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VESPA – UNSCOOTER

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Event: Pitch CMO Summit 2013

Speaker: Mr. M.V.Krishna, Vice President, Marketing (Two-Wheelers), Piaggio India (16 years of experience with TVS Motors and Castrol)

Session Chair: Mr. Shripad Kulkarni, CEO, Percept Media

Mr. M.V.Krishna

Mr. M.V.Krishna

Did you know?? There’s close to 11 players in the two-wheeler market that offer almost exactly the same mileage of 100 to 125 cc and are also priced similarly. Yet, the funny part is that people still stay utterly confused about which one to buy in this market of 11 look-alikes!! Now, that’s because a whole lot of factors feature in the buying decision, which can be can be broadly summarised as rational factors which include functional benefits like mileage, price, etc and emotional factors like brand image, reliability and so on.

In this cluttered two-wheeler market, how can brands differentiate themselves and make the choice easier for the consumer? Looks like the iconic 1940s brand – Vespa Piaggio has just the right solution for this problem as it tries to stand out in this market of me-too’s.

With its new launch, the Vespa Piaggio wishes to establish a niche in a logic driven market, command a premium price for the same and also procure a sizeable business out of it. The challenge was to bring in novelty and style while still holding on to the timeless brand image of the Piaggio.

To achieve this objective, the team decided to go ahead with ‘Unscootering Vespa’ that is to tell consumers that ‘Vespa’ is not just about mileage, price, convenience, reliability, pickup, or anything,  but it is much more than that.  There are Vespa Clubs for fanatics, who know Vespa’s more than just the functionalities! These clubs have a worldwide presence, and closer to home, you’ll find them in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. Seems like Vespa is going the Harley Davidson way!

Vespa, priced at a 40% premium with respect to the average scooter price, competes in the

Display of a wasp made using Vespa at Kala GhodaArts Festival 2013

Display of a wasp made using Vespa at Kala Ghoda
Arts Festival 2013

high-end segment. They target two interesting segments of consumers: ‘The Liberated’- the expressive and affiliated group of people and ‘The Achievers’- the ones who feel that their vehicle depicts who they are and how they wish to be perceived.

As is it said, a brand is all about – What it is, What it says, What it does and Where it is seen. The latest Vespa display at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2013, speaks volumes about Vespa’s intention to clearly ‘unscooter’ itself and break through the clutter!!

How successful they turn out to be is something that we must wait and watch!

-An excerpt from the Pitch CMO Summit 2013 report made by Abhishek Shetty, Nima Vijayan, Rashmi Udayshankar & Rati Sawant (students of SIESCOMS 2012-14 Batch)

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