Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Brand Update : Onida

Onida has ventured into mobile phones. The brand has launched the phones in the price range of Rs 1500-8000. The brand hopes to cash in on the equity of the brand in the white goods segment.

Onida was facing the issue of rivalry between the brothers over the control of the business. At one point of time, there were reports of the brothers putting the brand on the block .Now it is said that they have reached a consensus and the focus is again on the business.

It is in this scenario, that the brand has extended to mobile phones.The power of Onida brand was visible during the recent spat between the brothers. Despite the management issues, the brand was able to hold on to double digits market share in the CTV segment. During the last year, the brand was virtually silent in terms of promotions and had messed up the positioning by constantly changing the slogans.

Onida mobiles also carry the same positioning of the parent brands . The slogan used in the print ad is " Call Your Other Side ". The brand calls itself " Wickedly tempting" which will bring the spunkier side in you.

I feel that the brand has jumped into this category too early. The brand although enjoys a good equity has not been nurtured in the past couple of years. So without nurturing the core brand, any extension is going to have a negative impact . On the other side, the extension can also bring freshness to the core brand . Onida may be hoping that the extension can rejuvenate the brand.

But the issue is that mobile phone market is a highly competitive market with Nokia ruling the game. Almost all consumer durable majors have their line of mobile phones and almost all celebrities are booked by different brands. The latest being Samsung endorsed by Aamir Khan.
Hence to get eyeballs in this category requires hell lot of investment. And I bet Onida may have to compromise on other categories if they want to seriously enter the mobile segment. The brand may be hoping that the noise made in this segment will also have an effect in other categories also.
Second is the huge investment needed in product development. The models in this segment has a shorter product lifecycle and Indian consumers are now learning the habit of changing mobiles every year. Again more money to be spent on R&D and less money on brand building .