Celebrities have been
endorsing everything from an underwear to a car, all over the world. They could
be film stars, sports personalities including footballers, boxers, cricketers,
sprinters, rugby players, golf champions or even chess masters. There is no
denying the fact that celebrities do manage to pull a crowd towards a
particular brand they are endorsing. That is just about all that they manage to
achieve. Beyond that, it’s the brand’s intrinsic value that comes to play. With
or without a Sachin Tendulkar, a BMW car will do well, if it has to. An Akshay
Kumar can entice a customer to the doorstep of a Honda Motorcycle store. But
then the product has to be good for the customer to eventually buy a
Automobiles are different from
Maggi noodles and salted chips. Vehicles have to be well engineered , well
styled and well priced for it to have takers among the general public. At Tata
Motors a lot of these have been missing for a very long time. Bringing in a
Messi will not ignite sales of Tata vehicles. Yes, a Dhanteras festival can
push sales, albeit momentarily. But for a product to sustain for a longer
period its mandatory that it is smartly engineered, well styled and rightly priced
for the customers to come flocking to the store.
No matter how many likes you
have on facebook or how many followers you have on twitter or how many views
you have on youtube, the fact of the matter is that, all these have nothing to
do with sales of a vehicle. On the one hand while celebrity endorsements have
failed miserably for car makers, on the other hand, social media sites failed
in pushing sales. If you take all the
celebrities out and block every social media site across the globe, a vehicle
can do well on the sales front if it has been engineered, styled and priced
Figures as per SIAM (2015)
Indica, Indigo eCS, Zest, Bolt
Safari, Sumo Grande
ACE Magic, Magic Iris
Tata Motors has signed-up the
football player star, 4 consecutive times Best Player of the World, Lionel
Messi, in a long-term association as it global brand ambassador to promote and
endorse its passenger vehicles, globally. Tata Motors has rolled out the
association campaign, #madeofgreat, starring Lionel Messi. Does it make sense?
Not to me, for sure. I call it absolute waste of time, money and energy. It’s
like spending hours dusting your house for the guests and completely forgetting
to cook something for them!
Despite all the hoopla
surrounding Tata Motors’ r brand strategy in the recent past, what has the
company achieved? Zilch, to say the least! If you look at the company’s sales performance
in the current fiscal, you realise that it’s bad. In order to bolster the sales of its Nano
car, a GenX Nano was launched in May 2015. The Nano now also comes with an
automatic option. Sales have marginally picked up but way below the level the
company had first targeted when it had launched the Nano.
As for the clutch of products
like the Indica, Indigo eCS, Zest and Bolt, well the latter two have not made a
huge difference to the company’s sales. The Zest was launched in August 2014
and the Bolt in January 2015. Both the cars have not lived up the expectations
of the market. Products like the Manza
or Indigo have been discontinued and sales have touched zero for the months of
August, September and October 2015. The story of the company’s other products
like the Sumo, Safari, Aria and Xenon continues to be sombre and dull.
The company will soon be
launching a new car Kite based on an all-new platform. Asking Lionel Messi to
come and score a goal for Tata Motors at this stage is ill timed. The real goal
for the company seems too farfetched.
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