Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hero Moto Corp's New Identity



"Will Hero Moto Corp's new identity prove to be a hit with the Indian consumer?"

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Bhavi Patel | IRMA

Hero Honda split up recently, and has now become Hero Moto Corp Ltd. It remains to be the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheelers since 2001. After the split, the company has reinstated its view of a mobile and empowered India powered by its two-wheelers that is Indian to the core, bereft of foreign dependence. It implies that Indians don’t need the foreign brands as its crutches for its own indigenous brands to be able to stand in the market. The split reflects that its commitment to providing world-class means of mobility has remained unchanged and that the focus has shifted to establishing foothold in the global space.
What works in favor of the company is the fact that Hero Moto Corp has a highly robust portfolio capturing all major segments of the market, and has an innumerable array of smiling, satisfied customers to stand by it. The company is continuing to improve the efficiency, expand its reach to its customers, and is heavily investing in brand-building, with strong focus on customer and shareholder delight. The hoardings and graphics change was one of the fastest ever noted for any company. The showrooms, the roadside hoardings all changed from Hero Honda to Hero Moto Corp overnight. It indicates that the company can be trusted and it’s true to its word. The fact that the makeover of the company is being liked by the customers is backed by figures that state the company has clocked sales of about 500000 each month between March to June this year, which comes three months after the split in Dec 2010. The split has removed restrictions on the company that prevented it from entering major export markets initially, but is free to do so now. It can also be seen in the share prices that haven’t dipped significantly since the split. In a nutshell, its difficult to swing the image of a company that is established enough and immensely liked by the people unless something grossly wrong happens.

Counter-view

Manbir Singh Tandon | IIMS

Hero Group hired the services of Wolff Olins, an international brand consultancy, and spent over four months to come up with a logo, that has turned out to be uninspiring to say the least. The three piece, un-enclosed logo is vaguely identifiable as an ‘H’, which in itself is a banality in the automobile market (think Hyundai, Honda, etc.). The ‘H’ with its red and black colour, each identifying a certain trait, fails to take into account its appearance on the final product-the bike. The logo would probably be used as three insipid pieces of oddly angled silver metal, a far cry from what a motorbike company should be vying for, given its target market. The logo further has ‘Hero’ written just below the logo in a typeface reminiscent of that of Nano.
I’ll concede that the tagline ‘Hum mein hai Hero’, is a rather good idea and quite apt given the name of the brand. But Hero seems to have missed a beat in the rendition of the idea into a creative marketing campaign. It has taken an oft travelled road and what we get are clich├ęd tales of kids doing gymnastics and participating in reality shows, ultimately coming out on top. The attempted emotional connect fails by sheer virtue of obsolescence of the execution. A.R. Rahman, not in his best touch in recent times, has doled out a track which if not bad is not ‘Airtel’ brilliant too.
Maybe the campaign would appeal to buyers of Splendor and Passion but how the prospective buyers of style and power bikes, namely Karizma, CBZ and Hunk take to the new logo and campaign remains to be seen.

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