Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mahindra Gio : Potential Category Killer

Brand : Mahindra Gio

Company : Mahindra & Mahindra

Brand Analysis Count # 441

This is the decade of Mahindra Group. Ever since the success of Scorpio, Mahindra is on a roll. Lead by the dynamic Anand Mahindra, Mahindra group was quick to spot market opportunities and to tap them. The Satyam acquisition and Kinetic motors buy were all efforts to plug those gaps they found in the market.

Gio is one such initiative of M&M to cash in on a latent demand in the goods carrier market. Mahindra Gio is a 0.5 tonne four wheeler goods carrier. Infact Gio is India's first 0.5 tonne four wheeler goods carrier. This product is a classic case of a successful product development in the Indian context.

Gio is a potential category killer. This brand is going to burn the three wheeler goods carrier market . The three wheeler category will slowly shift to the new category since Gio is addressing a latent demand in the category for a better looking & comfortable goods carrier.

The 0.5 tonne goods carrier market is basically a three wheeler market dominated by Bajaj and Piaggio . The category is discarded by the players who focused only on volume and not on product development. The three wheelers lacked the comfort and was rustic. The brands competing in the segment was suffering from marketing myopia. They thought that the competition can come only from three wheelers. So we see the same type of noisy shaky rustic three wheeler goods carrier. Its time to change.

Gio is going to be a winner from the word Go ( Just like Maruti Eeco). The product is a four wheeler and that makes a big difference for the existing three wheeler users. One factor that is going to make Gio a winner is the price. Gio is priced at Rs 1,65,000 which means by paying a premium of Rs 20,000 , a potential three wheeler buyer can own a mini truck. Aspirationally, it is a big leap to the buyer.

Tata Ace is priced at around Rs 2,50,000 + and three wheeler goods carriers are priced at Rs 1,45,000. There is a significant price gap between these two product categories. Gio is aiming at filling this price gap. Also more than price gap, the brand is filling the need gap for a better goods carrier. Ace showed the need for a 1 tonne carrier and Gio took a lesson from Ace in this new segment.

According to the brand website, Gio name was derived from the Hindi word " Jeeyo" which means long and happy life. The brand is targeting the last-mile market where the intra-city transport of fmcg,durables, agriculture produce etc are involved.

Gio looks strikingly different from the existing vehicles that ply the Indian road. Gio has a peculiar look which looks little odd for a goods carrier. There is a reason for such a look.M&M wanted to make Gio look trendy and different which is another way of adding value to the product. The brand is breaking the myth that goods carriers should not be glamorous. Another vital marketing lesson from the brand. The brand sports an engine from the American Engine maker Kohler. The brand claims a mileage of 27 Kmpl which is equal to that of a three wheeler.

Another interesting fact is that M&M has developed a good website for Gio . It is unusual for such a goods carrier brand to have a significant presence in the web but Gio feels that there will be business owners who will look for information about the brand in the web. Another interesting move by the brand.

Gio has the looks and a mouth watering price that makes it a potential winner. A lot of marketing thought has gone into the making of this product. It is surprising to see that Tata was not able to identify this gap. Tata Ace is a highly successful product which virtually created the sub 1 tonne goods carrier market. I expected that Tata Motors would think about replicating the success of Ace in the three wheeler category. But instead of Tata, M&M grabbed the opportunity with Gio.So it is an opportunity lost for Tata Ace.

Kudos to Gio and M&M.

Related Brand
Tata Ace