Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brand Update : Tata Safari and the Art of Laziness

I always loved Tata Safari. Despite the bad reviews, nagging product issues, this brand was always an aspiration for me ( yet to be fulfilled). The brand which was one of the first SUVs in India had something in it which attracted people like me. And as reports validate, there are die-hard Safari fans who cling to their brand despite frequent visits to the workshop.

Sometimes we look at certain products and say ' What a Potential Wasted'. Alas, looking at Safari, I am forced to think about a wasted potential. 
This brand was launched full five years before the launch of Scorpio and see where these two brands are now . Scorpio redefined the SUV market but Safari is still on the sidelines.
And till now the brand has not learned its lessons.

When was the last time you saw a Tata Safari Advertisement and said WoW. When was the last time the product was upgraded ?
It seems that Tata Motors suddenly lost its marketing acumen. More worrying is that the company has lost interest in investing on this ageing brand. According to news reports, Tata Motors is planning to launch the much  spruced up version of Tata Safari branded as Safari Storme later this year. But going by the fate of Aria, I don't give much hope to the new launch because suddenly Tata Motors seems to lose interest in brand building. 
Tata Safari lost one of the most opportune moments in its lifecycle. Indian consumers were shifting towards diesel models, markets were indicating potential of smaller SUV and new price points were opening up in the SUV market. But Safari was blind to all these. To my surprise, it did not even acknowledged the presence of new competing brands like Duster, Xylo, Evalia or even Scorpio. The brand was in a perfect blindness. 
There was no product improvement or campaigns for the brand in these times except for some dull discount ads by the dealers. 
To my utter disappoinment, Tata Safari is now an example of Myopic Marketing wasting a potential to build an iconic brand. 
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