Friday, December 06, 2013

Brand Update : Fastrack launches helmets

One of the most successful homegrown youth brand Fastrack announced its entry into Rs 400 crore organized helmet market recently. Fastrack has grown from a watch brand to an umbrella brand endorsing products from watches, eyewear, bags and accessories. 
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Although I am not a big fan of brand extensions, I have to admit that Fastrack has been able to spot opportunities ( gaps) in the market where it can fit in without diluting its core positioning.
Helmet market is highly cluttered with lot of local brands and minimal differentiation. Although there are established players like Studds, the organized market constitutes only 20-25% of the total market. Since the designs and styles of helmets can be easily copied, differentiation becomes very difficult in this market. 
Many motorists also feel that helmet is a grudge purchase since they wear it out of compulsion . Hence focus of many commuters will be to spent less, get a helmet and carry on.
Fastrack has priced its range between Rs 1495 - Rs 3495 charging a premium. The pricing , in my opinion, is steep and make the product out of reach for many consumers. 

It is in this context that Fastrack's foray into this market becomes interesting. Fastrack definitely will have a headstart because of the brand's equity. But how it fares will depend on the freshness it will bring into the design and style aspect of the product . Since competitors will waste no time in copying the design the challenge will be to keep one step ahead of the others.

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