Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Brand Update : Tata Indica Brand Portfolio

Indica is a brand that is an epitome of persistence. Tata Motors through Indica has demonstrated how to manage product lifecycle effectively. The brand which was launched in 1998 has passed through many hurdles. The brand successfully transcended the initial flaws, bad customer /expert reviews and brickbats to become one of the largest selling cars in the Indian auto industry.

The brand survived and thrived because of the constant focus of Tata Motors to improve the product continuously. More than the product innovation, it was the value proposition that forced customers to choose Indica despite all those nagging troubles. You can see lot of Indica customers cribbing about the bad service and constant trip to the service centers but sticking to the brand because of the value proposition. You cannot get a diesel car with that much space at the price at which Indica is selling ( so far).

Tata Motors has been continuously tweaking the brand over these years sometimes making quantum leap in the quality and refinement of the product. A snapshot of the brand's evolution is given below

1998 - Indica announced
2001 - Indica V2
2004 - Rejuvenated Indica V2
2005- Indica V2 Turbo Diesel
2006- Indica Xeta
2008 - Indica Vista

The brand made a quantum leap in 2008 with the launch of Indica Vista. The entire brand personality changed with the launch of Vista. The product's looks and feel had changed completely and it was a rebirth for Indica.
The changes in the product was not limited to exteriors. Indica began sporting different types of engines from Fiat which gave a new perception of quality to the brand.

At the pricing also, Tata Motors consciously raised the Vista brand to a higher level . The Vista is pricier than the original V2 thus reducing the attractiveness of the brand to the Taxi segment. At a price range of Rs 4 - Rs 5 Lakh, Indica Vista is not a cheap diesel car. It was an upward stretch by the brand.

The Indica Brand portfolio is given below.

The Indica brand portfolio consists now of three sub-brands V2, Vista and Xeta.

V2 is the most economical of the lot and is the original Indica. This product is retained because there is still huge demand for V2 at that price point. Within the V2 range, there are three variants which includes the Indicab which is for the Taxi segment. Price of this sub-brand ranges from Rs 3,50,000 - Rs 3,95,000

Next sub-brand is the Vista. Vista is the new generation Indica and Tata Motors would like this brand to take over the leadership position from V2 in future. The brand is targeting the discerning Indian consumer with its value proposition and good looks.Vista has lot of variants satisfying the various needs of the customer. The Indica Vista Aura is the premium range that sports many goodies that premium brands claim like ABS, Airbags etc. Vista also comes in Petrol version sporting the Saphire engine. Prices range from Rs 3,90,000 - Rs 4,90,000 ( apprx). Within the Vista range, customers are given lot of engine option including engines from Fiat.

Xeta is the petrol variant of Indica V2. I am not sure about the future of Xeta since the petrol segment is heavily competitive and compared to Maruti and Hyundai, Indica Xeta's value proposition is not that attractive as the diesel option. Prices range from Rs 2,72,000- Rs 3,00,000).

The positioning across the brand portfolio remains the same. All the brands focus on the value proposition. But these sub- brands sports different taglines

Indica V2- More car per car
Indica Vista- Changes Everything ( Surprise Yourself is the new tagline)
Indica Xeta - Makes much more car sense.

Vista recently relaunched itself with Drivetech 4 technology and is now sporting a new tagline Surprise Yourself .

Indica in a way is an example of good marketing practice. The brand continues to evolve and is a pleasure to watch.

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