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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)



Event: Pitch CMO Summit 2013

Speaker: Ms. Manisha Lath Gupta,CMO, Axis Bank (13 years of  experience with Colgate and Unilever, IIM-B alumna)

Session Chair: Mr. Suresh Balakrishna, CEO, Brand Programming Network


Ms. Manisha Gupta

‘In a day, how often do you think of a bank and how often do you listen to music?’ That’s the question Ms. Manisha decided to start her talk with at the Pitch CMO Summit 2013. Undoubtedly, people listened to music more often. Well, the motive behind her question was to portray that people tend to spend more time and also focus more on aspects that entertain and engage them. Thus, it is better for brands to associate themselves with some sort of engaging music or action in order to create an impact in the minds of customers. But it is difficult for brands in the BFSI sector to engage customers due to the sheer nature of their products and offerings. But Axis Bank wasn’t willing to give up and go with the flow, it decided to tweak the scenario with its latest three-fold strategy:

  • Create Advertising which is Entertaining!
  • Create Content to Increase Engagement
  • Integrating Content via more Consumer Association

Let’s look at how each of these tactics has been put to work by Axis Bank!!

  1. Create Advertising which is Entertaining!

This is the rationale behind Axis Bank’s most recent ad campaigns ‘Badhti ka naam zindagi’ and ‘Zindagi ke highway pe koi akela nahi chalta’. The fact that people prefer more engaging communication such as songs and stories, has led the marketing team at Axis to believe that they need to be using more effective and engaging tools to get to theirSIESCOMS customers, rather than just talking about the banking products, which is a dry topic in itself. Also, nobody likes to hear about somebody else, but everybody simply loves to hear anything about their own self. This is the idea behind moulding every ad campaign around the lives and life stories of customers. The main motive behind making the ad campaigns with so much focus and emotional connect towards the customers, was to compel them to watch the ad time and again, and thus increase Axis’ mind share.

  1. Create Content to Increase Engagement

To implement this strategy, Axis has launched a website named as . The insight behind this website and the corresponding ad campaign was that our lives are interlinked to those around us, and whatever we do has a direct or indirect effect on the people around us, that is, ‘when you progress, others progress too, and thus we progress together’. To give impetus to this initiative, a platform has been provided at, where an individual can express gratitude and thank anyone, who he believes has contributed to his success. To attract more traffic to the website, multiple entry points were enabled namely an application micro-site and a facebook application on the brand’s page. Besides this, the TVCs, outdoor ads and print ads also route traffic to the website. Currently, more than 1000 people have used the platform to thank others.

In the second phase of strategy implementation, Axis Bank has dared to Make Finance Fun! To do so, it has launched four interactive games on the website, siescomswhere in each game addresses one financial problem and generates solutions to the problem. The games include Suneetha’s Dilemma – introducing the Axis Bank Ladies-First Card, exclusively for homemakers and Happy Home – that provides tips to reduce number of EMIs, and others. At present, more than 12000 customers have engaged with Axis Bank through these games.

  1. Integrating Content via more Consumer Association

For the purpose of increasing their consumer association, Axis Bank has opted for various effective partnerships and collaborations. Well, if you’ve noticed the Axis bank logo on the cheque that Mr. Amitabh Bachchan hands over to contestants of KBC, Axis can be sure their attempt was effective. Axis Bank collaborated with Satyamev Jayate by becoming their donation partner and by having Amir Khan name Axis Bank as a source of more information and donation points while asking viewers to donate for the cause.

Axis Bank’s promotion strategy is a good example of how connecting with customers is all about starting with an idea and building around it with entertainment and engagement. And seems like they’ve been successful at it!


Rashmi Udayshankar

MMS (2012-14)

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