Friday, March 26, 2010

Brand Update : Getz RIP (2004-2010)

Another brand is going to be laid to rest. According to news reports, Hyundai has decided to phase out Getz with in two months. The brand is already offered at steep discounts in dealerships across the country.

Getz was the first luxury hatch back to be launched in India. The brand in a way was far ahead of its time. It was launched in a market predominantly oriented towards sedans. The failure of Getz was because of two reasons :
a. Value Proposition
b. Positioning
c.Competition.

The failure of Getz and success of Swift are two sides of the same coin. Both brands belong to the same segment and almost in the same price band. But while Swift rocked the market, Getz had to bite the dust.

Getz when launched in the market was very aggressively priced. Infact the brand was priced at par with sedans like Ford Ikon and Indigo. Indian consumers were not able to understand the value proposition of a high priced Getz. The brand also was not able to tell the consumer as to why they should chose Getz compared to a Sedan. The problem with such a high pricing strategy is that it creates an impression in the consumer's mind which will be difficult to change. Theoretically this is called narrow positioning.

When Maruti launched Swift, Getz suffered because consumers perceived Swift to be a better value for money car compared to Getz. The reason is that consumers know that Maruti cars are less costly to maintain than Hyundai cars. Swift was bigger, sporty and competitively priced which put Getz in a very tough situation.

The campaigns for Getz was also way off the mark. The brand never had a clear positioning . When it was launched, there was no USP or differentiation. The brand started talking about fun then moved to space. So it lacked a clear brand identity which further accelerated the decline .

In marketing terms, we say that brand should offer some compelling reasons to customers to buy. Getz was not able to give any such compelling reasons. The brand had lot of design similarity with Zen which defied its pitch on premiumness. Swift had a radical design which created a newness to the brand.Getz did not have such a "wow" factor.

The recent launch of Hyundai i20 was the final nail in the coffin for Getz. i20 has more chance of survival because the segment of premium hatchback has now developed. Consumers are now aware of this segment and there is genuine consumer interest in this segment.

Getz could have reaped the benefit of the segment it had created , had it offered itself at the price range of Rs 3.5 - 4 lakh. ( I know it is easy to sit in my chair and suggest the pricing strategies). That price range could have done wonders for this brand.

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