Monday, October 12, 2009

Brand Drivers that lead to more Car Drivers

Blog submitted by Jairaj Mashru, one of our brand engagement managers.

So by now, most of us have known of the latest innovation from India that is expected to revolutionize the collapsing global automobile industry – yes, I am talking about The People's Car, the new nano by TATA Motors. The nano has been featured in a variety of news, media and publications, particularly for its price-to-features ratio. While low on price, the car is high on mileage, safety and basic comfort. It comes with no frills or thrills, other than the thrill of owning your first car…. because it is affordable.

I've been wondering if there were any other factors that would accelerate the demand for the nano other than its low cost. So I decided to look at the brand through lens of Stinson Brand Innovation's proprietary framework called Forward.Fast®. Here's what I found:

Likeability: The brand name is very likeable and connects to the small size of the car. “Nano” is one of the current buzzwords in the world of technology. Apple set the stage up extremely well, having experienced huge success with its mp3 player of the same name, so consumers worldwide are aware of the name and like it. ‘The People’s Car’ tagline is simple, obvious, and yet unique – a sure hit with the public even before the car hits the roads.

Logo: The logo for TATA Motors and the nano is the same as the parent company, the TATA Group. It shares the heritage of the TATA Group, which was founded in 1868 and TATA Motors which was started 1945. The logo is a “T” in an oval ring designed as a metallic wireframe to allow the color of the car to fill up the logo. The style and font type of the brand name are a direct extension of the look and design of the car.

Quality Offering: TATA is a reputed brand with over 140 years of experience in serving customers in India and around the world from Steel to Retail to IT and Automobiles and more. Even TATA Motors has served India well with their long lasting trucks and the first indigenous car completely designed and built in India. There is little doubt that the nano will fail to meet these standards of quality.

Association: The nano car offers natural association to the life of farmers and low income families in the cities while the nano brand is closely linked to the TATA family of brands, some of which are positioned for the elite in India. Nano branded merchandise is designed to appeal to the masses as hip and trendy, offering to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in many ways.

Attitude: Clearly everyone in India is excited about the TATA nano. It is the world’s cheapest car and TATA plans to serve any and all world markets where the nano can make a difference. There is a high sense of pride among Indians in giving the world something it never had before. nano is the product of a strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in India.

Quality Experience: Typically, TATA Motors used their own dealerships and other private dealerships to sell their vehicles. This time, expecting greater demand, TATA will make the nano available at all of their retail outlets – Westside (fashion) and Croma (Electronics). The experience is expected to help the new nano owners raise the social status by owning their first car. The celebration typically includes sweets and garlands for the owner, a picture of Lord Ganesha to keep inside the car and smashing a coconut under the driver side wheel as the car rolls out of the parking lot to protect the car.

A quick analysis of each of the six brand attributes of the Forward.Fast® framework reveals the revolutionizing power of the nano. TATA and India have once again proven that launching a new product under the worst circumstances, such as the current global economic slowdown and a dismantling automobile industry can be a success by focusing on the brand strategy.

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