Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brand Update : Bajaj Discover Zooms Ahead

It has been almost 6 years since I wrote about Bajaj Discover. A lot happened in these years about the brand. And those development was indeed surprising. Now Bajaj Discover is the second largest selling motorcycle in India . Since the introduction in 2004, the brand has moved through interesting phases to reach the top crossing the one million units sales per annum. 
The brand had a dream start with the endorsement from Jackie Chan. Discover instantly topped interms of awareness and image. The brand was launched as a part of the grand strategy of moving the consumers away from the 100 cc bikes towards more powerful 125 cc bikes. The commuter segment of the Indian motorcycle market was dominated by 100 cc bikes and Hero Honda ruled the segment.
The grand strategy failed and Discover was having tough times. Bajaj experimented heavily with the Discover brand by launching the brand in various engine capacities. Discover was initially launched in 125 CC later in 115 cc, then in 135 cc , then 100 cc and 150 cc. Most of these variants failed in the market. But somehow Bajaj decided to keep the Discover franchise alive. 
The fortune of the Discover brand turned with the launch of  the 100 cc variant. Ironically Bajaj resisted launching any products in that segment and it had the hypothesis that consumers will desert 100 cc m/cycle for more powerful bikes. But it had to bite the bullet and launch the100cc Discover and sales went through the roof.
The discovery of the potential of Discover was through a series of flawed product strategies. The dominant logic of the firm was that the era of 100 cc bikes were over which was a flawed logic. Consumers still found logic in using 100 cc bikes so Hero Honda thrived. 

The company got the positioning right for the 100 cc Discover . The brand talked about mileage ( 100 kmpl ) and that together with the premium image of Discover propelled the sale of the variant.The firm was right in pricing the brand competitively in the market. 
The success of Discover prompted the company to experiment more with the brand. Discover 150 was launched to act as a flanker brand for the premium Pulsar. Now Discover 125 is also being launched . It seems that there is hell lot of money at Bajaj for experimenting with brands.
Bajaj plans to use Discover for the volume game and the focus will be to give the right product mix to the commuter segment which forms the largest chunk of M/cycle market. The 100 cc and 150 cc experiment worked well for the franchise while the rest failed. 
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