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Special Columns
Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Arindam Chaudhuri
A.Sandeep Editor's Desk
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Now for The High Fliers
India’s Favourite Small Car Manufacturer is the envy of a Bevy of Premium and Luxury Players. But now Maruti Seeks to get into The Luxury Segment itself with The Kizashi. Is it The Right way forward?
Issue Date - 10/03/2011
You have worked on the advertising account of the corporate brand for a very long time. What has made Maruti so popular among the Indian consumers over the past many years?
On the corporate brand front, there is a lot of difference between buying a Maruti and buying some other brand. For instance, when a consumer is buying a Swift, he is buying as much a Maruti as a Swift. Frankly, even if Santro is a great car, you are buying a Santro much more than you are buying a Hyundai and that is the fundamental difference. That is why every Maruti Suzuki car is expected to deliver great fuel efficiency, high quality and value for money, which are the fundamental strengths of the Maruti brand. That is where our job is to do justice to the corporate image of the company, which cuts across various segments rather than focusing on just one product. If you notice the recently done ‘Kitna Deti Hai’ campaign, which shows that a person may plan to even buy a yacht, but if you are an Indian, you will certainly give a thought about its mileage. Be it eight years ago, when we ran the ‘Papa, ki kara’ campaign, or be it today, the basic strengths of the brand have been the same. But our job as a communication partner is to reiterate those strengths.

With such a strong recall among its consumers, is it very challenging to do justice to a company of the stature of Maruti Suzuki with these marketing campaigns?
When we do a Maruti campaign, we make sure that it has something in it, which takes it across segments and geographies across the country; so that it makes a statement for itself. So, even when there were some issues with the company and it was not able to launch new models on a continuous basis, we did our job by keeping the excitement level high in the market. Maruti as a brand is more than just a car manufacturer; it is the success story of India over the past 25 years and it is about who we are as a country.
Decoding The Branding Puzzle
As Japanese students aged and became more affluent, many wanted luxury cars. auto cos. Like Toyota, Honda & Nissan had to create new product images, so they created Lexus, Acura and Infiniti

The concept of branding goes back to ancient times when people in posi­tions of power labelled their posses­sions to identify them. As commerce developed, certain brands evolved to represent quality, recognition, relation­ship, ownership, and trust – with the goal of making purchase decisions eas­ier and increasing sales. Branding is made up of two basic building blocks: corporate image and positioning. Both are comprised of two sub-components called the lock and key. The lock is the market segment that has an unfilled need, and the key is the image of the product that is created to fill that need better than competitors. Companies can employ the following 14-step process to build better brands.

Step 1 . Do a SWOT analysis. Match up your strengths with the opportunities.
Step 2 . Define your marketplace – the one that incorporates the most promising opportunities that your strengths allow you to pursue.
Step 3 . Identify company-wide locks, the market segments with needs that you can fill better than competitors.
Step 4 . If you are known in that market, skip to Step 5. If you are already in business and known, determine what image, if any, does your organisation have in the marketplace. Simply ask people what first “pops” into their mind when they think of your organisation. If the answer is consistent and is the answer you want, your company brand is working and you can skip Step 5.
Step 5 . Create a corporate-level key. If you need to create a corporate image either because you are new or your existing image is not working, you first need to establish your mission statement.

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