Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mahindra Rodeo : Power Scooter

Brand : Rodeo
Company : Mahindra Two Wheelers

Brand Analysis Count : 426

After acquiring Kinetic Scooters in 2008, Mahindra two wheelers is on an overdrive to capture a fair share of India's emerging scooter market. While retaining Kinetic Flyte, Mahindra has launched two new scooters - Rodeo and Duro into the market.

Rodeo is positioned as a power scooter . The brand sports a 125 cc engine which churns out 8 bhp . Rodeo competes with Honda's Activa, Aviator , Hero Honda's Pleasure and Suzuki Access.

Indian scooter market is a classic example which shows how difficult it is for marketers to predict the market pulse. This is a market which analysts predicted a demise. This is a market which humbled the mighty Bajaj Auto from a position of market leader to a market follower.

When every one predicted the demise of this category, Honda redefined this market through their Activa brand. Now according to press reports , scooter market in India is expected to grow more than 25% in the next 3-5 years.
India produces around 12 lakh units of scooters every year. The market is dominated by Honda which has a market share of more than 55% ( source).

Mahindra is entering a market where there is no powerful No.2. It is common sense that there are always a space for a second player in any market. The million dollar question is how to break the stronghold of Honda brands in this segment.

Marketing wisdom shows that the challenger brands should have a powerful differentiation if it wants to successfully counter the market leader. And it is good to see that Mahindra twowheelers have found a powerful differentiation & positioning strategy.

Rodeo is being positioned as a " Power Scooter". The brand is claiming that it is as powerful as a motorcycle ( in a symbolic sense) and has all the advantages of a scooter. Power looks like a good attribute to differentiate because scooters never are perceived to be powerful. And by claiming that attribute, Rodeo will be able to get the attention of the youth.
The brand is currently running a TVC across channels

Watch the TVC here : Mahindra Rodeo

The important question is whether a typical scooter buyer considers Power as an important attribute in scooters. Scooter is a functional product. The convenience matter most in this category. Honda scooters gave consumers a high quality refined product and consumers loved it.

Rodeo is trying to make a space for itself in the market by attaching it to the Power attribute. The brand at the same time achieves parity with the competitor's qualities like ride quality, storage etc. Mahindra also priced the product smartly at Rs 41299 a tad below the market leader's price. The power proposition + attractive price + Mahindra brand will prompt many potential consumers to put Rodeo into their consideration set.

Mahindra was able to successfully identify a relevant positioning platform for Rodeo. Although Rodeo may not attract the youth segment, it will definitely appeal to those who is looking for a powerful alternative to motorcycles.

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