Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brand Update : Indica Vista Goes Sedan Class

Brand Indica got a big boost recently by the launch of the new Tata Indica Vista . The new Vista comes with a spruced up looks and classy interiors packed with goodies. While the competition is hotting up in the premium hatchback market in India, Tata Motors is leaving no stones unearthed to regain its position in the Indian car market. Tata Motors launched its Vista product-line in 2008. The attempt was to strengthen the brand's foothold in the growing premium hatchback segment. 
Although Vista was launched as a sub-brand of Indica, the car was built on an entirely new platform and the refinement and the quality was entirely superior to that of Indica V2. However, Tata Motors decided the new launch to be under the umbrella of Indica brand. This move however was faulty and the response to the premium offering from Indica product-line found reluctant takers despite being value-for-money package.

This year, the brand relaunched the Indica Vista with lot of refinement and tweaking in the pricing. The frequent fuel price hike proved to be a boon to the predominantly diesel focused Indica range. 
The new Indica Vista  finds its point of parity with the sedans. The brand compares itself with a sedan and tries to convey the message that the car is  " Like Sedan".
Watch the ad here : Sedan Class
The new Indica Vista has the tagline " Sedan Class " reinforcing the new positioning. The ad is very sensible and conveys the message quite forcefully. The brand's idea of exemplar comparison with another category is quite effective in communicating its USP of better space and comfort.

During the early months of 2011, there were several reports of the plan of Tata Motors to make the Vista brand independent. The visibility of Indica brand name has been made insignificant and Vista is made prominent. So technically, Vista has become the primary brand in this case. The question is why Tata Motors is reluctant to let go of the Indica endorsement of Vista and make Vista a completely independent brand ? The damage has already made by associating an value-for-money brand ( Indica) with a premium offering ( Vista). Vista is going to suffer by continuous association with Indica brand. Other wise, the brand should be priced significantly lower than the other premium competing brands. 

The confusion regarding the branding of the premium hatchback offering from Tata Motors is evident in the case of Vista. The initial mistake was to stretch the Indica brand to a premium offering. It is very difficult for a VFM brand to build an equity in the premium segment. Second was the reluctance to make Vista an independent brand together with the fact that the premium offering had lot of similarities in features with the VFM offering. On hindsight, I feel that Tata Motors lost an opportunity to build a premium hatchback brand Vista. Three years is pretty long lost years in branding world. Would be interesting to see how the New Tata Indica Vista going to play up in the market. The timing has never been so perfect for a diesel car launch.