The Indian market
Both profile appeal mostly to the emotional side of the people’s minds- to their feelings and sensory function. This profiling approach aims to reinforce the self-concept of the consumers and their aspirations. The approach is ideal for brands that adopt a market-niche strategy, and can be extremely successful if a market segment has a degree of global homogeneity, as is the case with Levis. Non product related brand personalities drivers * User imaginary – user imaginary can be based on either typical users (people you see using the brand) or idealized users (as portrayed in advertising and else were).
User imaginary can be powerful driver of brand personality, in part because the user is already a person and thus the difficulty of conceptualizing the brand personality is reduced. For example Charlie has a feminine, strongly independent brand personality driven by it user imaginary. The upscale personality of Mercedes and the sexy, sophisticated personality of Calvin Klein are similarly influenced by user imaginary. * Sponsorship – activities such as events sponsored by the brand will influence its personality.
Swatch, for example, reinforces its offbeat, youthful personality will targeted sponsorships that have included the Freestyle Ski World Cup in Breckenridge, the first International. Age
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Symbol – a symbol can be powerful influence on brand personality because it can be controlled and can have extremely strong associations. Apples bitten apple, the Marlboro cowboy, the Michelin mans all helps to create and reinforce a personality for their brands. Why use brand personality The brand personality construct can help brand strategies by enhancing their understandings of people’s perceptions of and attitude towards the brand, contributing to a differentiating brand identity guiding the communication effort and creating brand equality.
Enriching understanding The brand personality metaphor can help a manager gain an in-depth understanding of consumer perceptions and attitudes towards the brand. By asking people to describe a brand personality, feelings and relationship can be identified that often provide more insight than is gained by asking about attribute perceptions. Contributing to a differentiating identity Strategically, a brand personality, as a part of a core or extended identity, can serve as the foundation for meaningful differentiations.
Advertising agencies such as Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather routinely include a brand personality statement as a part of their brand positioning strategy. Guiding the communication effort Tactically the brand personality concept and vocabulary communication the brand identity which richness and texture to those who must implement the identity building effort. Practical decisions need to be made about not only advertising but packaging, promotions, which events to associate with, and the style of person interactions between the customer and the brand.
The brand personality creates brand equity. The self-expression model explains this. The model says that for certain groups of customers; some brands become vehicles to express a part of their self-identity. People express their own or idealized identity in a variety of ways, such as a job choices, attitudes, options, activities and lifestyles. Brand that people like, admire, discuss, buy and use also provide a vehicle for self-expression. Brand personality of cars Are you what you drive? That is what are companies seem to be asking and in the same breath trying to convince you about.
In other words, are you the Hyundai accent owner who commands immediate respect wherever she goes (including fro the potential father-in-law) or are you the suave executive from the Chevrolet ad who is ever ready to share a moment with loved one? With a plethora of new models in the market, and generic benefits (such as space or fuel efficiency) of a particular car segment hardly a distinguishing factor between car models, marketer are increasingly differentiating on the emotional pay-off a particular car model/brand provides to the customer.
This, of course, varies from the segment to segment and also on how long a particular model has been in the market. For instance, while advertising for entry level or smaller cars tends to focus more on the rational or functional benefits of the vehicles, the differentiations is increasingly on the emotional benefits when it comes to high end cars. “Generally, it has been seen as one move up the value chain, the differentiation is more on the emotional pay-off. People buy car as an extension of their personality rather than just features. A car, in India, helps build up show off, social esteem value.
The advertising would also vary according to the segment which one is targeting,” he says. For instance, the Chevrolet Optra ad (which depicts a young husband driving his wife to see the moon on the occasion of Karvachauth) shows an Optra consumer as someone who believes in family values and indulging loves ones. “We find that typically profile of an Optra consumer is someone who is in the age group of 35-45years and has a chauffer. He buys a car not only for himself but also for the family and tries to make up, for not being able to spend enough time, by indulging love ones,” points out dutta.
The positioning goes well with the companies catch lines of “for a special journey called life”. High end car maker Skoda auto too, through its advertising, attempts to connect with its consumer on emotional level. “Car is the extension of the personality and our advertising shows the consumer to be youthful, image-conscious and even bit a macho. The campaign jointly made by Skoda’s marketing department and ad agency IB&W not only communicates the quality of the brand but an appreciation for the finer things in life.
The target Skoda consumer is a SEC A1, primarily male, businessman or someone in the senior management,” says Shashank vaid, manger (marketing), Skoda Auto India. Surely, image building does come higher in the consumer’s scheme of priorities when buying a new car than ever before. The importance of brand image has risen sharply in the last few years. At the segment level, the increase in importance is greater for the mid-size cars, indicating the relevance of brand among the more expensive market segments. The manufacturer need to focus more o how consumers perceive them as offering exciting cars and being committed towards them.
Contemporariness of model has a big impact on purchase decision. The perception of the car in terms of its performance and design, quality, sales, after sales, cost of ownership, apart from brand image, all impact upon the purchase decision. ” According to Bhatia, as long as advertising for cars is strongly differentiated and sharply positions the model and at the same time satisfies a define need segment, it shall have the capability to break the clutter and creates a unique and compelling reason for consumers to purchase.
“One good example of this is Ford Ikon- the josh machine made a tremendous impact on consumers in offering to satisfy a clear need. You can see some more of this with a recently launched premium hatch back as well”. Interestingly, the strategy marketer follow changes a bit when it comes to addressing the smaller car category with the rational benefits of a brand tending to be the focal point of the campaign.
“We have found that typically a buyer for a smaller car (sub Rs 4 lac) looks for aspects such as reliability and fuel efficiency. This changes as we move up since in case the consumer has been with the category for a longer time and hence it is important t to talk of an emotional pay off. A case in point is the Maruti 800 campaign in which the kids who is playing with a toy Maruti 800 exclaims to his dad (when asked how long will he keep on running the car), “papa ki Kara, petrol khatam hi nahin Honda.
” The ad cleverly conveys that the car just keeps going on and on. It ends with the voiceover telling us that Maruti Suzuki is most fuel-efficient car. However in the small car segment, the rational benefits magic is not always applicable. Take the case of Hyundai Santro, the advertising of which has evolved over the years from initially conveying mainly the functional benefits of the model to connecting with the consumer on an emotional level now.
“When we launched the Santro, we started with the positioning if the car being a complete family car which was completely rational positioning. But then two things happened- the product found acceptance in the market and the competition came up with similar product in the market. Brand image is not driven by good advertising alone but is significantly impacted upon by the cars performance and design, quality, and the cost of ownership. Among the three, product quality has the highest correlation with brand image.
Small car buyer seeks capability in advertising, and fuel efficiency is relatively more important to them. Technology, innovation, and good influence premium mid-size buyers. One reality for us in India is that the market is extremely price/value conscious. While making purchases based on above, there is rational side, which does have an impact on the decision on a particular make and model of car. Be it rational or an emotional decision, consumers would have to think as a bevy of new models flood the Indian market.