Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brand Update : Bajaj Kristal RIP ( 2007-2010)

Bajaj recently announced its exit from the scooter market. This announcement also marked the death of the last scooter brand from Bajaj -- Bajaj Kristal. Kristal was launched in 2007 was aimed at capturing the scooterette market dominated by TVS Scooty.

The failure of Kristal was a marketing failure. The firm failed to launch a product that was well differentiated and offered value to the customer. I had written about the stiff pricing of Kristal which may have caused the pathetic response from the customers. Kristal was a half-hearted attempt which was visible in the way this brand was promoted. After the initial promotions, there was no voice for the brand. It was a brand crafted for failure.

Interestingly ,the announcement of Bajaj's exit from scooter market evoked lot of media attention. Channels devoted lot of prime-time discussing the Hamara Bajaj campaign and the death of icons. There was a lot of emotional brouhaha which was totally unnecessary because the exit from the market is a pure business decision. Although the top management of Bajaj was finding it difficult to explain the reasons for the exit, one should understand that Bajaj feels that scooters does not fit into their business model and decided to exit. Nothing more , Nothing less.

The fact remains that Bajaj was not able to either understand the consumer expectations in the scooter segment and develop appropriate product which is a setback to the company's image. The fact that new players like Mahindra scooters are entering the scooter segment adds to the insult and injury to the Bajaj brand.

Even in the case of motorcycles, Bajaj is not having a wonderful time. It had shown a spark of brilliance when Pulsar was introduced, but even after 9 years, Bajaj could not come out with another brand like Pulsar. What it is doing is to milk Pulsar to death.

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