Monday, October 30, 2017

Bajaj Dominar : Go Hyperriding

Brand: Dominar
Company: Bajaj Auto

Brand Analysis Count: #580


In December 2016, Bajaj Auto launched a new product line under the brand Dominar. Dominar was Bajaj Auto's challenger for the market leader in the 250- 500 cc premium motorcycle segment  - Royal Enfield. Royal Enfield commands almost 96% share in this segment. According to reports, Royal Enfield managed to sell 3500 - 4500 units every month. 

And Dominar arrived in style. The launch was marked by a campaign which made fun of the market leader. 

The advertisement had two objectives. First is obviously to create attention and it does with perfection. The second objective is more subtle. The objective is to establish a competitive frame of reference in the mind of the consumer. Dominar doesn't want to be seen as a sports bike in the same class of the best selling Pulsar. If the customer categorizes Dominar in the same category as Pulsar, it can lead to cannibalization. Hence Dominar wants the consumer to consider the brand as a competitor for Enfield even though the brand looks very different from the market leader. 
Another objective is the create a comparison with the exemplar - in this case, Enfield, and thus make the consumer compare the brand with the market leader thus making an entry into the choice set of the consumer. 
Dominar is positioned on the performance platform. The brand is positioned as a bike which is fast and powerful. The launch campaign " Not for Babies"  was intended to position the brand as the fastest of the lot. 
The results during the launch were very good for Dominar. It even closed the gap with the market leader in some months, but later the sales plummetted which prompted Bajaj to refresh the product line with new launches. Some decline is attributed to the GST effect. 
Although the initial advertisement campaign was superb, the brand failed to sustain the creative onslaught. Dominar's current campaign " Dominar vs Social Media " is IMHO a dud campaign. 

The campaign totally looks unbelievable and kiddish. From comparison with Enfield, the brand started its comparison with Social Media ?? This hyperbole not only misses the mark but also dilutes the positioning and image built around challenging Enfield. Probably this lack of creativeness caused the decline in the sales of the brand. 
As per the news reports, Enfield continues the dominance in the segment. In a market where one player holds substantial share, there is always room for other players. But whether Dominar will be able to dominate the segment would largely depend on how the brand is consistently positioned against the competitor.