Google+ Consumer Psyche: Kill a brand, indirectly

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kill a brand, indirectly

When a company decides to introduce a brand does it check if it is killing any brand from its umbrella. I think sometimes the positioning is not that easy as it looks. It means that the brand may step into its own territory by positioning a brand in the wrong way.

Look at R1 and R15. Look at both of them. Both seem good, same in structure, looks and style. May be only Arun will be able to find the difference. I don't, at least not in the first look. Now there is a huge difference between the prices. R1 cost around 10 lakhs while R15 costs 1.08 lakhs. I agree that the consumer looking for R15 will be different from the one looking at R1. But if I am looking at R1 and have spent 10 lakhs on a bike while a similar looking bike from the same stable is available in the market for 1 lakh. Will I feel bad? I think Yes.

Arun has a different argument. R1 is not a commuter bike and floats a 1000 cc engine and is for the higher segment. Its a bigger bike and looks grand. If you look both of them together, you will find the difference. Only 2% of the entire bike segment and only 10 may be there in Bangalore. His argument is Yamaha brought R15 so that a middle class person will be able to own a bike that has all the features a sports bike should have, almost like R1. So it is ok to introduce R15 in to the market. About 400 bikes have sold out in Bangalore on the day of its launch. So if the market is paying so much to get the bike that 'looks' like R1 why not introduce it into the market and capitalise on the craze?

Seems a good argument. What do you think?

10 comments:

Boppa said...

I guess you are just going by the design Vamshi…but it isn’t just about that 2% diff. With Indian bike market still being in its infant days…giving a taste of R1’s DNA to target the niche segment isn’t a bad deal. Optimizing R1’s design to suit Indian standards n hitting Indian consumers psyche bang on the target with it’s “affordable price” and “Stunning sporty design” is just like giving our people a taste of International standards again! I must admit, it’s a resurgent attempt by Yamaha after govt’s approval on super bikes. It’s very true that R1 is not a commuter bike…I really doubt if Yamaha could have captured the market segment with a rich bike like R1, even without govt’s ban on two-stroke bikes on Indian roads. And about pricing, Yamaha is playing safe this time! I hope you remember those RX100’s hey days up until government’s ban…Yamaha’s market share just dwindled going beyond that niche segment and concentrating upon those low costing, less fuel consuming bikes …now they are back big time and it’s all about “International standards on Indian price with Indian usability standards”…And yes, the consumer looking for R15 will be different from the one looking at R1 and yes it feels bad to look at the fellow rider’s super bike causing stunning stares, yet being so “bloody” cheap…but R1’s cost , the FEEL and customer segment would always be considered different…R1 had always been a bike with a fair respect all around the globe. Capitalising on craze wouldn’t be so easy with such a huge pricing difference .and FYI R1 has already been homologated and approved by ARAI…Yamaha is gonna be back big time mate!

Pushkar said...

Even if i shell out Rs.10 lacs on an R1, the looks wouldnt matter...because our indian roads have 'looks altering capabilities' such as the wonderful speed breakers and pot holes. A 1000cc bike requires a great amount of physical as well as mind control before a rider could get on it. I have personally sat on an R1 which was owned by a friend of mine in chennai, the experience is near fatality with the vehicle hitting a 100 km/h in its first shift. Now thats a kind of bike that would really steal the looks of any girl who is otherwise gazing into her man's eyes. Owning such a bike on indian roads can only be seen as a very irrational purchase. But then, people still do own bikes like R1, CBR1000 Fireblade, Hayabusa, Ninja etc on indian roads. All i can say is it requires a heart like none other to experience such a thing. As far as R15 is concerned, it captures the R1 look in many ways and in someway now Arun makes sense to me besides the fact that he is one eye blind for that bike. The bike is for aspirers to fulfill their desire to own a bike 'like' R1. Well india has been getting very good at imitation for ex: movies, fashion, music etc. then why not in bikes as well...

Deeptaman Mukherjee ... (DeeP) said...

I would certainly prefer buying a 1 lac bike and have the same looks as that of a 10 lac bike.
Also, Is Yamaha R1 facing cannibalization. Plz comment.

aveet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aveet said...

Vamshi i feel that R15 has been pitched as a sporty bike at affordable price ,as already told by Mr boppa and bike lovers like Arun make sense because with a bike like R15 they will fulfill their desire to own R1...both the bikes are totally different except for the looks which are almost the same.R15 can never kill the brand R1,as they have been targeted to entirely different segments which may have some attributes in common.These common attributes will hardly make any difference.

leo said...

Vamshi.. First of all, the target customers for R1 and R15 are different`. Firstly, there are real bike freaks in India who don’t mind to shed Rs.10 lacs jus for their pleasure of riding the World's best sports bike. In fact the R1 is the one best sports bike in the World, which delivers awesome power with wonderful performance. Many people feel proud to have a ride in the giant and also to own it. In fact many people, including me have an ambition of owning or at least having a ride in the ultra modern superbike once in their lifetime. This is of one category.

But there are people who can’t afford to buy a bike for Rs. 10 lac. In the same time they wanted to feel the ride of a sports bike in an affordable budget. While the R1 is inspired from M1, R15 is developed to imitate R1 in every aspect (Can only imitate, but can’t come to the standards of R1). R15 takes the credit for being the first bike in India to come with full front fairing. With its R-series styling, R15 easily stands out in the crowd of other 150 cc bikes. The dual headlights have a distinctive R-series look, while the low frontal area and small tail are clearly influenced by the bigger R-series bikes. Overall R15 is more a clone of R1 as it scores full point in styling. So with all the aspects coming under the budget of Rs. 1 lac, middleclass people who could not afford Rs. 10 lac for R1 will go for R15.

Therefore, to conclude my argument the R1 and R15 are of different category bikes. And they cannot compete with one another in every aspects be it looks and style, sales, market capitalization, etc. Therefore the R15 can never ever kill the brand image of R1 and vice versa.

DJ Carlito said...

Cool Blog Vashmi! very nice to meet you..
i'm enjoying reading such in depth perspectives about consumer items in India.. very interesting reading.. thanks for your comment.. peace strength and blessings to you
dj carlito

M.J. said...

Fo me it just looks like getting a fake Rolex for 500 bucks which looks stunning almost same as the original costing more than 1.5 lakhs. The consumer is just fulfilling his desire of owning a great brand (rolex or R1) even though he is well aware that it won't deliver the same value as the original.

Tiger said...

Thanks Boppa, Pushkar, Deep, Veetu, Arun, Carlito and Lakxhmi.

My idea is that imitation might pay off sometimes but Yamaha is taking a calculated risk.

sree lakshmi said...

I enjoyed reading this blog. I agree upon u r argument Vamshi. R15 suits Indian roads better. When a customer spends 9L more and purchases R1 , looks do matter a lot.............

Adapt