Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mahindra Two Wheelers will it be called?!?!?!

The news is it will be called Mahindra Two Wheelers. Strange.

Mahindra has been always associated with rugged utility vehicles. For years, it has been known for geeps in India. Though it owns the Scorpio brand Mahindra is still more about utility.

Having bought Kinetic's two-wheeler business, is it a good idea to call it Mahindra Two Wheelers? Not really.

Firstly, Kinetic made scooters which were far from utility scooters. They were largely meant for women until the launch of Blaze.

Secondly, Kinetic didn't know how to focus on the market that it helped create, so it simply launched new brands without any sense of direction.

Thirdly, Mahindra had an amazing opportunity to create a new brand and create greater buzz in the market.

In the automobile business it seems that corporate brand (name of the company) matters at least as much as the individual brand. Would you say I ride a Mahindra Blaze? Or a Mahindra Nova? Not only does it sound unfamiliar, it also sounds weird.

Naming must be a consequence of strategy. Not just a matter of labeling or showing off the largeness of the company. Being a late comer, Mahindra needed to first work out the strategy to gain a foothold in two-wheeler market and then decide upon a name.

Instead it has publicized Mahindra Two Wheelers and branded the Kinetic Two Wheelers website with the same. Everything else remains the same. Pity! What was the hurry?

It could be that, even after Mahindra Two Wheelers, the game might not change much anyway. If a new name wasn't acceptable then even keeping it Kinetic could've worked.

Mahindra has risked diluting whatever the brand has stood for over the years.