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Hero Honda

Hero Honda

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Published by Hitesh Kshatriya

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Hitesh Kshatriya on Oct 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hero Honda: Brand power
Recommendation: HoldB. KrishnakumarAided by its strong brand image and proven product quality, Hero Honda has successfullyexploited the growing demand for motorcycles.Backed by the technical support of the global major Honda, the company is No. 1 in thefour-stroke motorcycle segment.Hero Honda's Splendor range of motorcycles is the country's top selling brand. It has beenconservative in new product launches, instead coming out with variants of its existingrange. Splendor, Sleek, Street and CBZ were the major model launches of the 1990s.Of these, CBZ was the most recent launch and has steadily gained market acceptance.Positioned at the premium end, the CBZ range offers a combination of power and fuel-efficiency. Recently, Hero Honda launched cosmetic variants of its top-selling brand --Splendor. While Splendor roared, Street and Sleek enjoyed muted success.As for future prospects, the company will continue to benefit from the growing demand formotorcycles. With capacity expansion completed, the company will be able to exploitdemand growth. However, the entry of players such as TVS Suzuki, LML and Kinetic into thefour-stroke segment could bring pressure on profitability.A cause for concern is Honda Motor Company (Hero Honda's collaborator) setting up a 100per cent subsidiary. Honda is to initially manufacture scooters and could eventually move tomotorcycles. Though Hero Honda has indicated that it would be retained as the preferredproducer of the Honda range of motorcycles, it is premature to come to any conclusionabout the long-term impact of this move.These concerns apart, Hero Honda is now the top player in the motorcycle market. Besidesthe range of popular brands, its presence across the entire motorcycle spectrum marketshould help the company retain its top position.For Hero Honda, maintaining volume growth will not be difficult. However, growingcompetitive pressure could check profitability. Existing shareholders may remain investedand contemplate fresh exposures on price weakness.
 Focusing on personal transportation was also a smart move.Hero started first on bicycles and then moved into motorcycles.Both choices were targeted at India’s burgeoning middle class,which was tired of the insufficient public transport system andin search of economical and reliable personal transport.In 1984, the Hero Group, then the world’s largestmanufacturers of bicycles, entered into a joint venture withHonda Motors of Japan to create Hero Honda Motors Ltd,which has gone on to become the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheelers. Impressive yes, easy no! Hero Honda’ssuccess relied on its ability to create a motorcycle that requiredlittle maintenance and had enormous fuel efficiency. It was notinexpensive, but it had a reputation to last the distance over years without requiring any serious repairs. Spares were easyto get and inexpensive. The brand’s simple ad campaign “Fill it,shut it, forget it” struck a chord with its audience who were veryconscious of the need for fuel efficiency.Many feel that the brand’s success is largely afunction of being in the right place at the righttime. This probably is partially true but it’s notfair to dismiss Hero Honda’s success as afluke, it did take initiative to achieve itsposition and convert a concept into a reality.
Hero Honda
Needs rescuing
November 8, 2004
 Once a hero always a hero. That’s what the Hero group seems tobelieve and it has made its brands literally heroes in the Indianmarket. The strategy followed looks simple—promote a productthat would be relevant to the Indian middle class and the sheer size of the target audience would mean that even a smallpercentage of market share would equal a large market.
The brand’s ability to stick to its knitting allows it to stayfocused on its activities.In a visit toherohonda.com, one expects to see a site that is asclear and focused as the brand. Unfortunately the site isunimaginative and cold, leaving the site visitor detached andunimpressed.Dull and unanimated, the home page has nothing to make onewant to click through the rest of the site. Snippets of the HeroHonda commercial flash on the home page but the ad itself isunimpressive so there’s no value added through it to the site.The home page is structured and neat, which in this case,conveys cold efficiency.Most brands have an About Us section that helps introduce thecompany to the site visitor. Some use it well as an opportunityto inform the viewer; others use it as an opportunity to boast.Hero Honda’s About Us is a yawn. It’s factually accurate butlacks passion. The Mission Statement is as vague andconfusing as mission statements are known to be. TheMilestones section is a combination of pride and boastfulness,while The Chairman is poorly written. Overall, About Us doesmuch to turn people away from the brand.After talking about itself, the brand moves on to talk to itsinvestors. Hero Honda is one of the most influential stocks inthe Indian stock market and it is keenly followed by many. TheInvestors section is detailed and thorough and will answer themany queries of investors or wannabe investors.The products section is matter of fact. Each page is packedwith information but does not inspire interest or arouse thedesire to buy. It seems fairly easy to rouse enthusiasm for abike, but the site leaves one cold. The new brand, Karizma,opens into a separate page that takes ages to load, leaving thesite visitor fidgeting. The rest of the brand pages open fast butare largely unimpressive.The Service and Spares sections are routine, doing their job as

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