Monday, January 09, 2006

Amaron : Lasts Long , Really Long . TingTong !


Brand : Amaron
Company :Amara Raja
Agency: O&M

Amaron is a disruptive brand in the automotive segment. Launched in mid 2000 , this brand has created some excitement in the rather dull automotive battery market in India. Amara Raja has been a leading player in the industrial battery segment. In 2000 they forayed in the lucrative Automotive battery market which is predominantly dominated by players like Exide.

Automotive battery market can be categorized into two: OEM and replacement market. OEM segment is dominated by established players while replacement market is dominated by local players and other non branded batteries.

Car Battery replacement is viewed as a grudge purchase by the car owners. No one thinks of battery until it breaks down. This product comes under the category of High Involvement and Low Interest product. We can consider this as a slow moving consumer good .
Amaron wanted to differentiate itself from the existing players in the market. It had to do so because the product category is SMCG with low interest. So the question is how to create that excitement. The Indian automotive battery market is worth around 1200 crore. Organised players constitute 40% of that market.
The first thing the company has done was to create the product differentiation with respect to the product feature. Amaron decided to bringout the Zero maintenance battery into the Indian market ( I think it is the first company to do so). That means that we needn't check for the water level and so on.
Amaron also ensured that the product commands the best quality so that the product can be positioned as a premium brand.

Then came the form differentiation. Conventional batteries were all looking alike with a transparent body and blue/ red top. Amaron decided on a black body with fluorescent green logo splashed over. There was also another reason for the black body. There is a possibility of government regulations stipulating the use of Recycled plastics for battery. Amaron is using such plastics so it need not effect the changes once the regulations are implemented. And since the water level needn't be checked, Black body will have no problem for the customers.

The purpose of using fluorescent green was that since our country is very hot, the color should stay in Promotional materials , hoarding and in the product. So green was chosen.

Then came the differentiation regarding the advertising. Amaron decided that it will do the breakaway advertising. Traditionally conventional battery ads seldom sells battery. It is the sheer distribution and the presence of well established brand name that does the selling.
So Amaron wanted its ads to look different and establish the brand name in this crowded market.
So O&M decided to have a un-battery like campaign for Amaron. For the first time in India "Claymation" ie using clay models + animation was used for advertising .Amaron ads were classic examples of " Clutter busting". The ads were attention grabbing and outright funny. It won many awards for the agency and Amaron grabbed 6% market share in a short span of time. The Amaron Campaign Pandu Mangal has been well received by the public and research shows that Amaron has a top of the mind brand recall . The ads coupled with claymation and hyperbole effectively communicates the positioning of " lasting long" . The jingle "TingTong" has also been a smash hit.
This is a brand that is a classic case of smart marketing and careful differentiation. I hope this brand " Lasts Long, really long" ( I just bought one for my car !) Ting Tong.