Monday, August 18, 2008

Brand Update : Tata Indicom

Tata Indicom was one of the first telecom operators to offer CDMA mobile services in India. Launched in 1996, the brand is the youngest of the lot. Infact it was one the first brands to be analysed in this blog.

In my post on Tata Indicom, I was talking about their launch of India's first prepaid plan with free incoming calls. I was lambasting on the poor campaign promoting the brand.

Indicom has come a long way since my first post on it. Now its one of the major players in the CDMA space with a market share of around 9.1 % in the highly competitive telecom market.

Last month the brand undertook a major repositioning exercise and is trying to position itself in an emotional platform rather than a functional one.

Tata Indicom has been positioned earlier using the " Do more live more " platform. The brand has been investing heavily on this platform with high decibel advertising featuring Bollywood stars - Kajol and Ajay Devgan.

Watch the old campaigns here : Tata Indicom Old

Most of the initial campaigns was of bad taste with unnecessary dramatics and substandard humor. Later the brand mellowed down to a " let me tell you the benefits " approach with Kajol acting as the brand expert. According to Afaqs, the first change in positioning was a result of the change in the ad agency from Mcann to Draft FCB Ulka.

This month Tata Indicom has launched a new campaign and a new positioning.
Watch the new campaign here : Indicom new ad

The new ad is also a result of change in the advertising agency. The account has moved to Contract Advertising.

The brand has now taken a more emotional platform to promote itself. Its a sort of laddering up. The brand is following the strategy of Airtel which has perfected the art of laddering up.

The new campaign of Tata Indicom now talk about " Listening to your heart ". The new campaign shows a small town girl making it big in athletics.

My initial impression about the ad is positive. Its a well made ad and its nice to watch. But when I watched the ad first time , I had a feeling that I had seen this somewhere before.

The concept of Rags to Riches is has been one of the most used positioning platform worldwide. It does strikes a chord but when every other brand tries the same chord, the chord gets broken.

So no Big Idea from Tata Indicom. Its the same bollywood formula in a new bottle. According to Afaqs, Kajol will be used in urban markets while this campaign will be used across the markets. The brand has identified ambitious youth in small towns as the TG. Its a good news since one of my major criticism for Tata Indicom was its inability in identifying the TG.

Rags to riches, defying the odds, David beating Goliath, Small humbling the Big .... These are sure shot recipes to impress the audience. In the execution of the idea, the agency has not let down the brand.

Branding has become an important element in telecom marketing in India. Now we are seeing a standardization of tariffs. Marketers are now trying to retain the customers through emotional connection with the brand. The war is now on two fronts . On one hand, the brands are trying to offer value added services to customers . Alongside the brands are investing in building a connect with the customers.

Tata Indicom was struggling to find a right positioning platform so far . Now they have a reasonable platform to work with.