Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TVS Wego : Body Balance !

Brand  : Wego
Company : TVS Motors

Brand Analysis Count : # 477

TVS is on a roll these days. The company's fortune multiplied ever since it broke up with its partner Suzuki in 2001. The company made a strong comeback in the two wheeler market with TVS Victor and later created a place in the market through TVS Apache motorcycle.

In 2011, the company has entered into gear-less scooter segment with the high profile , high decibel launch of TVS Wego. Wego is a unisex scooter  with a engine capacity of 110 CC and priced around Rs 42,000. The brand directly competes with the market leader Honda Activa. TVS has already built a strong equity in the 60cc scooterette market with its market leading brand TVS Scooty.

TVS Wego is in the market at the right time. The scooter market in India is growing at a scorching pace and dominated by one big brand- Activa. A large growing market  dominated by a single player is always an attractive option . There is always a space for a second brand provided it can offer a differentiated value proposition to the customer. 

In the Indian scooter market, the competitor is Honda and it is not an easy task to offer a value proposition that beats Honda. Many players have accepted defeat in this market including the erstwhile market leader - Bajaj Auto. Hero Honda is another strong contender with its brand Pleasure which is mainly targeting the lady commuter.

TVS has created a worthy challenger to Activa by launching Wego. Going by the reviews, there is a general consensus that Wego will be accepted by the consumers. More importantly , the brand was able to find a worthwhile differentiation to fight the market leader. Wego was launched at the right time when Honda is struggling to meet the demand for Activa. The long waiting period of Activa will force many customers to look for alternatives and this offers tremendous opportunity for Wego.

Wego is well styled and adequately powered scooter and is priced along the market going rate. The brand has found a unique differentiator  and has called it Body Balance . During the Bajaj Chetak era, balance was a critical issue since the engine of Bajaj Chetak was placed on one side and caused considerable imbalance. Vespa which was the competitor of Chetak was considered to be more balanced since the spare tire was kept on the other side to balance the engine weight. 

Although modern scooters like Activa and Pleasure doesn't seem to have such an issue, the body balance focus of Wego seems to be a relevant differentiator because balance have association with stability and safety.
The website of Wego explains the body balance in a detailed manner. Unlike the other scooters, Wego has a front inclined design which gives better stability while riding. The brand chose this feature as its USP and is going all out to promote body balance as its USP.

So the opportunity is right, the product has right features and has found a reasonable differentiation and the next critical stage is to communicate the value proposition to the consumers.Wego has really disappointed in the brand communication stage.The television campaign of Wego is one of the worst ads that I have seen in recent times ( strictly personal opinion ). 
One and only best thing about the ad is that it creates a strong association between the brand and the Body Balance feature. So in that perspective, the ad does its job. But on all other counts, be it creativity, execution , the ad is totally lost. The ad can be viewed once but not worth watching second time. 

Watch the ad here : TVS Wego Body Balance
I still don't understand why that old lady is carrying a monkey doll ???

My personal opinion is that  such features are best explained using a rational theme. Here in this case, the brand has tried to use humor  and hyperbole to convey the concept of body balance and the viewer is clueless about how this body balance works in practice.The counter argument would be that a normal user will checkout the website or showroom and find about the explanation about body balance and the campaign is just to bombard the consumer with this term . So to be fair to the brand, the ad works at some level but at the cost of refinement and creative execution. 
Unlike Hero Honda Pleasure, Wego has positioned itself as a unisex scooter for modern day couples. The entire communication is targeting couples . 

Wego can offer quite a challenge to Activa. Activa is currently struggling to meet the demand and the long waiting period can cause many customers to look at Wego. Activa recently launched a print campaign assuring customers of speedy delivery once they ramp up their operations. 
The success of Wego largely will depend on the performance of the product on road. The real customer reviews and word of mouth will be the acid test for this brand.