Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kinetic Blaze : Shortcut To Fame ?

Brand : Kinetic Blaze
Company: Kinetic Motors
Agency: Grey Worldwide

Brand Count : 130

Kinetic Blaze is the new launch from the beleaguered kinetic motors. The company which pioneered the concept of gearless and self start scooters are now in crossroads. Kinetic after breaking up the JV with Honda faced tough competition for Honda which virtually wiped off Kinetic scooters from the market.

Kinetic was not able to produce any blockbuster products other than the most popular Kinetic Honda. The launches like K100 and Nova range bombed in the market. Honda while captured and redefined the entire scooter market with its Activa.
2006 saw the launch of Kinetic Blaze. Blaze is the 1st product from the much publicised seven vehicle Italiano series. These designs are bought from the world famous Italjet Moto. The designs are done personally by Leopoldo Tartarini, the head of Italjet Moto.

Blaze is so far the most powerful scooter in India. This 165 cc mean machine is huge and heavy. Blaze was all set to redefine the scooter market in India. So far so good....

Kinetic was clever in rightly identifying the problem. The brand had took a beating after Honda left.The brand equity suffered a hit after many new product failures.So the primary task for the company was to reposition and rejuvenate the brand and give it a contemporary look . For that Kinetic needed something that could be the talk of the town. So wisely it invested heavily in getting the best designers and conceived the seven series with emphasis on style and "machoness".
But all these efforts went into mud because the agency played spoil sport. The launch ads ( TVC) was nothing but a marketing disaster. The agency just killed the product. The ad talks about Rohit Varma.
We had enough of Digen Varma and Balbir Pasha. Then here comes Rohit Varma jumping from the tenth floor of the flat on a Kinetic blaze and a bunch of cracks(fans) cheering.I wonder how this guy managed to take this heavy thing all the way up. Then the baseline says " Short cut to Fame". It is one of the lausiest positioning statements ever.

The product is supposedly good; that is what most of the reviews say. The scooter is huge with the size of Pulsar and wheel base of a Bullet and weighing 135 kg. Hell this is a macho scooter that too with a mileage of around 50 kmpl ( under dream conditions), and look at what the agency has done. No positioning and no creative thoughts only bull shit.The brand had lots to talk about. It was male, powerful, stylish and safe. The TG could have been those who wanted a powerful city rider.Here much more rational communication was needed instead of hyperbole.

With a price tag of Rs.50000, this brand is going to compete with none other than Pulsar. The question is will you opt for a Blaze or a Pulsar? Hence the success of this brand will be heavily dependant on the way the company position the brand. No other bikes have so far being able to dethrone Pulsar , so does Blaze have a chance? With this stupid positioning, I will say No chance.
Blaze was the right vehicle for rejuvenating Kinetic Brand. It could have been a Pulsar for Kinetic had it marketed it right. Pulsar captured the attention of TG with its Definitely Male campaign. But what about Blaze ?
Blaze if positioned properly at best would have been a niche product. The brand would have appealed to people who did not like Bikes. But the current positioning dampens every chance of its success.
Kinetic have to realise that there are no shortcuts to fame.
Source : Businessline,Indiabikes.com, autocarindia, agencyfaqs,kineticblaze.com