Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kwid : Live for More

Brand : Kwid
Company : Renault

Brand Analysis Count : #567

Kwid is a good example of a successful strategy to challenge a well-established market leader. We have seen many so called flagship killers in the market but also have seen these celebrated launches biting the dust soon. In the highly competitive car industry in India, many firms have been timid to challenge the monopoly of Maruti Suzuki in the small car segment. Maruti holds around 45% share in the car market.

Alto has been a bestseller for Maruti all along. The  brand had a strong equity in the market and unmatched value proposition. No competitors dared to compete with the brand because of the low-cost base of Maruti. Since the small car market is driven by price ( value), unless the challenger can match the cost of Maruti Suzuki, it is unviable to take on a volume brand like Alto. 

It is in this context that Kwid becomes an interesting brand. The brand which was launched during September 2015 has really shocked the market with the huge interest generated among the customers. Since its launch, the brand was able to garner around 1,50,000 orders and has managed to clock a sale of over 9000 units per month. According to company reports, the brand has grabbed a share of around 15% within 10 months of the launch.

The most affected brand with the launch of Kwid is Alto. So what made Kwid generate positive consumer interest ? 
  • Differentiation - Renault changed the game of small car market by launching Kwid with a very bold design derived from its successful SUV - Duster. Kwid doesn't look like a small car but looks like a micro-SUV. This has appealed to many buyers who get the feel of an SUV at the price of a small car. This (IMHO) is the single major factor that aided such a positive response to Kwid. Many small car buyers are the first-time car buyers and Kwid never looks like a compromise at least in terms of design, 
  • Localization : According to reports, Renault has ensured that  Kwid has 98% localization in terms of the parts. This ensured low-cost base for the Kwid. So the high volume of Kwid is not going to bleed the company and the low cost is a deterrent against a price war by the market leader- Alto.
Besides these factors, Alto as a brand has been around for a while. So customers are pretty bored with the product. While the value proposition is still unmatched, Kwid brought in a lot of freshness to the design of the car. 
At the branding front, Renault roped in the star Ranbir Kapoor as the brand ambassador. The brand is not positioned as a cheap car but as a city car. The ad focuses on the accessories and the easy maneuverability of the car. The smart positioning  along with the brand ambassador ensures that the customer perceives the brand as a quality brand rather than a cheap brand ( lessons from Tata Nano).The brand has the tagline " Live for More" which talks about the value proposition of the brand. 
Watch the ad here : Renault Kwid

One of the complaints that many auto reviews highlight was the lack of power of the Kwid. Kwid was launched with an 800 cc engine that was not meeting the expectations many opinion leaders. This month, the brand launched 1000cc version of Kwid which the company feels would address the issue of lack of power. 

So far Kwid has been doing everything right in its challenge against the market leader. The brand has been able to check the right boxes and is rightly rewarded by the consumers. 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Honda Navi : Whatever it is, It is Fun

Brand : Honda Navi
Company : Honda
Brand Analysis Count : # 566

Marketing enthusiasts like me get thrills when we come across brands which take the road less travelled. We get thrilled when marketers take the unconventional routes to create new product and customer segments.

Recently I came across one such brand - Honda Navi. Honda which has the tradition of upsetting the established market parameters is going to do it again. Earlier when every market pundits wrote the epitaphs of Scooter segment in India, Honda revolutionized the Indian market with Activa. Now the scooter sales growth  is more than the motorcycle sales growth in India. Now Honda is attempting another experiment in the Indian market.

Honda introduced the Navi at the Auto Expo 2016 and generated a lot of buzz among the enthusiasts. The brand was launched in select cities in March 2016.

According to a report in India Today, Navi stands for New Additional Value for India ( link) . The product is essentially a crossover between a bike and a scooter. The company has created a bike out of its best-selling Activa. 

Targeted at the youngsters aged 18-25, Navi is a unique product which offers a lot of customization. The brand also is going to create a new segment of "gearless bikes" in the Indian market.

The brand is positioned as a fun bike which offers practicality. The company has also priced Navi at a very tempting price point around Rs 40,000.
Having said that, this brand is also an experiment. Not every youngster would be interested in buying a crossover bike ( read under-powered) and Navi cannot replace a powerful bike which is often the first choice of youngsters. 
However, this will appeal to youngsters who want a unique bike which is also customizable and fun to drive. According to another report, 25% of the current sales are from women customers which probably indicates the emergence of another segment of customers in the Indian market - women bikers. 
It is too early to predict the success of  an experiment like Honda Navi but surely this brand has the capability to generate a lot of curiosity among customers. I can honestly tell that the brand is really tempting. 
 Big applause for the marketers in Honda Motorcycles.