Monday, July 22, 2013

Hero Maestro : Such a Boy Thing !

Brand : Meastro
Company : Hero Motocorp

Brand Analysis  : # 528


Maestro, launched in early 2012, was Hero Motocorp's answer to its erstwhile partner Honda's market leader offering Activa. After the break-up of the JV, Hero Motocorp wanted to take the fight into Honda's stronghold in the Indian scooter market.

Maestro looks and feels the same as Activa and comes with the same technology . Maestro was launched not as a unisex scooter but explicitly as a masculine scooter. This was probably inspired by the success of Hero Pleasure which was launched as a girl's scooter.

Maestro has the tagline of " Such a boy thing " and the campaign highlights the features that would appeal to young men. It is interesting to see the strategy of Hero to attack Honda's Activa not directly but through two brands - Maestro and Pleasure which are segmented on the basis of gender.

Watch the tvc : Hero Maestro

Priced at par with Activa, Maestro has generated considerable interest in the consumers primarily because of the long waiting period for Activa.  The launch campaign is surprisingly not masculine and Hero doesn't want to push the product as  masculine although the tagline says so. The brand doesn't want to put-off those who want  a scooter which can be used by all members of the family.

Although I started to write about Maestro highlighting its gender based segmentation, a surprising article caught my mind : read it here

In a classic case of Osborne Effect  , the company had already announced that Maestro will be phased out soon . Its ironic that the announcement is done in the same year of Maestro's launch. Customers who bought Maestro has been left dumbfounded  by this announcement. In many forum's like Team BHP, new buyers has expressed their feelings of being cheated . Obviously when products are phased out, new buyers often feels cheated but this is a product which is in the introductory stage and suddenly the company announces that this product is going to be killed soon .

Having said that, Hero Motocorp which had established itself as a reliable and dependable market leader hopefully will not let the customers of this brand stranded without any support.

In this digital era, it is important for brands to hold on to its common sense while sharing information. Over 80%  of prospective automobile buyers search for information in internet before purchases. And the official press release of phasing out of Maestro will not miss the discerning eye and surely a customer is lost. 

And what business sense does it make to launch a product along with the announcement that it will be phased out ? Its not planned obsolescence where products are phased out in a planned manner and after it reaches some stage in the life-cycle. 
Maestro , as reviews say , is a good product that provided some credible alternative to the market leader Activa. But the company itself has digged the grave for Maestro. How sad !