The marketers of Tata Indica have perhaps done their consumer study the best of all, realizing exactly what are the specific needs of the customers of a small/compact car. And more importantly, how those needs are evolving with time and the development of the urban middle class.
The need-shift identified:
Two things are happening – the middle class disposable incomes are increasing, and the car prices are falling (albeit on a lower rate, and with clever marketing quirks included). This has lead to the consumer middle class w.r.t cars getting split into two sections :
1) budget upto 5 lakhs 2) budget upto 8 lakhs
It is important to understand that in the second section, the customers are a bit more leaning towards ‘luxury‘ as a concept, and hence would frequently prefer a low-end sedan, because it enables more of ‘show-off‘. With variants such as Manza and the Dzire around, available in 6-7 lakh bracket, they tend to pull off the hook of ‘badi gaadi‘, over the compact cars.
The first section, on the other hand, is more indicative of car as a growth stage of life, assisting as a means of conveyance and a convenience in itself. With this sort of proposition, comes the unwritten customer need of economy. You will frequently find prospective customers asking the sales reps about maintenance costs, repair or servicing costs, and perhaps the most important of them all – fuel costs, getting all the more important with recent large fuel price hikes.
The people at Indica eV2 realize this need for fuel economy, design/tweak car accordingly and come out with this ad:
So, what all does this ad do?
1. Super-emphasis on 25kmpl – They made sure that the 25 kmpl is left resonating in the ad, with a strong recall. The brand name too earns sufficient iterations for a good recall. And, as mentioned above, since this is an ideal positioning to use, it helps the company
2. The real-life connect is good – The ad portrays the expected reactions of both the customer and the sales rep adequately.
3. Feature-rich projection – The sales rep getting interrupted many times in his listing of the the features helps set up an image that there are numerous other features as well which make it an ideal car.
And what does it not do?
Indica, or rather, all Tata Cars by extension carry the unsaid tags of being loud and rugged, which, along with their economy propels a lot of them into the taxis market and away from regular consumers. I would have liked if something could have been done about the stylizing of the car, connecting it more to the contemporary customer.
It is interesting that with all the boom that the ‘redecoration’ market of cars is enjoying, with people like Dilip Chhabria shooting to fame, none of the car manufacturers has really tried to do something on those lines. Perhaps launching cars in multiple colours, dual colours, exterior design options would be a good idea. Infact, LML Freedom did this a few years back, releasing a host of body colours for their bikes. And until the operational issues surfaced it was helping the sales a lot.
Let us see how the economy campaign fares for the company.