Company: Hero Honda
Agency: FCB Ulka
November 2005 saw the launch of the scooter from Hero Honda branded " Pleasure". The launch is a bold one because of two reasons
1. The scooter is going to compete with its technology partner Honda.
2. Hero Honda is perceived as a bike manufacturer.
Pleasure is a 102 cc scooter targeting the young ladies. The launch makes sense because the scooter segment is now growing and is expected to touch 1 million units. In the scooter segment , the ungeared scooter segment is growing very fast. Hero Honda wants to have a pie of this segment. It is a paradox in that in 1990's Hero Honda disrupted Scooters with its 4 stroke bikes and now it is introducing a scooter.
Pleasure is positioned as a Pleasure scooter. The company is targeting Ladies and Ladies only ( that is clearly and obviously cried out in the baseline and in the ads). That,I will call a sound strategy. If you are targeting ladies, why should you expect men to ride that scooter. So Hero Honda has decided that the brand will be for ladies. Pleasure is going to be sold through " Just4her" showrooms where the salesperson will be ladies . ( Men are going to be pissed off by that)
The product comes with 8 flashy colours and lot of features for the fairer sex like broader seats, electric start etc. So as far as the product concept goes, Hero Honda have a winner at hand.
The communication executed by FCB Ulka which is splashed all over the channels have an international look and aimed at the ladies of age group 18 - 35. The segmentation is based on the current techno boom and the emerging empowered ladies segment.
Will it work in the real world?
If I had the answer, I would have been next Philip Kotler.
There are some danger points in Pleasure's paths. The product is pitted against Honda Activa and Dio. Activa is a formidable player and its reputation itself is an entry barrier for Pleasure. Since the pricing of Pleasure is comparable with that of Dio, Pleasure should have to make sure that it create a meaningful differentiation.
Hero Honda off late has been unsuccessful in its new product launches. It has not been able to take out Pulsar or Boxer and all the new product launches like Ambition was flops. So Hero Honda will have to convince the ladies to choose Pleasure over Activa. If Hero Honda is able to sustain the brand over one year, there is a possibility of migration from Scooterette segment to Pleasure.
Till that time " Let boys have fun" .....