Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Brand Update : Xenon Updates to Xenon Yodha

Tata Motors launched Xenon in 2008. When the brand was launched, it was positioned as a lifestyle pick-up truck. Nine years down the line, the brand has grounded itself as a pickup truck. Tata Motors has always been thinking ahead of times.In 2008, Xenon was trying to create a new market for urban pickup trucks which are very popular in western world. This was targeting people who owned small businesses or adventurers who would like to travel with a lot of stuff. 

But somehow the market was not warming up to Xenon to the extent which Tata Motors expected. The product is in a niche market. Now suddenly there is a renewed interest in the segment resulting from the launch of Isuzu D-Max pickup truck. The launch of Isuzu may renew a lot of interest in the segment which has very few brands like Mahindra Scorpio Getaway and Xenon.

In terms of branding, what is interesting is that Xenon has become more Desi in the new avatar. The relaunch of Xenon is now as Xenon Yodha. The positioning also has changed from a lifestyle product to a utility vehicle. That is a big shift as far as the brand is concerned. The ad features the brand ambassador Akshay Kumar who now endorses all the commercial vehicles of Tata Motors. 

Another interesting thing is that Isuzu has positioned its D-Max as a lifestyle pickup rather than a utility vehicle. One of the reasons for the slow offtake of this lifestyle pickup truck is the government regulations probably insists that these trucks can only be registered as commercial vehicles. A twin cab pickup truck costs more than 10 lakhs and the value for money proposition does not match up for a non-commercial use. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Brand Update : Thums Up says Main Hoon Toofani

In the latest commercial featuring the new brand ambassador Ranveer Singh, Thums Up has started its slide down in terms of creativity. Usually, Thums Up ads are nicely made and usually succeeded in creating that adrenaline pumping machismo effect.

The recent commercial featuring Ranveer Singh is a big let down ( IMHO) both in terms of idea and execution. 

We have seen this plot of the school bus, hero saving etc in many films and ads, It is nothing but plain boring. 

Secondly, there is also a change in the narrative of the brand. In the earlier ad, the hero used to do big stunts for Thums Up. The brand was projected as something which even a big hero would do anything to get it. 

Here in the new narrative, the hero and the brand is totally disconnected. Probably the argument is that the brand and the hero is one which is reflected in the new tagline " Main Hoon Toofani ".However, the execution fails to project the narrative properly.  Even the presence of the brand in the frames is limited to the first two and last frames. If you notice hard, you can see the logo on the bike, jacket etc.  It's a classic case where the celebrity outshines the brand. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Brookside : Dark Outside, Exotic Inside

Brand: Brookside
Company: Hershey

Brand Analysis Count: # 573

The 7500 crore Indian chocolate market is hotting up with global giants stepping up the fight. The latest to enter the market is the brand Brookside. Brookside is a brand of the chocolate giant Hershey.
Hershey has launched Brookside as a premium chocolate brand with the USP of the fruity core.

Brookside is a unique combination of dark chocolate and fruit flavor. Brookside is launched in 3 flavors - Blueberry & Acai, Raspberry & Goji, and Pomegranate.
The combination of fruity flavor and dark chocolate may not appeal to the larger set of consumers hence taste-wise, this brand would appeal to a limited set of consumers. However, there is something very different about the combination which will prompt many trial purchases.

The brand is positioned on the basis of this unique combination of fruit and dark chocolate and is reflected in the tagline " Dark Outside, Exotic Inside".

The brand is priced at Rs 50 for 33-gram pouch and Rs 140 for 100-gram pouch, Brookside is already running its launch campaign in television channels. 
Watch the TVC here: Brookside
After seeing the ad, my wife's remark was " I don't like fruit flavored chocolates " while my daughter's reaction was "wow ". So this brand will appeal customers who like something different and exotic to indulge. 

The entry of Hershey into the chocolate segment is a good news for the chocolate lovers. The iconic Hershey's Kisses and chocolate bars are expected to hit the Indian market in the near future. Mondolez is already gearing up for the fight. In the recent past, the company has been trying to strengthen the Cadbury Dairy Milk range with a lot of variants at the premium end in preparation for the new competition. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Tata Hexa : Whatever it Takes

Brand: Hexa
Company: Tata Motors

Brand Analysis: # 572

Tata Aria is dead, Long live Tata Hexa.

The new year will see the resurgent Tata Motors launching the new premium crossover Hexa, replacing Tata Aria. Tata Aria, launched in 2010 failed in the market owing to the steep pricing and positioning problem. Tata Hexa is another attempt by Tata Motors to break into the premium segment with the Tata branding. 

Tata Hexa is also a premium crossover - a category which was created by Aria. However, many customers equate this category to the premium MUV segment and its leader Innova. That was where Aria lost its game. Rather than considering Aria as a mix of car + SUV, consumers compared Aria with Innova, and the equation did not fit. Aria was considered big and difficult to maneuver which often is taken for granted for an SUV and not for an MUV. 

In the new avatar, Hexa looks strikingly similar to Aria which can create perception issue for the brand. Tata Motos has priced Hexa between 12 to 17 Lakhs. The pricing is less than the Innova Crysta. 
In the typical Tata style, the brand is loaded with features and goodies. Hexa also comes in the automatic variant along with other models. 
The brand has started the bookings and launch ad is already in air. Watch the ad here: Hexa Ad
Hexa has the tagline " Whatever it takes ". The tagline has two interpretation by the brand. The first is that the brand has done whatever it takes to bring the best product to the customer. Second is that whatever it takes, the brand performs in various terrains. 
The brand microsite also has the racer Narain Karthikeyan endorsing the brand and taking the visitor through a 360-degree experience of the product.
It will be interesting to see how Hexa will fare in the market. In my view, a lot will depend on the pricing. Tata is yet to be perceived as a premium brand. Also, it cannot match the quality perception of Innova. So if Hexa wants to carve a position in the market, it has to make an offer that a customer cannot refuse.