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Showing posts from January, 2008

TVS, where dost thou go? (Part-2)

Part-1 ended like this:

With so much working against it and without a lot of money, how is TVS gonna survive this onslaught by the biggies?By focussing and by choosing its category and by being the first in that category. If there's no defined category left empty, then it had better create and define a new category and be the first there. How?

So, how does TVS create a new category? And what could this new category be?

Hero Honda led the foray in the big/premium bikes segment by launching the 150cc CBZ. Around that time, Bajaj had just about decided that it wasn't scooters for them; bikes were their future. Hero Honda was all over the place with its economy bikes; Bajaj was also present in that segment but was only a challenger at best with little success. The premium segment had just been created. Yamaha's 2-stroke performance bikes were losing ground to external factors and were being phased out. So the premium segment was all open and so was the performance segment too. Fo…

Thomas Scott is no bang!

For starters, Thomas Scott is a men’s clothing brand. From what one can gather – based on their advertisements and their retail outlets – it is meant to serve in the office-wear and formal-wear category.

Who is Thomas? Is he a Scott? Well, then who is Peter? Is he from England? Yes, you’ve got the drift. There’s Peter England. So there’s Thomas Scott. A me-too brand. Though it’s difficult to understand what the reference to Scotland means any which way... Did the brand managers or marketing managers consciously even think of the hint of Scotland in the name? Is it just my figment of imagination? Whatever, the name’s pretty indicative. What it means is still unclear. A battle lost even before it started.

Having talked of names, there are other brands too which sound like personal names of some Englishmen- John Miller (private brand found at Pantaloons) and John Players (brand introduced by ITC and endorsed by Hrithik Roshan). These brands have struggled to garner any significant chunk of…

TVS, where dost thou go? (Part-1)

Here's a list of big players in the biking arena. If you are just given a few words to describe what each of these bike-makers stand for as brands, your list might look like this (in alphabetical order):

Bajaj - Exciting bikes
Hero Honda - Economy & Reliable bikes
Honda - ? (Scooters perhaps or perhaps....)
Suzuki - ? (Well, they make 125cc bikes and they've launched 125cc scooter too but...)
TVS - ? (Very likely scooterrettes and they are also making good bikes which can be called performance bikes but... Oh, well they make economy bikes too but...)
Yamaha - Performance bikes

You might agree that Hero Honda stands for economy and reliable bikes. That explains their failure in premium-segment bikes.

You'll debate on the descriptions given for Bajaj and Yamaha. Doesn't Bajaj stand for 'performance'? Yamaha doesn't have anything related to 'performance', then how can it be described as such? I'll clarify these questions by asking a few questions in tu…

Peter England, who?

The other day I met a friend who holds the distributing rights for one of India's very well-known garment brand Peter England. On the occasion of an alumni meet, he had set up a display kiosk for Peter England ELITE at Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India.

Talking about brands and branding strategy, in response to a rather skeptical remark regarding the fate of ELITE by one of our friends, he retorted, "Do you know how much it takes to create a new brand in the market? Rs500 crores!"

I agree. You would also agree. However, it isn't just about money. Or if marketing managers think that branding is just an easy way of minting money, then brands are doomed and consequently, companies too.

Peter England has been around for many years now, perhaps at least a decade. What is Peter England? One would say an inexpensive and smart formal/office wear brand for young male executives. Then what's Peter England ELITE? Well, it is likely to be expensive formal/office w…