Saturday, June 23, 2007

Chevy Spark : Full of Life !

Brand : Spark
Company: Chevrolet ( GM)
Agency : Leo Burnett

Brand Count : 242

Spark is the latest entrant to the highly crowded and comptitive Indian car market. Spark is the second life for the erstwhile Matiz brand of Daewoo Motors. When Matiz came to India in 1995, the brand was a huge success. The cute car loaded with luxury soon created a premium small car segment giving significant competition for Santro.

But the internal financial crisis and subsequent death of Daewoo Motors almost killed this brand.. almost. 2007 saw this brand rebirth as Spark. Although GM denies that Spark is not Matiz reloaded, the resemblance cannot be ignored. In marketing terms, Spark should be considered as a new product launch.

Spark makes huge sense for the ambitious plans of GM to dominate Indian market. No marketer can make headway in Indian market without their presence in the Small car segment which constitutes almost 80% of the Indian car market. The small car market dominated by Suzuki is not an easy nut to crack either. And since no manufacturer can match the cost structure of Suzuki , the small car should be highly differentiated.
Indian small car market has evolved itself over the last decade into different segments within itself. The current market looks like this

Rs 1.8 lakh - 3.5 lakh :Maruti 800 ,Alto ( Basic Small Car)
Rs 3- 4 lakh :Santro /Wagon R/Zen Estillo /Spark/Indica ( Premium small car)
Rs 4 lakh and above : Swift,Fusion,UVA ( Luxury small car)
( This is my classification)

Spark is directly competing with Hyundai Santro and Maruti Wagon R in the premium small car segment. Priced very competitively at Rs 3-4 lakh, Spark is definitely will hit Santro hard -for a simple reason that customers were waiting for a choice. Be it Santro or Wagon R, customers are pretty bored by these two models which are there in the market for pretty long period of time. If you are a person who doesn't like the tall boy design, then there was no other choice but go in for Indica. Now Spark fills that gap effectively.
Not only that Chevrolet had priced the brand rightly, it had also marketed this brand correctly.Spark is positioned as a fun (cute) car and aptly uses the tagline " Full of Life". The vibrant colors and the cute looks is definitely going to make this car desirable . Customers may buy this brand just for the looks.
The brand is promoted heavily through TVC's which effectively captures the brand's essence.

Watch the TVC here : Spark
Although the brand faces intense competition from the leader Santro ( which has already giving huge discounts to counter Spark), for a while Spark may not be able to match Santro. But I feel that Spark will create a market for itself. The positioning of Spark as a vibrant lively brand is going to help it a lot. The brand will be attracting the young customers who are desperately looking for something different ( from the OLD Santro and the STAID Wagon R).
Like any products, the ultimate test for this brand will be on the ROAD. If Spark can prove itself to be a trouble free car on the road, Chevrolet have a winner at hand.