used by adults above 18 educated and the product is M/cycle that is used for transportation" Bajaj knows this more than I do, But then how can you sell a Motorcycle to an Adult based on fantasy?
Bajaj should decide on which platform Discover is going to be placed at. Is it going to be sold as a stylish bike or performance or both?
Positioning has to be realistic and should differentiate the product from the competitors. That is theory and it works also.
Here M/cycle cannot be sold on the basis of some fantasy or cartoons, Bajaj should realize that. Discover had a dream launch. If Bajaj fails to capitalize on that then this product will be another Caliber .

Bajaj can relax for while because Hero Honda's new bike Achiever is also poorly positioned and campaign stupidly executed..