Sunday, April 27, 2008

Brand Update : Ceat

The rebranding bug has caught Ceat too. The brand is now sporting a new logo. The saddest part is that Ceat has done away with the famous mascot ( Rhino) and the golden tagline " Born Tough".

The Rhino mascot has been with Ceat for almost 50 years. The tagline was also deeply etched in the mind of the public. According to Harsh Goenka , the reason for changing the mascot is that there is a general perception that Rhinos are getting extinct and is a sloth. ( Source : Financial Express). Hence the brand wants to change into something modern. I think it is one of the most unconvincing reasons for changing such a blockbuster mascot .
Currently the brand is promoting the new logo. The new logo is being promoted in the same way as Vodafone. Both TVC and print campaigns scream " Change is inevitable" and " Change is here ". No wonder the agency is O&M which handled the Hutch - Vodafone rebranding. The current campaign is a cut-copy-paste of the " Change is Good " campaign for Vodafone.

The brand also denounced its tagline " Born Tough ". The current re-branding campaign is only talking about the logo and the new tagline is not revealed.
The question now remains as to why a brand would want to change a mascot and slogan which is deeply embedded in the consumer's mind. It has to be noted that Ceat has never invested in the brand. Except for some occasional bursts of campaigns, Ceat never invested in the brand. If people still remember the brand, its because of the power of the mascot and the slogan and not because of any sustained campaigns. By denouncing the most powerful brand elements, Ceat has taken a big risk.
I think the current rebranding exercise is not going to be sustained over time. After the rebranding, the brand will again go in for a silent mode and also may be forgotten by the consumers.

Related Brand
Ceat


18 comments:

  1. Currently Shopper's Stop is also running a campaign for a new logo - with the ads reading 'start something new'
    and mention CHANGE loudly drawing a parallel with Manmohan Singh, Cricket and then Square Footage of the outlet.

    More clutter I guess.

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  2. true..jus saw the shopper's stop TVC.. of the old logo being changed to new one...

    but about CEAT update- jus wondering whether it was deliberately done to come into the notice?its actually been 4-5 yrs when MRF,CEAT ,JK Tyres used to advertise actually...

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  3. I guess its all all about brand repositioning...
    though i agree the 'change' thingy does seem like a reinvention of the vodafone ad..
    But i think the new logo looks pretty neat.. more fresh and youthful...
    And CEAT's been working hard by positioning its brand through the sport thats now a rage amongst the youth all over the world - cricket... courtesy its Ceat Cricket Rating Awards and a strong marketing outburst during the Twenty 20 mania and now the DLF IPL matches.. which no other tyre brand has been doing. And by doing so, it has been more visible vis-a-vis its competitorss for sure...
    And yes!... Lets hope it starts investing more in its brand at least now, lest the whole effort of repositioning the brand goes down the drain!... :)

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  4. I guess its all all about brand repositioning...
    though i agree the 'change' thingy does seem like a reinvention of the vodafone ad..
    But i think the new logo looks pretty neat.. more fresh and youthful...
    And CEAT's been working hard by positioning its brand through the sport thats now a rage amongst the youth all over the world - cricket... courtesy its Ceat Cricket Rating Awards and a strong marketing outburst during the Twenty 20 mania and now the DLF IPL matches.. which no other tyre brand has been doing. And by doing so, it has been more visible vis-a-vis its competitorss for sure...
    And yes!... Lets hope it starts investing more in its brand at least now, lest the whole effort of repositioning the brand goes down the drain!... :)

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  5. Few clarifications on the CEAT logo Change:

    The Genesis of the Logo: The Old logo and tagline “Born Tough” worked wonders for CEAT in an era where the chief requirement from a tyre was “Overloading”, be it the 6 wheeled trucks that you saw lumbering on the highway or be it the family car that used to carry the entire joint family.

    However times have changed, the transportation game has changed… The 6 wheeler trucks are being replaced by high speed container trucks. Nuclear families and vehicle seating norms have ensured that your car is not really overloaded as in the past. Hence over a period of time the primary requirement from a tyre has changed from just “load carrying capacity” to mileage, Cushioning(read comfort),Speed(Speed rated Radials)and parameters like Cost per Km(Truck Owners are actually becoming that scientific)…

    Extensive research with our consumers/stakeholders pointed out towards the fact that while CEAT, the Rhino and Born Tough were still SALIENT, their RELEVANCE was a question mark???(So,the question of advertising frequencies or lack of it being an issue does not arise-).. Catering to a young India where 55% of the population is under 25, is no joke.. You need to youthful, fast, aggressive and that is precisely what the new logo is all about.

    Also, a logo does not stand for a consumer brand alone. Today it visually depicts the aspirations of the entire set of stakeholders attached to the company,be it employees, future employees, investors, trade partners etc…

    CEAT as a company has overcome a period of despondency and now wants to occupy a premium position in all the stakeholders’ mindset. There have been lot of initiatives that have been taken within the company(operational, cultural, product-wise etc),to make it a far more youthful, aggressive and contemporary company. Some changes have already happened and some will be experienced by the stakeholders in the days to come. All in all the company is in a state where it is ready to “Take it on”

    The New Logo is a visual manifestation of this Corporate philosphy.

    Ceat’s new logo is youthful and mature - building on the rich heritage of the company. The three orange lines are symbolic of speed and dynamism and are based on the idea of ‘raising the bar’. The capital letters make the mark look mature and distinguished. The visual language is derived from the elements of the road, whilst the rich blue sets the brand apart.

    For any other clarifications and feedback u can mail me at nairnitin@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous12:19 PM

    Few clarifications on the CEAT logo Change:

    The Genesis of the Logo: The Old logo and tagline “Born Tough” worked wonders for CEAT in an era where the chief requirement from a tyre was “Overloading”, be it the 6 wheeled trucks that you saw lumbering on the highway or be it the family car that used to carry the entire joint family.

    However times have changed, the transportation game has changed… The 6 wheeler trucks are being replaced by high speed container trucks. Nuclear families and vehicle seating norms have ensured that your car is not really overloaded as in the past. Hence over a period of time the primary requirement from a tyre has changed from just “load carrying capacity” to mileage, Cushioning(read comfort),Speed(Speed rated Radials)and parameters like Cost per Km(Truck Owners are actually becoming that scientific)…

    Extensive research with our consumers pointed out towards the fact that while CEAT, the Rhino and Born Tough were still SALIENT, their RELEVANCE was a question mark???(Hence the issue of frequencies of ads or lack of it does not arise).. Catering to a young India where 55% of the population is under 25, is no joke.. You need to youthful, fast, aggressive and that is precisely what the new logo is all about.

    Also, a logo does not stand for a consumer brand alone. Today it visually depicts the aspirations of the entire set of stakeholders attached to the company,be it employees, future employees, investors, trade partners etc…

    CEAT as a company has overcome a period of despondency and now wants to occupy a premium position in all the stakeholders’ mindset. There have been lot of initiatives that have been taken within the company(operational, cultural, product-wise etc),to make it a far more youthful, aggressive and contemporary company. Some changes have already happened and some will be experienced by the stakeholders in the days to come. All in all the company is in a state where it is ready to “Take it on”

    The New Logo is a visual manifestation of this Corporate philosphy.

    Ceat’s new logo is youthful and mature - building on the rich heritage of the company. The three orange lines are symbolic of speed and dynamism and are based on the idea of ‘raising the bar’. The capital letters make the mark look mature and distinguished. The visual language is derived from the elements of the road, whilst the rich blue sets the brand apart.

    Hope this clarifies any issue... Regds

    Nitin

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Nitin.

    It'd be nice if you could mention your relationship with CEAT. That adds more weight to your comment.

    I'll reiterate my comparison with Shoppers Stop. Ravi Deshpande, the man who suggested the idea for the retail giant's rebranding, gave a vague justification, saying "Shopping is a treat. It makes you feel like a new person. I felt that this could be made into an idea like “start something new”, so that life is looked at completely differently, something as different as responding to the environment and its issues, saving trees, recycling, being a child again, or just doing nothing. All of this with a fashionable twist to it."

    I just hope customers find a change in their CEAT experience as claimed in the Ad campaigns. I'm skeptical about Shoppers Stop in that respect.

    (I've provided more details on Shoppers Stop on my own blog, in case you are interested)

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  8. @ nitin...
    good explanation...
    I guess this explains that a logo change is not an impulsive decision n has a lot attached to a the change in the corporate philosophy..
    Cheerz to ur reply...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Hi Arvind,

    Totally agree that any visual identity has to be backed by a strong Reason to Believe... Am in no position to comment on Shoppers Stop as i havent been there after the revamp, but as far as CEAT goes, It is exactly the reason why we havent overpromised to to the stakeholders.. (Just conveying the logo change at present)... The reason to believe for the consumer will be the Product Centric Ads(again with a clear prod differentiator) which will follow in some time..The tone of communication has been set by the current set of Ads which were meant to be slightly irreverant

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  10. The INSIDE story!

    Importantly truckers in India are moving away from Nylon (BIAS-used for overloading, need to be "BORN TOUGH") tyres to Radials (cost/km mileage) type tyres.

    Truck Radials is an area where (with the exception of JK tyres) all Indian tyre makers (CEAT, MRF-big daddy of Indian tyre makers included) have NO production facilities. The Indian tyre makers have been caught scrambling and unprepared for the advent of better roads (Golden Quadrilateral), multi-axle trucks and more scientific truckers.

    Consequently Indian tyre makers have lost market share in both OEM and aftermarket to imports of truck radials, which now stand at a 12-15% of the Indian market (up from less than 2% barely 3 years ago). To put things in perspective, in India (unlike overseas) the tyre market is made up of 70% truck tyres - so loosing market share on home turf in your largest selling product will make any company sit up and take notice and may be go for a re-branding exercise ; )

    Btw, I think BORN tough and the Rhino were excellent. Lets hope the change works out well for the new (young) men at the helm in CEAT.

    Good Luck and best wishes!

    Cheers,

    onlyvicky@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. @ Vicky
    good stats bro...
    jus out of curiosity ,if psbl can u state the source of stats too!!

    @ all
    guys we've heard the most diverse reasons for the brand change @ CEAT...goes to show how much of a thought process goes on behind a strategic change!
    thnx again

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  12. Change means going from one state to another whether it is for good or bad. In vodafone case change was in ownership so they had to come with tagline of change. In CEAT case they could have said we are improving or going modern... just using "change" does not go well with the corporate idea behind for upgrading/updating the logo.

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  13. @ anmol rao: Source statistics filed with Directorate General of Anti Dumping (by Indian tyre makers), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (i.e. Indian Customs), Press Releases by MMTC, First hand inputs from overseas manufactures and Indian resellers of Truck Radials.

    Sadly, their is an earlier blog (http://marketingpractice.blogspot.com/2006/10/ceat-born-tough.html) giving some historical information on how radialisation of passenger car tyres was a disruptive innovation for CEAT. Now it seems to be repeating itself with truck tyres. The Rhino was "Born Tough, Mellowed later, and Alas Killed!".

    ReplyDelete
  14. sonal jhuj1:17 PM

    research generally sucks when it comes to understanding brand identities.

    Couldn't a more contemporary version of the older logo/mascot be attempted?
    Must we erase years of brand equity and put forth a logo that looks very flaky. Best of luck building depth in something and starting over.
    Change is good, but hey we need to stick to the roots no? And I'm that 'youth' O&M wants to address, and I believe the logo stands for nothing. As of now atleast. 40 years down I may grow to appreciate it... but then they might change it again :)

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  15. PS: Shopper's Stop was just as silly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sujit6:28 PM

    Consumers find it extremely difficult to evaluate the quality of the tyre.
    By just looking at the tyres it is almost impossible to say, whether MRF or CEAT or JK is going to last longer. So, the the brand of the tyre plays a major role while selecting the tyre apart from the dealer's, mechanic or peer group recommendations.

    Two most important things are expected from a tyre,
    Durability and second grip on the road.

    And sometimes (though many of us dont do this)the quality of the tyre is examined depending on the weight of the tyre (in case of a small tyres- heavier tyre is considered to be better in quality) or hitting a tyre with a small iron rod. (the higher the rod bounces back the better the tyre)

    I believe even today the tag line "born tough" has a stronger meaning.

    One of the reasons why the company decided to drop the tagline-"born tough" was because of the thought that today the highways are better, smoother.

    My point is that the highways constitute only 15-20 percent of India's total roads.

    European and American roads are better than Indian roads.And this is the reason for the apprehension that the Indian consumer has, for using foreign brands- would those tyres last long on Indian roads, they are made to run on smoother roads!

    I think the old logo was more powerful and striking!

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  17. anubhav S9:38 PM

    I disagree with the professor.
    With all due respect I Think this is what happens when you teach for too long in an closed ac class room. Get on the streets PROF

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    ReplyDelete

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