Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tata Grande : Size Matters

Brand : Grande
Company : Tata Motors

Brand Analysis Count : 501

Another Indian brand has moved from a sub-brand status to an Independent brand. Tata Motors has upgraded the Grande brand to an independent brand status delinking it from Sumo Brand. Tata Sumo Grande was launched in 2008. the brand was expected to raise the sagging fortune of Tata Sumo.
Tata Sumo which was launched in 1994 was a poster boy in the Multi-Utility Vehicle segment. The brand became hugely popular in the Taxi segment .
 But the launch of Innova, Scorpio, Xylo etc soon began to eat into the share of Sumo. Soon the brand began to be perceived as dated. Coupled with the bad PR and image about Tata Cars, the consumer interest began to shift to new MUVs and SUVs.
Tata Sumo Grande was launched as an attempt to shift the consumer's interest back to Tata MUVs. The Grande design was very different from Sumo and the positioning of Sumo grande was also different from the Sumo's positioning. Tata Sumo Grande had the tagline " More than Meets the Eye " focusing on the personality of the brand owner. 

In 2011, Tata Motors decided to make Grande brand independent. The new brand was soft launched and the brand is currently running the launch campaign in various channels.
Watch the campaign here : Tata Grande

The new brand has the tagline " Size Matters ". From the tagline itself it can be assumed that the brand is 
positioning itself as the most spacious MUV ( common sense !). Grande is also hoping to be perceived as a family car , rather than a commercial vehicle. The brand is priced at Rs 7.5 lakh +.

In one of my posts, I had criticized the Tata Motor's strategy of launching Grande under the Sumo brand. Now that that error was rectified, it needs to be seen whether consumers will perceive Grande as different from Sumo. My judgement is that it will be difficult since that association is already being made. So the task for Tata Motors is to put Grande out of the Sumo association as quickly as possible. Interestingly Grande is focusing on the USP - Size which is also the same USP of Sumo.  The brand has been priced competitively but Tata Safari is also priced in the same range so it has to be seen whether these two brands will compete with each other .
The launch of Grande is a move to strengthen the MUV portfolio of Tata Motors which suffered heavily because of sophisticated competing products. Sumo although was a well accepted product was rather getting old in terms of product and image. Tata Motors was not aggressive in making radical product innovations on Sumo or its image to counter competitors like Mahindra and Toyota. Tata Grande is expected to complement Sumo Victa in its fight against the sophisticated competitors. 

Image wise, Grande's launch campaign has done nothing. The ad is very basic and rational and will appeal more to the taxi segment rather than family segment. How ever the pricing and the spruced up interiors will definitely put Grande in advantage over its competitors. The brand could have burned the market if it had priced it less than Rs 7 Lakh. Tata Grande should have aimed at disruption and not incremental value addition since the market is mature and highly competitive. Mahindra is currently doing that with its XUV 500.