Bra d St t y A a s B and rategy Analysis

 

             A Amrita Viveka anand          (09 9005)               D Divya  Kiron                            (09 9035)               Ja aisurya Pavith hran           (09 9043)               Jo ose Robin Pat throse        (09 9045)               K K. Mridula                                (09 9047)               N Neethu Jose                              (09 9063) 

Brand Strategy Analysis        

 
 

Table of Contents 
Section I ‐ Bridgestone India & MRF: An Introduction  Chapter 1 ‐ Indian Tyre Industry: A Brief Analysis 
1  1.1  1.2  1.3  1.4  1.5  1.6  1.7  1.8  1.9  1.10  1.11  Overview of the Indian Tyre Industry      An Introduction      Key Influencers      Role of Marketing      Sales and Profitability      Trends in the Past Years      Current Status and Future Trends      Towards the Future‐ "Radialisation in India"      Major Players and Market Shares      Environment Analysis     Swot Analysis for the Tyre Industry     The Companies and Major Product Lines 5  5  5  5  6  6  6  7  8  9  9  10  11 

Section II ‐ Marketing Strategies  Chapter 1 ‐ Analyzing the Marketing Environment 
1  1.1  1.2  1.3  1.4  2  2.1  2.1.1  2.1.2  2.2  2.2.1  2.2.2  2.3  2.3.1  2.3.2  3  3.1  3.2  3.2.1  The Mind of the Consumer     Who is the Consumer?     Radial Tyres: Meeting the Indian Drivers "Unsatisfied Need"      Buying a Radial Tyre: Key Decision Makers      Consumer Behaviour  The Company      Core Competencies          Bridgestone India          MRF India      Company Resources         Bridgestone India         MRF India      Concern Areas          Bridgestone India          MRF India  The Competitors      Principal Competitors     Salient Strengths & Weaknesses         Bridgestone India

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Brand Strategy Analysis        

  3.3  4  4.1  3.2.2          MRF India      Basis of Competition  Important Collaborators      Upstream Collaborators 4.1.1          Bridgestone India 4.1.2          MRF India      Collaborator Incentives  4.2.1          Assured Supply  4.2.2          Assured Quality  4.2.3          Just in Time Supplies  Context ‐ Trends Shaping the Tyre Industry       Economic Environment 5.1.1          Unresolved Tax Issues 5.1.2          Increasing Cost of Raw Materials 5.1.3           Import Restrictions  5.1.4          Road and Support Infrastructures  5.1.5          Sources of Demand      Technological Environment  5.2.1          Indigenous Development of Radial Technology  5.2.2          Market Entry by International Players  5.2.3          Improved Capacity Utilization Techniques     Socio‐cultural Environment 5.3.1          Explosion in the Number of Nuclear Families  5.3.2          Higher Car Density Per Family  5.3.3          Shifting Away from Savings, to EMI Culture  28  29  30  30  30  30  31  31  31  31  32  32  32  32  32  33  33  35  35  35  35  35  35  35  36  37  37  38  38  39  39  39  39  40  40  41  41  41  42  42  42  42  42  2 | P a g e    

4.2 

5  5.1 

5.2 

5.3 

Chapter 2 ‐ Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning 
1  2  2.1  2.2  3  3.1  3.1.1  3.1.2  3.2  3.3  3.3.1  3.3.2  3.4  3.4.1  3.4.2  3.5  3.5.1  Basis for Segmentation ‐ Vehicle Types  Selecting the Target Segment      Bridgestone: The Market Specialization Approach      MRF: The Complete Market Coverage Approach  Differentiating and Positioning Strategies      Establishing Category Membership          Bridgestone ‐ High Performance with Value for Money          MRF ‐ Tyres with Muscle      Points of Parity      Points of Difference          Bridgestone ‐ Quality & Value for Money          MRF ‐ High Endurance Tyres      Value Proposition          Bridgestone ‐ Quality & Value for Money          MRF ‐ Endurance Guaranteed      Positioning Statements          Bridgestone ‐ Passion for Excellence 

Brand Strategy Analysis        

  3.5.2          MRF ‐ Tyres with Muscle 

Chapter 3 ‐ Analyzing the Marketing Mix 
1  1.1  1.1.1  1.1.2  1.1.3  1.1.4  2  2.1  2.2  2.2.1  2.2.2  2.2.3  2.3  2.3.1  2.3.2  2.3.3  3  3.1  3.2  4  4.1  4.2  4.2.1  4.2.2  4.2.3  The Product      Product Levels ‐ The Customer Value Hierarchy          Core Benefit          The Basic Product          The Expected Product          The Augmented Product  The Place      Push and Pull Strategies in Channel Marketing      Channel Design          Direct and Indirect Channels          Single and Multiple Channels          Channel Length      Channel Management Practices          Selecting Channel Members          Training and Motivating Channel Members          Efficient Consumer Response (ECR)  Pricing Strategies      Basic Pricing Strategies in the Tyre Industry      Dealer Discounts and Allowances  Product Promotion      The Marketing Communication Mix      Developing Effective Communications          Identifying the Target Audience          Determining the communication Objectives          Designing the Communication 

Chapter 4 ‐ Market Feedback and Control Mechanisms   Section III ‐ Marketing Strategies: A Relative Analysis   Chapter 1 ‐ Analyzing the Overall Market Strategies   
1  1.1  1.2  1.3  Analysis of the Overall Marketing Strategies     Marketing Strategy Analysis     Porter's Generic Strategy Analysis      Creating Value  1.3.1          Bridgestone ‐ Quality and Value for Money  1.3.2          MRF ‐ Endurance Guaranteed      Communicating the Value      Capturing the Value ‐ Pricing Philosophies     Sustaining the Value ‐ Building Relationships     Rating the Marketing Strategies of Bridgestone & MRF  

43  44  44  44  45  45  45  45  47  47  48  48  50  50  50  50  51  52  54  54  55  56  56  59  59  59  60  62 

1.4  1.5  1.6  1.7   

76  76  76  78  80  80  80  80  81  81  82 

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                      CHAPTER 1                              

BRIDGESTONE INDIA  &  MRF       AN INTRODUCTION 
     

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THE INDIAN TYRE INDUSTRY                                                                   
A BRIEF ANALYSIS 

  1. OVERVIEW OF THE INDIAN TYRE INDUSTRY:     
1.1 An Introduction to the Indian Tyre Industry

 
The Rs.20,000 crore Indian Tyre Industry, is highly raw material intensive and predominantly a Cross Ply (or Bias) tyre manufacturing industry. It is highly concentrated wherein 10 large manufacturers account for over 95% of the total tonnage production of 11.35 lakh M.T. It produces all categories of tyres, except Snow Tyres and Aero Tyre for which there is no demand domestically. 1.2 Key Influencers The level of economic activity, performance of domestic automotive industry, and the faring of the transport sector directly influence the performance of the tyre industry in India. With the replacement segment dominating the overall tyre demand, the industry remains inherently vulnerable to economic cycles. While radialisation has become the norm in the passenger car segment, in the bus and truck tyre segment, its acceptance is still limited. Bus and truck radialisation could emerge in the long term as the quality of roads improves and the restrictions on overloading are better enforced. The practice of re-treading, which is gaining increasing acceptance, could pose a challenge to replacement demand in the medium term. The ability of the re-treading sector to capture potential replacement demand would depend on the awareness among customers (of the benefits of retreading) and also the quality of retreading done. Given the low levels of penetration of two-wheelers and passenger cars in the country, OEM demand is likely to increase, which in turn would push up replacement demand with a lag. Slowdown in automotive industry and global economy in general negatively impacted the Indian tyre industry in 2009. The industry tonnage growth was only 2.19% during first nine months of FY 2009, compared to 7.38% growth experienced during the same period last year. Demand side was also severely affected as almost all auto manufacturers were forced to adjust their production last
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year. A major relief for tyre manufacturers was provided by the government by reducing the excise duty on tyres from 14% to 10% in December 2008, and further to 8% in February 2009 1.3 Role of Marketing Over the years, tyre manufacturers have developed a vast marketing network using dealers and depots and as such all types of tyres are now easily available even in the remotest corners of the country. No doubt, international auto majors in India now roll out their vehicles using Indian manufactured tyres.
1.4 Sales and Profitability

The Indian Tyre Industry produced 821 lakh units of tyres garnering approximately Rs. 21,000 crore in FY 2009 -2010. The top players are now focusing on branding their products and strengthening their distribution network so as to increase their market share. The industry derives its demand from the automobile Industry. While the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) market off take is dependent on the new vehicle sales, replacement market demand depends on the total population of vehicles on road, road conditions, vehicle scrapping rules, overloading norms for trucks, average life of tyres and prevalence of tyre retreading. 1.5 Trends in the Past Years As the economy in general; and automobile industry in specific slowed down in FY 2009, the tyre demand too came under pressure. The industry production registered a 5 year CAGR of 6.44% between FY 04-09. The largest category of Truck & Bus tyres recorded a 5 year CAGR of 2.96% (slower than the industry average) while Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV), motorcycle and car tyre categories grew at 6.07%, 10.70% and 6.90% respectively (relatively faster than the industry average). Off the Road (OTR) tyre category (customized tyres) which fetches a higher margin compared to other tyre categories, was the fastest growing. The OTR tyre category had registered a 5 year CAGR of over 8.85% in the last five years. Most of the top players increased their capacity for the production of OTR tyres so as to improve their product mix, this being a high margin

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product. Also in the face of global slowdown and stiff Chinese competition, the export market off take declined by 9.82% during this period. On the face of demand-side pressures, the tyre industry saw production adjustments from all the major players in the last couple of months. The government too tried to provide external stimulus by effecting 6% excise duty cut across industries (the excise duty for tyres was brought down from 14% to 10% w.e.f. December 7, 2008, and then further reduced to 8% w.e.f. February 25, 2009). In all the gloom; one silver lining for the industry was the easing of the raw material prices from September 2008 onwards. However, their future movement still remains uncertain. Based on data from the Rubber Board, natural rubber prices have risen about 50% in the last 6-7 months. In fact, prices in the Indian market are presently ruling 5-6% higher than the same in international markets. As a result, tyre makers are facing significant rise in cost production. This has forced the industry to begin hiking prices in an attempt to keep the already thin margins intact. Tyre majors have already hiked prices. Moreover, due to shortfall in domestic supply and increasing gap between domestic and international prices of rubber, the tyre manufacturers have increased the import of natural rubber. According to estimates by Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA), tyre producers are likely to import 50% of their total natural rubber consumption due to tight domestic supply. With profitability of tyre companies having a strong correlation to raw material prices and as these companies operate on thin margins, this would remain an area of concern. 1.6 Current Status & Future Trends As regards to the demand scenario, the poor demand growth in FY 2009 - 2010 was primarily on account of decline in OEM production. Continuation of poor volume growth could affect the profitability further. Despite these challenges, according to CARE (Credit Rating & Research) Ltd., while the industry may register a low tonnage growth in FY 2009, the long term prospective seems to be bright. They expect the industry to experience a CAGR of approximately 8.21% between FY08 to FY13. Automotive companies have started experiencing increasing sales and raw material prices are stabilizing which will boost tyre sales over the coming months. However, experts suggest there will be some time lag before profitability picks 
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up as tyre manufacturers are still carrying high cost inventories. Though the outlook in the immediate term is uncertain, the long term outlook for the sector remains positive. 1.7 Towards the Future – “Radialisation” in India

Radialisation in India though in its infancy in T&B tyre category; is making inroads. Most manufacturers have capex plans for radial T&B tyres with no new capacity being added for bias tyres. This indicates that the industry foresees radialisation to take further hold in the T&B tyre category. "Rate of radialisation is actually an index of the status of road development, vehicle engineering and the economy in general". Notwithstanding the problem areas, constraints and limitations, the tyre companies have kept pace with the technological improvements that radialisation signifies and offer state-of-the-art product (tyres), comparable to the best in the world.

Radialisation can be aptly classified as the most important innovation in tyre technology. Despite its several advantages (additional mileage; fuel saving; improved driving) radialisation in India earlier did not catch on at a pace that was expected, since its introduction way back in 1978. This could be attributed due to several factors, viz. Indian roads generally not being suitable for ideal plying of radial tyres; (older) vehicles produced in India not having suitable geometry for fitment of radial tyres (and hence the general, and wrong, perception that radial tyres are not required for Indian vehicle; unwillingness of consumer to pay higher price for radial tyres etc.

However, the situation has radically changed in recent years, especially for the passenger car tyre segment where radialisation has crossed 98% mark and is expected to reach 100% in two to three years. In the Medium and Heavy Commercial vehical segment current level of radialisation is upto 8%, and that in the LCV segment is estimated at 18%.

A few years back a beginning was made in Radialisation of truck and bus and LCV tyres and this process is gaining momentum.

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1.8 Maj Players a Market S jor and Shares
 

major players inc p clude MRF Ltd. whic is the ch market leader (2 22% marke share) followed et closely by Apollo Tyres Ltd (21%). T other o d. The players are JK Tyre & Indust e tries Ltd. major p (18%), Ceat Ltd. (13%), B . Birla Tyres (10%), s ear and Bridges stone (5%) On an ). Goodye (7%) a average 55% of th productio is for rep e, he on placement market, followed b 29.8% so to OEM directly , by old Ms and the remaining is exported.
7 10
Ceat C MRF Tyres M

5 4 22 21 18

Apollo Tyres A J.K. Tyres J

13

Birla B Goodyear G Bridgestone B Others O

1.9 Env vironment analysis – Ma forces s ajor shaping the trajectory o the tyre in of ndustry

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1.10 Swot Analysis for the Tyre Industry

Strengths Established brand names (key in the replacement market) Extensive distribution networks - For example, Apollo Tyres has more than 118 district offices, 12 distribution centres and 4,250 dealers. Good R&D initiatives by top players. Weaknesses Cost Pressures - The profitability of the industry has high correlation with the prices of key raw materials such as rubber and crude oil, as they account for more than 70% of the total costs. Pricing Pressures – The huge raw material costs have resulted in pressure on the realisations and hence, the players have been vouching to increase the prices, although, due to competitive pressures, they have not been able to pass on the entire increase to the customer. Highly capital intensive - It requires about Rs 4 billion to set up a radial tyre plant with a capacity of 1.5 million tyres and around Rs 1.5-2 billion, for a cross-ply tyre plant of a 1.5 million tyre-manufacturing capacity. Opportunities Growing Economy leads to Growing Automobile Industry leads to Increasing OEM demand that in turn leads to Subsequent rise in replacement demand With continued emphasis being placed by the Central Government on development of infrastructure, particularly roads, agricultural and manufacturing sectors, the Indian economy and the automobile sector/ tyre industry are poised for an impressive growth. Creation of road infrastructure has given, and would increasingly give, a tremendous fillip to road transportation, in the coming years. The Tyre industry would play an important role in this changing road transportation dynamics.

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Access to global sources for raw materials at competitive prices, due to economies of scale. Steady increase in radial Tyres for MHCV’s and LCV’s. Threats Continuous increase in prices of natural rubber, which accounts for nearly one third of total raw material costs. Cheaper imports of Tyres, especially from China, selling at very low prices, have been posing a challenge. The landed price is approximately 25% lower than that of the corresponding Indian Truck/ LCV tyres. Imports from China now constitute around 5% of market share. With crude prices scaling upwards, added pressure on raw material prices is expected Ban on Overloading, leading to lesser wear and tear of tyres and subsequent slowdown in demand. However, this would only be a short-term negative. Cyclical nature of automobile industry.

1.11 The Companies and Major Product Lines Bridgestone India Private Limited Bridgestone Corporation, Japan was established in the year 1931. Today, the company is a US $23.2 billion Corporation with its headquarters at Tokyo. It controls 18.2% of global market and sells products in over 150 nations. The company has 47 tyre plants and 93 non-tyre plants, 3 technical research and development centres and 10 proving grounds. Today, Bridgestone has a worldwide work force of more than 110,000 employees. It is a global tyre manufacturing company, which emphasizes on Japanese traditions. It is still growing and expanding and aiming at increasing its share in the world tyre and tubes, industrial rubber products like belts, hose, chemical products, sporting goods, automotive parts, electro materials and marine products etc. Bridgestone India Private Limited (BSID) is one of the leading tyre manufacturers in India. It began as a joint venture between Bridgestone Corporation of Japan (BSJ) and The Associated Cement Companies of India Ltd. (ACC), in 1996.

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Their first plant was established at Kheda (Madhya Pradesh) with a paid up capital of Rs. 2753 million. With the latest technology from Bridgestone, Japan, the plant at Kheda, covering 265,500 sq. mts. was officially inaugurated on 12th of November 1998. Presently BSID has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility near Indore, Madhya Pradesh and is continuously increasing the production capacity in order to meet market requirements. Here they manufacture the widest range of steel belted radial tyres for almost all the cars & multi-utility vehicles, produced in India. These manufacturing facilities are backed by the highly sophisticated Bridgestone Technical Centre at Tokyo, the main out of the 4 Technical Centers worldwide, which performs rigorous research & development activities to offer most appropriate tyres for Indian roads. Over a period of time the company has established a distinct culture with various HR principles and systems. With a strong work force of around 900 employees, it has continuously strived to contribute to the Indian Society and realize happiness by achieving targets with mutual trust and understanding. Products BSID has come a long way in establishing itself as a leader in Radial tyres segment, producing around 2.7 million tyres per year. The products include Passenger steel belted radial tyres and tubes and Light commercial vehicle steel belted radial tyres and tubes. These tyres are used for passenger cars in India and are supplied to almost all the major Original Equipment Manufacturers. Tyres are the strength and passion of BSID, a force that has driven them to be one of the best in the business. As a premier player in the Indian tyre market, Bridgestone continues to give its customers a range of innovative products and services. Recent Forays Bridgestone India launched two new tyre range B250 and ER 300 which is likely to help cement its place as a leading tyre supplier in the Original Equipment Manufacturers and replacement market in the country. The performance or comfort tyre range ER300 has capabilities for running in wet and dry conditions. The B250 variants received approvals from OEMs like Honda and Hyundai for its Civic and Verna models respectively. Bridgestone has around 30 percent market share (radial tyre segment) in OEM and replacement market, in the country. The company expanded its facility near Pune from around 10,500 tyres per day to more than 11,000 tyres per day to be achieved by the end of the 2008. The company was in the process of upgrading its facility and automating its manufacturing process to optimise efficiency to ensure consistent and steady supply to customers.

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MRF Established in 1946 as a small toy balloon manufacturing unit in a shed at Tiruvottiyur, Madras (now Chennai), MRF ventured into the manufacture of tread rubber in the year 1952. The quality of the product was so high that by close 1956 MRF had become the market leader with 50% share of the tread-rubber market in India. In 1961, MRF entered into tyre manufacturing in collaboration with the Mansfield Tire & Rubber Company of USA. Since then MRF has come a long way towards achieving greater heights in the automotive tyre industry, with 6 manufacturing units in India. It has a huge distribution network of 2,500 outlets within India and exports to over 65 countries worldwide. . Today, MRF is the market leader among tyre manufacturers in India, with a 24% share terms of revenues. Its leadership position, coupled with its strong brand recall and high quality, MRF commands the price-maker status. MRF has a strong presence in the T&B segment, the largest segment of the tyre industry, and commands around 19% market share in the segment. It is the leader in the two/ three-wheeler segment (including motorcycles) and tractor front tyres, and holds second place in the passenger cars and tractor - rear tyres. Exports account for around 12% of the gross sales in MRF. Products MRF is the leading manufacturer of tyres for almost all segments. Being driven by technology and product innovation, every tyre that comes out is of the highest standards and tested to weather the toughest conditions on any road. With more than 85 tyre variants, MRF holds the highest market share of 22% in terms of sales volume in the tyre industry. Apart from tyre manufacturing tyres, MRF also manufactures its MUSCLEFLEX brand of Conveyor Belting at one of the most advanced, 'State of the Art', Facilities in India. Incorporating the latest manufacturing techniques, MUSCLEFLEX-Conveyor Belting has gained rapid acceptance in markets worldwide. MRF PRETREADS is yet another innovation from MRF Industries which is the most advanced precured retreading system in India. MRF forayed into retreading as far back as 1970. Today, MRF has perfected the art of recured retreading with its extensive knowledge in tyres and rubber. MRF’s diverse business interests also include Paint and Coats, and Toys. Recent Forays Became the first domestic company to venture into the niche area of developing and manufacturing of aviation tyres branded ''Aero Muscle'' for helicopters and aircrafts which targeted the defence sector. The critical raw materials were sourced from overseas suppliers. It is estimated that the company invested more than Rs 150 crore to set up the new production facility at its existing plant in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh.

 
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               CHAPTER 2                      
       

  MARKETING STRATEGIES 
       

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ANALYZING THE MARK KET EN NVIRON NMENT                                         T 
THE FOUR C AP PPROACH 
   

1. THE MIND O OF THE   

C

ONSUM MER: 

1.1  Wh ho is the Co onsumer?    While M MRF has es stablished a wide footp print and an overall lea across th entire tyr market in n ad he re n India, B Bridgestone has emerge as a clear market lea ed r ader in the n niche Passenger Car Se egment. For r compar rative purpo oses betwee these com en mpanies in this study, we shall co onfine ourse elves to the e niche se egment of R Radial tyres in the Passenger Car s segment. The typ pical consum in this report is a Indian Passenger Car owner, w is look mer an who king for the e best-fit tyre for his car. Also, si ince Bridge estone and MRF suppl tyres to OEM (Orig ly ginal Equip pment Manu ufacturers)* * and Tyr dealers, these busin re ness-to-busi iness partne are anot ers ther target consumer s segment for r the com mpanies. Target c customers: 1) The Indian passenger c owner car 2) OEMs 3) Tyre dealer rs

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1.2  Radial Tyres:  Meeting the Indian driver’s “unsatisfied” need  As with consumers across all markets in India, the Indian driver’s mind has always been preoccupied with “value for money”. The Indian driver measures this value for money in many ways: through improved mileage, lower maintenance cost, improved safety, higher average life, or even improved drive comfort. The Indian driver had for long put up with poor road infrastructure, unreliable traditional nylon threaded cross-ply tyres, higher maintenance costs and a very uncomfortable driving experience. There was a clear need for a better tyre technology. Radial tyres, with their promise of far better ride comfort, mileage and product life, seemed like the logical choice. However, though radial tyres were introduced into Japanese and American markets way back in 1960, It was not until 1998 (when Bridgestone entered the Indian market with its line of radial tyres), that Indian car owners were finally able to lay their hands on radial tyres. The OEMs were quick to adopt the technology and started rolling out their new cars on radial tyres. What followed was a “mass radialization” of the passenger car market. So much so, that today, radial tyres have a 98% market share in the Indian passenger car tyre market. It was clearly a case of bringing in the right product to address the “unsatisfied need” of the customer.   1.3 Buying a Radial Tyre: Key decision makers    Unlike FMCG products, buying a radial tyre is usually not done on impulse. At an average price of Rs.12,000/- , radial tyres are not a cheap buy for the average Indian middle-class family. Some amount of research and thought goes, before deciding on the ideal tyre. Studies show that an average car tyre buyer looks for reviews from different sources such as mechanics, dealers, OEM endorsements and also from close friends and family. These sources hold a lot influence over which brand of tyre the consumer decides to buy. Key decision influencers in buying a tyre: 1) The local mechanic 2) Tyre dealers 3) OEM endorsements 4) Close friends and family                  
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1.4 Consumer Behavior    Frequency of purchase in the passenger car tyre industry is solely decided by the life of an average tyre. Depending on the kind of usage, an average radial tyre can last anywhere between one to five years.
Car user type   Taxi (commercial)    Average business  traveler    Average family    Average tyre  life (years)  1  2 ‐ 3 

 

4 ‐ 5   

  Quantity of purchase in the car tyre industry varies within a given year. The passenger car tyre market displays moderate seasonality in sales. Higher sales usually correspond with periods when there is an increased use of passenger vehicles, such as during school vacations (family outings), school reopening, and local festivals and occasions (for example, the Sabarimala pilgrimage season drives up the sale of tyres significantly in and around Coimbatore). Since Tyres are a derived-demand product (its demand is derived from the demand for automobiles) government policies such as a drop in duties and taxes on car manufacturers, also indirectly contribute to higher tyre sales. Given the high amount of product homogeneity in the tyre market; prices do not vary greatly between companies. However, international players such as Bridgestone do markup their prices slightly higher on account of their superior quality and the extended warranties. On an average, the buyer is usually more concerned about the performance of the tyres than its price.    

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2. THE 
 

C

OMPANY: 

2.1  Core Competencies:      2.1.1 Bridgestone India:    International Quality and pedigree: Quality counts as the number one reason why OEMs prefer Bridgestone over other tyre manufactures. Bridgestone has always banked on its quality USP to capture market share. The Japanese attention to quality seems to have percolated down to Bridgestone India from its parent company. World over, the Bridgestone brand has been synonymous with cutting-edge technology and quality. The F1 association:
The global brand awareness that Bridgestone Corporation’s collaboration with F1 has  earned and its recognition as a leader in the global tyre industry has helped its Indian  arm, BSID, position itself as a premium tyre manufacturer in the Indian market. 

Channel reach: With over 3000 distributors and dealers, Bridgestone India has one of the largest reach across the country. A Bridgestone dealer is never far away from you, no matter where you are.   2.1.2 MRF India   Undisputed overall market leader: With a 24% share in the overall tyre industry MRF is the king of tyres on the Indian road. Its Leadership position, coupled with its strong brand recall and high quality, MRF commands the price-maker status. MRF has a strong presence in the T&B segment, the largest segment of the tyre industry, and commands around 19% market share in the segment. It holds the second place in the passenger cars.

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Complete market coverage: Over the years, MRF has created a formidable product line, length and breadth to serve every segment of the industry. Its complete market coverage is one of the reasons why it is the undisputed market leader today. MRF offers tyres for the following vehicle segments in the tyre industry: 1) Passenger Cars 2) Two wheelers 3) Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV) 4) Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) 5) Of the Road Vehicles (OTR) 6) Farm Vehicles (FV) Brand recognition and brand recall: When it comes to top-of-mind brand recall, MRF beats the rest of the competition hands down. Unlike Bridgestone India, MRF has for long concentrated on aggressive brand promotion. Sports celebrities and event endorsements have been a major vehicle for their brand promotion activities. From signing on three sports heavyweights at one go (Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, and Steve Waugh), to endorsing national rally circuits, to founding the MRF pace foundation, MRF has been at the forefront of aggressive brand building: one reason why MRF commands more brand recognition than Bridgestone India, despite the latter’s superior quality and international credentials.

Strong exports: Exports account for around 12% of the gross sales in MRF. The company exports to over 65 countries worldwide. It is largest tyre exporter in South Asia. Over the past decade, MRF has improved its technologies and tyre quality significantly, to compete effectively with other players in the international market. Most of its exports are non-radial, nylon cross-ply tyres, and are exported to other developing countries such as Sri Lanka.

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2.2  Company Resources    2.2.1 Bridgestone India   

                                                                                  Source: Automotive Digest                     A high volume game:  

The Tyre industry is driven more by volumes than by margins. Bridgestone being one of the big five players in the global tyre industry, generates an annual tyre production equivalent to the total demand of the Indian market.
      Pedigree: 

Bridgestone India Pvt. Ltd (BSID) is a fully owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The global company employs over 133,500 people worldwide and has offices, factories or continental headquarters in more than 150 countries. [1]
 

MNCs  like  Bridgestone  Corporation  have  deep  pockets  and  can  easily  withstand  losses for a couple of years or  more. Their financial muscles also permit them to  invest in R&D, which is beyond the reach of the average Indian tyre manufacturer.    
Resources: 

Bridgestone India set up base in India in February 1996 and set up the factory two years later at Kheda near Indore in Madhya Pradesh. The company is one of the leading tyremakers in both the OEM and replacement markets in the country.The company has a production facility at Pithampur near Indore and has announced an investment of Rs259 crore for expansion. This will increase production capacity by over 40% to 15,000 tyres per day by the middle of next year. [2]
    Workforce: 

As a part of the expansion plans, Bridgestone plans to hire 300 more people to its 700 hundred strong Indian workforce in the coming financial year.   
  Technology:    

The name Bridgestone has been synonymous with cutting edge technology for some time now. Over the years, the company has benefited directly from its involvement in Formula One racing. The lessons learned through Bridgestone’s successful participation at F1 circuits have translated into innovations that can be applied to the design and manufacture of high performance tyres. The global brand awareness that
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Bridgestone Corporation’s collaboration with F1 has contributed and its recognition as a leader in the global tyre industry has helped its Indian arm, BSID, position itself as a premium tyre manufacturer in the Indian market. Also, this formidable reputation for quality and high-end technology has helped BSID emerge as the most preferred tyre supplier to OEMs, which accounts for 24% of the total passenger car tyre market in India. [3]
Financial health: 

Y.E. / as on Dec.31
Working Results Total operating income PBILDT Interest Depreciation PBT PAT (after deferred tax) Gross cash accruals Financial Position Equity share capital Net worth Total capital employed Key Ratios Growth in Total operating income (%) Growth in PAT (%) Profitability PBILDT/Total Op. income (%) PAT/Total income (%) ROCE (%) Solvency Long-term debt equity ratio (times) Interest coverage (times) Liquidity Current ratio (times) Quick ratio (times) Turnover Average collection period (days) Average creditors (days) Average inventory days Total operating cycle (days)

2008
626 138 10 38 91 56 110 275 329 481 21.69 15.68 21.97 9.01 24.22 0.14 10.04 1.16 0.44 36 60 103 79

The long term debt equity ratio seems to be very healthy but the reason for that is because it’s a 100% fully owned subsidiary Co. The same can also be said about the interest
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coverage ratio. The raw material costs form a major chunk of overall operating expenditure and so any fluctuation in that area could affect the Cos overall prospects adversely. This is also visible from the fact that the operating margin is very low as can be deduced from the PAT/Total income percentage. The current ratio and the quick ratio are pretty decent. However the average inventory days seems to be a cause for concern. This could be due to the recession which has also hit overall demand for automobiles in general. Yet the growth in total operating income and PAT are welcome signs.
 

  2.2.2 MRF India    Infrastructure MRF primarily produces tyres at its seven plants located in various places in South India. The company’s installed tyres capacity as on September 2008 was 25.3 mn tyres. Tubes capacity stood at 26 mn numbers as on Sep’08. Other business operations of the company (account for 6% of sales) consist of manufacturing pre-cured treads, tread rubber, conveyor belts, specialty surface coatings etc. The details of capacity utilization in respect of tyres in the last few years are given below: Strong demand growth particularly in the passenger car and LCV tyres segment over the last five years has assisted MRF’s capacity utilisation staying well above 90% (except FY05). The high capacity utilisation is despite company’s installed capacity of tyres having grown from 17.4 mn tyres p.a. in Sep’04 to 25.3 mn p.a. in Sep’08. In tonnage terms, truck & bus tyres accounted for more than 50% of the production followed by tyres for passenger cars, motorcycles and LCVs. MRF also manufactures tyres for Tractors, Scooters, Off The Road vehicles etc. Market Leader in overall Indian tyre market MRF has the advantage of being the undisputed leader in the overall tyre market. MRF has with its portfolio of tyres for the complete automobile market, has made its presence felt in all segments of the tyre market. While it is the leader in 2 wheeler and Light Commercial Vehicle tyre markets, it comes a close second in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle and Passenger Car tyre markets. Strong exports: Exports account for around 12% of the gross sales in MRF. The company exports to over 65 countries worldwide.

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Financial health:  
     

Y.E. / as on Sep 30 
Working Results  Net sales   Total operating income   PBILDT   Interest  Depreciation   PBT   PAT (after deferred tax)  Gross cash accruals   Financial Position  Equity share capital   Net worth   By Total capital employed   Key Ratios  Growth in Total income (%)   Growth in PAT (%)   Profitability  PBILDT/Total Op income (%)   PAT/Total income (%)   ROCE (%)   Solvency  Long term debt equity ratio  (times)   Interest coverage(times)   Liquidity  Current ratio(times)   Quick ratio(times)   Turnover  Average collection period (days)  Average creditors (days)   Average inventory (days) 

2008 
   5047  5150  422  66  170  211  142 311     4  1121  2380     14.77  ‐17.35     8.2  2.76  14.35     0.65  3.82     1.31  0.67     37  61  69 

The long term debt equity ratio is pretty healthy. The raw material costs form a major chunk of overall operating expenditure and so any fluctuation in that area could affect the Cos overall prospects adversely. This is also visible from the fact that the operating margin is very low as can be deduced from the PAT/Total income percentage. There has been a decline in PAT over the last year and that is a cause for concern but it could be attributed to the recession that hit the economy .The current ratio and the quick ratio are
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pretty decent. The intense competition in the sector has also had its impact on the Co going by its PAT/Total Income percentage.    2.3 Concern Areas:    2.3.1 Bridgestone India   
Low market coverage:   

Though Bridgestone has been in India for over a decade now, it has restricted itself almost entirely to the passenger car radial tyre segment. Even though Bridgestone is the undisputed leader in this segment with a market share of over 30%, the passenger car segment accounts for a meager 21% of the total tyre market in India. There is a huge untapped tyre market outside this segment, especially in the Heavy Commercial Vehicles segment.

                                                                 
 

 

 

 

          Source: ATMA 

 

  Brand recognition and recall:   

Bridgestone is one of the leading brands world over. Its association with the F1 racing event has given it a very high visibility and a formidable reputation of being a technology leader. Yet, when it comes to the Indian market, MRF seems to have beaten it at the brand promotion game. While Bridgestone is the preferred tyre supplier to OEMs (due to its superior quality and durability), customers in the Replacement market (market for replacement of worn out OEM tyres) seem to recall the MRF brand more often than Bridgestone.

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This is mainly due to the fact that while MRF pursues a pull strategy through aggressive brand promotion activities to gain top-of-mind recall, Bridgestone banks on a push strategy by maintaining close Channel relations, heavy dealer incentives and quality as a value proposition, to push its tyres through to the customer.
   

When we consider the fact that the replacement market accounts for nearly 54% of the passenger car tyre market as seen below, we see the huge opportunity that Bridgestone seems to be missing here.
 

                                                                                            Source:  Way 2 Wealth, investment guide     

2.3.2 MRF India   
Late entrant into the Radial tyre market:     

With a current market share of 24% MRF has a firm grip over the tyre Passenger Car Tyre Segment market in India. However, back in 1998, when Bridgestone entered the Indian market, none of the Indian MRF 18% manufactures including MRF had a 34% JK Tyres radial tyre product portfolio. 17% Bridgestone Bridgestone seized the first-mover advantage and quickly capitalized on Others 31% the trend of passenger car OEMs adopting the radial tyre technology. By the year 2000, Bridgestone India had consolidated its position as the No.1 leader in the passenger car tyre market, which was by now almost entirely radialized.
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Though MRF had introduced the ZIGMA CC Radial tyre way back in 1989, it lacked the technology and expertise to produce a good product line-length of radial tyres for all car types. But MRF has taken up the challenge in a big way and indigenously developed its radial technology. Today, it has succeeded in capturing a market share of 18% in the passenger radial car tyre market, second only to Bridgestone India.
    Dealer relations: 

MRF has aggressively pursued a Pull marketing strategy to sell its tyres. In a pull strategy, the manufacturer uses advertising, promotions and other forms of communications to induce the consumers to demand the product from the dealers. MRF therefore almost exclusively concentrates on brand awareness exercises, such as advertisements and endorsements. Compared to other tyre manufacturers, MRF pays little attention to incentivizing the dealers. This is reflected in the low margins it offers, and the complete absence of dealer incentives such as compliments, free trips, cash rewards, discounts, etc. Yet, dealers are motivated to stock MRF tyres simply because they have high brand-recall and so the customer demands it.

 

 

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3. THE   

C

OMPETITORS: 

3.1  Principal Competitors:    The Passenger Car Radial tyre segment is a highly concentrated one. The top 4 players together hold almost 77% of the market share. Bridgestone is the clear leader in this segment, with a market share that is twice that of its nearest competitor, MRF. Bridgestone India leads the pack with a market share of 31%. Its closest competitor, MRF, is far behind with a market share of 18%. JK Tyres follows close at the heels of MRF with a market share of 17%, while Apollo tyres has a market share of 11%.
        

Passenger Car Tyre Segment
18% 17% 31%

MRF JK Tyres Bridgestone Others

34%

3.2  Salient strengths and weaknesses:    3.2.1 Bridgestone India    International Quality and pedigree: World over, the Bridgestone brand is synonymous with top quality and F1 class performance. This brand image seems to have percolated down to its Indian subsidiary too.
 

Channel reach With over 3000 distributors and dealers, Bridgestone India has one of the largest reach across the country. A Bridgestone dealer is never far away from you, no matter where you are. The F1 association: The global brand awareness that Bridgestone Corporation’s collaboration with F1 has contributed and its recognition as a leader in the global tyre industry has helped its Indian arm, BSID, position itself as a premium tyre manufacturer in the Indian market. Financial muscle:
Bridgestone  being  one  of  the  big  five  players  in  the  global  tyre  industry,  generates  an  annual tyre production equivalent to the total demand of the Indian market.   27 | P a g e    

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Niche player:  One of its major weaknesses id that Bridgestone India has restricted itself almost entirely to the passenger car radial tyre segment. Even though Bridgestone is the undisputed leader in this segment with a market share of over 30%, the passenger car segment accounts for a meager 21% of the total tyre market in India. There is a huge untapped tyre market outside this segment, especially in the Heavy Commercial Vehicles segment.     3.2.2 MRF    Brand recognition and brand recall: MRF with its aggressive marketing campaigns is has established itself the top brand in terms of brand-recognition and recall. A study suggests that 9 out of every 10 tyre customer across all segments of the tyre market, are aware of the MRF brand. Complete market coverage: MRF with its portfolio of tyres for the complete automobile market, has made its presence felt in all segments of the tyre market. While it is the leader in 2 wheeler and Light Commercial Vehicle tyre markets, it comes a close second in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle and Passenger Car tyre markets. Strong exports: Exports account for around 12% of the gross sales in MRF. The company exports to over 65 countries worldwide
 

Dealer relations: MRF almost exclusively concentrates on brand awareness exercises, such as advertisements and endorsements. It believes in making the customer demand its products through brand-awareness and brand-recall. Therefore, compared to other tyre manufacturers, MRF pays little attention to incentivizing the dealers. Yet, dealers are motivated to stock MRF tyres simply because they have high brand-recall and so the customer demands it. Late entrant to the Radial tyre market: MRF was a late entrant into the radial tyre market. Bridgestone capitalized on its firstmover advantage in the radial tyre segment, to capture a 31% market share. MRF has been working hard to catch up, by aggressively developing its radial tyre technology. As a result, today it holds 18% of the radial car tyre market share.      
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3.3  Basis of competition:  Being a homogenous product, there is not much difference in products offered by competing tyre manufacturers. However, companies do try to differentiate themselves by outdoing one another in some Points of Parity, such as quality, safety, tread design, economy, etc. Some important parameters that consumers look out for, and that form a basis for differentiation between tyre companies are:

1) High performance tyres (sports) Both MRF and Bridgestone offer high performance tyres that are meant for sports and other high endurance activities.
   

2) Comfort tyres (touring) Touring tyres offer the twin advantage of endurance with superior ride comfort. These class of tyres are a favorite amongst long distance car drivers such as business travelers.
   

3) Mileage One of the biggest value propositions of radial tyres is the improved mileage that it brings with it. Mileage is the top priority for the Indian middle class buyer.
 

4) Price Tyre prices play a much smaller role in the passenger car tyre industry, compared to tyre features. Consumers are more concerned about the attributes of the tyre (quality, durability, etc) than its price. 5) Wear life The wear life of a tyre determines the life if the tyre. The more durable a tyre, the higher will be its wear life.
 

6) Grip Given the high seasonal differences in India, consumers typically look for tyres that suit their local climate. Thus, while consumers in Rajasthan look for tyres that can endure high temperatures; consumers down south prefer tyres that can grip the road even in the worst of monsoon seasons.
 

7) Cornering and braking Cornering and braking refers to the way a tyre handles the extreme shear and frictional forces it experiences when the vehicle cuts corners or brakes at high speeds. Superior braking and cornering performance is always desired by sports and highway drivers.
 

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4. IMPORTANT     

C

OLLABORATORS: 

4.1 Upstream Collaborators:      4.1.1 Bridgestone India  Bridgestone India is the most preferred Tyre manufacturer to most of the car OEMs in India. This is clear from the formidable list of OEMs that source their tyres from MRF. In fact, some OEMs like Skoda source their tyres exclusively from Bridgestone, and no other tyre manufacturer. Automobile OEMs who source their tyres from Bridgestone India are: 1) Toyota 2) Hyundai 3) Skoda (exclusive customer. 100% Bridgestone tyres) 4) Mercedes 5) BMW 6) Genral Motors 7) Ford     4.1.2 MRF India    When compared to Bridgestone, MRF has a shorter list of tie-ups with OEMs in the car segment. But it more than makes up for this shortage by supplying to almost every kind of Automobile OEMs, be it two-wheelers, cars, buses, trucks, tractors, or OTR (Off The Road) vehicles. Automobile OEMs who source their tyres from MRF India are: 8) Maruti 9) Mahindra &Mahindra 10) TATA motors 11) Gneral Motors    

           
 

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  4.2 Collaborator Incentives:    Automobile OEMs tie-up with well-established tyre manufacturers for three major reasons:   4.2.1 Assured supply Automobile OEMs have huge production schedules. They required very large amounts of inputs, including tyres. They therefore look for large tyre manufacturers such as MRF or Bridgestone, who can supply them large quantities with any break in supply schedules.   Assured Quality Large  reputed  tyre  manufacturers  such  as  MRF  and  Bridgestone  adopt  very  stringent quality assurance measures. One of the major parameters that OEMs use  to decide their tyre suppliers is the quality of the tyres they produce. Bridgestone  is a clear leader in this parameter.    Just In Time (JIT) supplies Given the large production volumes, automobile OEMs do not hold inventories for  too long. They prefer tyre manufacturers who can supply them tyres in real time,  i.e. as and when the need arises. This is possible only for large tyre manufacturers  who incorporate JIT methods in their supply logistics.     

 

4.2.2

4.2.3

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5. THE  

 C

ONTEXT ‐ TRENDS SHAPING THE TYRE INDUSTRY 

Being a raw-material intensive and a derived-demand product, tyre sales are highly dependent on external factors that lie outside the purview of the manufacturers. A number of raw materials go into the making of a tyre, the prices of which affect the price of the tyre. Similarly, since tyres complement Automobiles, sales figures of Automobile manufacturers have a direct bearing on tyre sales. These, and many other factors decide the price, quantity and frequency of tyres demanded and supplied in the market. 5.1 Economic Environment:    5.1.1 Unresolved Tax issues: The issue of inverted tax structure, where the import duty on natural rubber is as high as 20% but import duty on finished tyres is as low as 10% still remains unaddressed. Other taxation issues have also been denting the competitiveness of Indian tyres. 5.1.2 Increasing costs of Raw Materials: The tyre industry is highly raw material intensive. Any change in the prices of raw materials affects the profitability of tyre companies. Raw materials primarily comprise of natural rubber, crude and steel based materials which have historically experienced volatility in prices. In the last few months, price of domestic natural rubber has increased by almost 40%. Given the fact that raw materials constitute around 70% of the cost of production, combined with the manufacturers "inability to pass on the increased cost to their customers due to intense competition”, rise in prices of these materials have had a huge impact on profitability. 5.1.3 Import restrictions The Indian tyre industry is suffering intense competition from low priced tyres from China and other South East Asian countries. Despite being of a better quality, Indian manufactured tyres loose ground when it comes to pricing. Moreover, slowing automotive demand from developed countries has made India a lucrative market for cheap tyres, thus resulting in increased dumping of cheap tyres from China. Although the Government has imposed a restraint on the import of used tyres into India, occasionally there are reports of import of such tyres in a clandestine manner, sometimes as new tyre at low value, since there is no restriction on import of new tyres or as tyres under the "others" category.
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5.1.4

Road and support infrastructure
While poor road conditions have a positive impact on replacement demand, by reducing the life of the tyre, improved roads can act as a catalyst to increased purchase and use of personal vehicles, thus driving up the demand for tyres. Also, poor road and support infrastructure act as a barrier to radialisation in the commercial vehicle segment.

5.1.5

Sources of Demand: 1) Industrial and freight activity The truck and bus tyre segment accounted for 19% of tyres produced in India in FY2008. Every truck/bus manufactured generates a demand for seven tyres. In addition, the price of a truck tyre is significantly higher than that of a passenger car tyre (roughly 10 times). Thus the demand multiple emanating from the commercial vehicle segment is highest in value terms. 2) Personal purchasing power As the economy booms and disposable incomes in the hands of the Indian middleclass burgeon, the sale of passenger cars has been witnessing an upward swing over the past decade. Since tyre sales are directly linked to car sales, both through OEMs and the replacement market, the tyre industry has witnessed a corresponding increase in its sales figures. 3) Automobile sales The demand from the OEM segment is a derived one and directly correlated to the level of automotive production. The recent Slowdown in automotive industry and global economic in general negatively impacted the Indian tyre industry in 2009. The industry growth was only 2.19% during first nine months of FY09, compared to 7.38% growth experienced during the same period last year 4) Exports Due to the slowdown in the domestic market brought about by the recession, most India tyre manufacturers have taken to exports to reduce inventory build-ups. Indian companies have currently entered into sourcing agreements (for tyres) with neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and China.

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There is a trend of increasing exports of bus and truck tyres (crossply variety) from India to developing countries. This is because of the fact that developing countries are unable to source them from developed countries as these are no more produced there. The product focus of tyre exports from India has been Traditional Truck Tyres. Globally this segment of tyre export is shrinking due to greater acceptance of radial tyres. Moving towards radialization will be vital if tyre producers want to protect their share in international markets.

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5.2 Technological Environment:  5.2.1 Indigenous development of radial technology The runaway success of Bridgestone India in the passenger radial car market was mainly due to the fact that a decade ago, none of the Indian tyre companies had good radial technology know-how. But all that seems to be changing at scorching pace now. Major Indian players such as MRF, JK tyres and Apollo tyres are pumping in a lot of money in R&D to upgrade their technologies indigenously. MRF has already succeeded in capturing a market share of 18% in the radial car tyre market. 5.2.2 Market entry by international players The market entry of Bridgestone is a classic example of what a foreign firm’s entry can do to the Indian tyre market. Before Bridgestone entered the Indian market, there was almost no usage of radial tyres in India. Besides, customers had to put up with substandard tyres since in the face of no competition, Indian tyre manufacturers were slow in developing their technologies. Al that changed when Bridgestone entered the market. Quality and brand value suddenly became the new buzzwords, and Indian companies finally woke up to the huge technological gap between the International and domestic players. Passenger car OEMs embraced radial technology and the car tyre maeket was almost completely radialzed. 5.2.3 Improved Capacity-utilization techniques In the face of increasing input prices, and competition from international players such as Michellin and Bridgestone, Indian tyre companies are desperately searching for ways to cut costs and improve their production efficiencies. This has resulted in adoption of improved capacity-utilization techniques across all major Indian tyre manufacturers.   5.3 Socio­Cultural Environment  5.3.1 Explosion in the number of nuclear families As the joint-family system crumbles and the number of nuclear families explode, more small families seem to be demanding a two/four wheeler for themselves. This has directly resulted in higher sales of tyres in the past decade. 5.3.2 Higher car density per family The number of upper-class and upper-middle class families with more than one car per family seems to be increasing exponentially. This is especially true in cities where
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working couples find it difficult to survive without more than one car for transportation. With higher disposable incomes, these families are finally able to afford this need. 5.3.3 Shifting away from Savings, to EMI culture Another notable trend that seems to be fuelling car sales (and therefore tryre sales) is the shift in the middle-class consumers saving habits. The Indian middle-class family has long been known for its savings frenzy. But with a younger workforce, higher disposable incomes, lower unemployment and the influence of globalization, the average Indian middle-class family is slowly warming up to the idea of EMI and buying on credit. This has helped in furthering the sales of passenger cars significantly.

 

 

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SE EGMEN NTATIO ON, TA ARGETI ING AN ND POS SITION NING                             
AN N STP ANA ALYSIS 

1. BAS SIS FOR 

S

EGMEN NTATION N ­ VEHICL LE TYPE:

In the ty industry, there is very little direc interaction between th company and the cus yre ct n he stomer. Tyre e companies sell mostly to dealers in the replac cement market and to OE EMs. As a res market segmentatio for the tyre industry is based more on the type of vehicle served, rather sult, on e r than on the individua customer. al

              TY YRE MAR RKET SE EGMENT TATION  
 

 
MHCV: Me edium heavy com mmercial vehicle, HCV: Heavy Com mmercial Vehicle LCV: Light Commercial Vehicle OTR: Off The Road vehicle e, e, R

 

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2. SELECTING THE 

T

ARGET SEGMENT: 

Once the market has been divided into segments, Tyre manufacturers need to decide the segments they are going to service. This requires a deep analysis of each segment and matching the manufacturer’s capabilities (finances, core-competency, brand image, labor, etc) with the demands of these segment(s).

2.1 Bridgestone: The Market Specialization Approach     

    Bridgestone India currently concentrates exclusively on the Passenger Car Radial Tyre segment. Within this segment, it offers a wide range of tyres to suit the needs of the entire segment of car tyre buyers. Bridgestone is the Market leader in this segment, with a market share of over 30%. One major reason why Bridgesotne has stuck to the Passenger Car segment is because it offers only Radial tyres. While the Passenger Car segment is 98% Radialised, other segments in the tyre industry are yet to

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2.2 MRF: The Complete Market Coverage Approach   

  MRF holds a diversified portfolio of products that span across the entire tyre market. It manufactures tyres for all segments of the tyre market including Passenger Vehicles, Commercial Vehicles, Farm Vehicles ad Off-The-Road and Industrial Vehicles. This complete market coverage of its products has made MRF the undisputed leader in the overall Indian tyre industry.

3. DIFFERENTIATION AND 

P

OSITIONING STRATEGIES: 

Being a homogenous product, there is not much difference in products offered by competing tyre manufacturers. However, companies do try to differentiate themselves by outdoing one another in some Points of Parity, such as quality, safety, tread design, economy, etc.

3.1 Establishing Category Membership    Category Membership refers to the set of products that a brand competes with. It defines the market that the brand is in. 3.1.1 Bridgestone – High Performance with Value for Money Bridgestone communicates its category membership as a top quality, high performance tyre, with an international pedigree. In order to ride home this message, it has associated itself with F1 racing events and widely publicizes its success on the F1 racetrack.
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Customers have come to associate Bridgestone tyres with the exacting performance standards required in F1 racing. 3.1.2 MRF – Tyres with Muscle The MRF mascot, the MRF muscleman, clearly states the category membership MRF subscribes to. MRF communicates to the customer its superior endurance and strength. The company sponsors a number of sports such as cricket and rally racing, to position its tyres as high endurance and sporty. Its slogan “Tyres we race, are the tyres you buy” stands testimony to their category membership. 3.2 Points of Parity (POP):  POP refers to associations that are not necessarily unique to the brand, but may in fact be shared by other brands. For a product to achieve POP on a particular attribute, a sufficient number of customers must think that the brand is “good enough” on that dimension. Put simply, POPs are the minimum parameters a product must possess to be considered a good enough to compete within its membership category.

Some important parameters that consumers look for, in every tyre brand, and which therefore form the basis of POP in the tyre industry are: 1) Quality: Material quality of the tyre must be very good. 2) Safety: The tyre must meet national/international safety standards under high stress conditions. 3) Durability: The tyre must survive wear and tear for a decent period of life. 4) Mileage: The tyre must offer improved mileage (especially true for Radial tyres). 5) Grip: The tyre grips the road firmly under all weather conditions. 6) Cornering and braking: The tyre must perform well while cutting corners and braking at high speeds. 7) Ride comfort: The tyre must offer a smooth and quite riding experience.
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  3.3 Points of Difference (POD): 

  PODs attributes that consumers strongly associate with a brand, positively evaluate it, and believe that they could not find it to the same extent in other competing brands. Simply put, PODs are those attributes that make a product stand out from the competition. It is the winning proposition. Though tyres are a highly homogenous products, and differentiation is very difficult, tyre manufacturers have come up with innovative ways to demonstrate their superiority in certain parameters such as quality, endurance, value for money, and additional services.
 

3.3.1

Bridgestone – Quality and Value for Money Bridgestone prides itself for manufacturing some of the highest quality tyres on the globe. Customers perceive the brand to be associated with F1 quality and performance. 1) Value for Money: Bridgestone customers perceive their tyres as a good buy, despite their premium pricing. This is because Bridgestone is known for high quality, long lasting tyres that give the customers value for their money in the long run. 2) Perfectly balanced wheels: Another major benefit that customers associate with Bridgestone tyres is the perfectly balanced tyres that they get fitted on purchase. Bridgestone makes this possible by making it mandatory that its dealers possess computerized wheel balancing equipment. Every customer who walks out of a dealer store with a Bridgestone tyre is thus assured of an additional service: perfectly balanced wheels. 3) International quality and high performance: Most Bridgestone customers are aware of the international quality and the impeccable pedigree that Bridgestone enjoys worldwide. International Quality and high performance are the major reasons why most automobile OEMs prefer to partner with Bridgestone.

3.3.2

MRF – High endurance tyres MRF has for log concentrated on the high performance its tyres offer in trying conditions. To further this image, it has partnered with many sports events and created a mascot that reflects the toughness it claims in it tyres: the MRF muscleman.

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1) High endurance tyres: Tyre consumers, especially heavy truck and bus owners, consider MRF tyres to be one the toughest in the market. This explains why MRF is amongst the top market leaders and in the heavy commercial vehicles category (second only to Apollo tyres). 2) High performance tyres: MRF is the clear leader in the Two Wheeler tyre market. This is because of its image as a high endurance and high performance tyre, in the minds of Two Wheeler owners. Brand recognition and recall has also played an important role in its emergence as the market leader. 3.4 Value proposition:    Value propositions are a set of benefits that companies offer to satisfy customer needs. It answers the customer’s question, “what is in it for me?”   3.4.1 Bridgestone – Quality and Value for money: Bridgestone’s main value proposition is its international quality and value for money. Every Bridgestone customer is assured of a tyre that is of international standards and will give him trouble-free service for a long time, thus giving him value for his money. 3.4.2 MRF – Endurance guaranteed: MRF prides itself in making tyres that go into some of the most trying conditions on Indian roads: onto Heavy Vehicles on rough Indian roads. Consequently, MRF offers a compelling value proposition to heavy vehicle owners as well as passenger car and two wheeler owners: Quality tyres that endure in the worst of conditions. It drives home this macho message through its mascot, the MRF muscleman.   3.5 Positioning statements:    3.5.1 Bridgestone - passion for excellence:                                  

 
 

 
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  3.5.2  
    

MRF – Tyres with muscle:

                              

 

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    ANALYZING THE MARKETING MIX                                                 
THE 4 P ANALYSIS 
   

1. THE 

P

RODUCT: 

The basic definition of a product is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need. Tyre companies in India have been fulfilling this need for over half a century now, through tyres that endure on rough Indian roads. The entry of Multinationals like Bridgestone and Goodyear has added two more flavors to this mix: Quality and ride comfort. Today, Indian tyre manufacturers are racing against each other to introduce tyres that assure impeccable quality, endurance and ride comfort.

1.1 Product levels –The customer value hierarchy:    While devising market offerings, marketers address five product levels:

CORE  BENEFIT Basic Product Expected Product Augmented  Product Potential Product

 
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    1.1.1

Core Benefit: This is the service or benefit the customer is customer is really buying. In the tyre industry, the core benefit that a customer is looking for is a tyre that his vehicle can run on.

1.1.2

The Basic product: The basic product that all tyre manufacturers offer, is a tyre that fits the customer’s vehicle

1.1.3

The Expected product: The expected product defines the basic features that a buyer assumes in the product offering. In a way, this is the POP for the product in its membership category. In the tyre industry, the basic product would be a tyre that meets the following criteria: 1) Quality:  Material quality of the tyre must be very good. 2) Safety:  The tyre must meet national/international safety standards under high stress conditions. 3) Durability:  The tyre must survive wear and tear for a decent period of life. 4) Mileage:  The tyre must offer improved mileage (especially true for Radial tyres). 5) Grip:  The tyre grips the road firmly under all weather conditions. 6) Cornering and braking: The tyre must perform well while cutting corners and braking at high speeds. 7) Ride comfort: The tyre must offer a smooth and quite riding experience.

1.1.4

The Augmented product: Augmented products exceed customer expectations. They offer a value proposition that the customer may not have thought about, or was not expecting. The Augmented product stage is where the competition begins in the tyre industry. This is where tyre manufacturers try to differentiate themselves from the competition
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1) Bridgestone: Quality, Comfort, Value for Money Bridgestone differentiates itself from the competition, by offering tyres that exceed the customer’s quality requirements, ride comfort and value for money. Bridgestone ensures that its tires meet international quality standards, last much longer (thus giving more value for money), and performs smoothly and quietly (ride comfort). These are the three pillars that Bridgestone differentiates itself on. 2) MRF: Quality, Endurance MRF differentiates itself from the competition, on its two pillars of Quality and high endurance. Given the fact that a major portion of its sales come from Heavy truck and bus categories, it stresses on the durability of its tyres on rough Indian roads.

 

 

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2. THE 

P

LACE: 

Once the product has been decided upon and the market segmented, targeted and the product positioned, it is time to decide how and where the marketer can deliver the value (product) to the customer. This is done through marketing channels that make the product available for consumption to the customer.

2.1 Push and Pull strategies in channel marketing:  In a Push strategy, the manufacturer uses his sales force, trade promotion, money or other means to induce intermediaries to carry promote and sell its products to end users. Ina Pull strategy, the manufacturer uses advertising, promotion and other forms of communication to persuade the customer to demand the product from intermediaries, thus inducing the intermediaries to order it. 1) Bridgestone: Pursuing a Push strategy Bridgestone pursues a strong push strategy in its channel marketing. The advertising layout for Bridgestone India is minimal. Bridgestone spends very little on advertising and promotion. Instead, they concentrate on incentivizing the dealer to stock, promote and sell their products. As a result, Bridgestone regularly introduces sell-in schemes (promotional schemes for dealers), gold vouchers, international holiday vouchers, OE camps, etc. 2) MRF: Masters at Pull strategy MRF follows exactly the opposite strategy. MRF has mastered the art of Pull strategy. It pioneered the practice of heavy advertising and promotion in the tyre industry. So much so, that today, MRF commands top-of-mind recall and top brand recognition amongst all tyre manufacturers in India. There is hardly any tyre customer who hasn’t heard of the MRF brand. MRF achieved this remarkable feat by adopting a multi-pronged marketing strategy that involved endorsements by sports celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh, promoting popular sports like cricket and car rally races, and even introducing its own mascot: the MRF muscleman, that reflected the tough image it projected for its tyres. While MRF has pulled out all stops in advertising and promoting its products, it gives very little attention to incentivizing its channel partners. This is clear from the very low margins it offers its dealers and the complete absence of other dealer incentives. Yet, dealers look forward to stock MRF tyres because customers demand it.

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  2.2  Channel Design:    To decide on the channel design, the marketer must first scan the target customer base. Different types of customer segments may require different types of channels. The following figure shows the break-up of car tyre sales according to customer segments: As the figure shows, there are three main customer segments in the car tyre market: 1) Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) 2) The Replacement Market (replacement of old, worn out or defective tyres) 3) Exports

 

2.2.1

Direct and Indirect channels: 1) Direct channels: Direct channels consist of a marketer selling directly to the final customer. Of the three types of customer segments in the Passenger Car Tyre market, two customer segments call for a direct channel: a) OEMs : Given the huge quantities required and the Just In Time logistics employed, OEMs source their tyre supplies directly from manufacturers. Tyre manufacturers therefore most set up exclusive distribution channels to service these OEMs. b) Exports: To minimize logistical complexities and supply delays, Tyre exports are handled directly by the manufacturers. Tyre manufacturers set up direct distribution channels that supply tires directly to export destinations Note: tyre manufacturers sometimes employ Carry & Forward agents to transport their tyres from the factory to OEM sites or export destinations. However this varies from company to company.

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2) Indirect channels: Indirect channels consist of one or more intermediaries between the manufacturer and the final customer. The Replacement market segment of the tyre industry caters to individual customers. It therefore requires wide reach and deep market penetration. The distribution channel for replacement market comprises of the manufacturer, warehouses/ C&F (carry & forward) agents, and the dealers. The Tyre is finally sold to the customer by the dealer.

INDIRECT CHANNEL (FOR THE TYRE REPLACEMENT SEGMENT)

Manufacturer

Warehouse/ C & F agent

Dealer

Consumer
 

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2.2.2

Single and multiple channels:

Most organizations today employ multichannel marketing i.e. selling to different consumer segments through different channels. The tyre industry too follows this method. There are three different channels dedicated to handle the three different kinds of consumers:
Customer  OEMs  Exports  Replacement  Channel type  Direct  Direct  Indirect 

2.2.3

Channel length: Channel length refers to the number of channel intermediaries between the manufacturer and the end user. In the tyre industry, based on the target customer, the channel length differs as follows:

 
Customer  OEMs  Exports  Replacement  Channel length  0 (Direct)  0 (Direct)  2 level 

2.3 Channel Management practices:    Once the manufacturer has selected a channel system, it must select, train, motivate and evaluate the individual intermediaries for each channel. This is a multi step process. 2.3.1 Selecting channel members: 1) Bridgestone: Bridgestone selects channel partners after a careful evaluation and analysis. Bridgestone selects dealers based on the following criteria: a) Credit history: The dealer should have a clean credit history with a good repayment record. b) Experience: The dealer should have relevant experience of a few years in the field of stocking and selling tyres.

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c) Exclusive dealers Vs Multi-brand Dealers: Though Bridgestone sells its tyres through both exclusive and multi-brand dealers, it gives very little attention to building exclusive dealer strength. Instead, it only requires that Multi-brand dealers offer Bridgestone an 80% share in stocking space. d) Mandatory Tyre changing equipment: One major dealer criterion that is exclusive to Bridgestone is its insistence that all dealers must possess automatic tyre changing and wheel balancing equipments. This severely restricts the number of dealers who can apply for Bridgestone’s dealership. But it also increases the overall buying experience of a Bridgestone customer. 2) MRF: a) Credit history: The dealer should have a clean credit history with a good repayment record. b) Experience: The dealer should have relevant experience of a few years in the field of stocking and selling tyres. c) Exclusive dealers Vs Multi-brand Dealers: Though MRF also sells its tyres through both exclusive and multi-brand dealers, it gives a lot of attention to setting exclusive showrooms for its tyres. It also mandates a very high stocking share from multi-brand dealers.

2.3.2

Training and motivating channel members: 1) Training and motivation: Both Bridgestone and MRF undertake regular dealer trainings for their exclusive dealers. These trainings include modules that teach the dealers how to identify customer needs and respond to them. While Bridgestone regularly introduces dealer schemes, holiday packages, gold vouchers, etc to motivate its dealers, MRF focuses exclusively on brand promotion at the customer level. 2) Channel Power: Channel power refers to the kind of power Manufacturers hold over channel partners. It is the ability of the manufacturer to alter the behavior of a channel member.

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Bridgestone follows reward power with its dealers. The company offers additional incentives such as discounts, free gifts, gold vouchers, holiday trips, etc and encourages them to stock, promote and sell their tyres. MRF on the other hand, pays very little attention to channel power. They focus exclusively on a Pull strategy by heavily advertising its products and capturing topof-mind recall and brand recognition amongst customers. This automatically results in demand for its tyres from customers, which in turn incentivizes the dealer to stock MRF tyres. In that way, we can say that MRF influences referent power over its dealers. Dealers like to be associated with MRF because it is the most sought after brand by consumers. 2.3.3 Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) practices: Many companies, including Bridgestone, have adopted ECR practices to streamline their supply chain and logistics and also to cut overhead costs. ECR requires close coordination between the manufacturer and the dealer in three areas: 1) Demand Side management: Demand side management deals with collaborative practices between the manufacturer and its dealers to stimulate consumer demand by joint marketing and sales activities. As a part of these activities, Bridgestone offers free sops to customers through its dealer outlets such as: a) b) c) d) Free Provogue T-shirts Free tyre and battery check-ups every 4-6 months for Bridgestone customers 50% discount on alignment and balancing Free F1 racing trip tickets

All these are done at the dealer store, where the customer interaction happens. Therefore the dealer’s cooperation is crucial. 2) Supply Side management: Supply Side Management deals with collaborative practices between manufacturer and its dealers to optimize supply. Both Bridgestone and MRF practice joint logistics and Supply Chain Management methods to ensure adequate stocking of its tyres at dealer outlets. The manufacturers do this by closely working with dealers to track their shelf spaces and replenish stocks on time.

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  3) Enablers and Integrators:  

Enabler and integrators are collaborative IT and process improvement tools to support joint activities that reduce operational problems and allow greater standardization. Though Bridgestone uses IT based SCM tools to track its inventory internationally, it is yet to introduce these practices in its Indian operations. In fact in 2005, Satyam was chosen to implement IT solutions for Bridgestone, at its headquarters in Japan. This included consulting, implementation and operations for SAP and Siebel CRM, Cognos business intelligence and content management.

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3.

P
 

RICING STRATEGIES:    

Pricing a product is a function of many factors. A number of factors affect the pricing of a product directly. Some among them are brand value, competition, input costs, quality, government policies, macroeconomic developments, etc. 3.1  Basic pricing strategies in the tyre industry:    The tyre market is not very price sensitive. Consumers are more concerned about the tyres functionality, than its price. Besides, being a homogenous product, most tyre companies price their tyres at more or less the same levels. International players such as Bridgestone price their tyres slightly higher than the rest of the market. This is partially to demonstrate its superior quality and pedigree. Bridgestone and MRF: Price leaders Bridgestone and MRF have long been leaders in the Passenger Car tyre segment. By virtue of their market share, they have traditionally been price makers. The rest of the tyre industry has followed the pricing cues set by these leaders. Bridgestone- Using Price-Quality inference to its advantage: Many consumers use price as an indicator of quality. Bridgestone understands this subtle connection very well. Being world leaders in quality and reliability, Bridgestone actively tries to remind the superior quality factor to its customers by pricing its tyres a little higher than the competition. Consumers are ready to pay this price because they perceive Bridgestone tyres to be value-for-money. The high prices in turn reaffirm the perception of quality product in the consumer’s mind. Thus, higher prices induce a continuous cycle of quality reaffirmation. Bridgestone: Low Total Cost of ownership Another reason why Bridgestone is able to price its products higher is the value-for-money that consumers associate with it. Bridgestone tyres last longer and perform better over the long run. Thus the Total cost of ownership over the long term is very low. There is hardly any maintenance, repair or replacement cost for a long time after purchase. Bridgestone and MRF- using the Markup pricing method The tyre industry being a very raw material intensive industry, the input costs mainly decides the price of tyres. In fact, 90% of a tyres cost comprises of its raw material costs. Markup pricing is the common pricing method followed across the tyre industry. This involves adding a standard markup to the tyre’s production cost.

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3.2 Dealer discounts and allowances:  While MRF (in keeping with its Pull strategy of concentrating on end consumers), does not indulge the dealer with too many discounts and allowances, Bridgestone has mastered the art of incentivizing the dealers with heavy discounts and allowances. Some of the dealer discount schemes used by Bridgestone include: 1) Credit discounts for quick credit repayments 2) Quantity discounts on large volumes (based on discount slabs) 3) Seasonal discounts in the form of sell-in schemes for the dealers during festivals.

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4. PRODUCT 

P

ROMOTION: 

Marketing communications help a firm to inform, persuade and remind customers about its products, directly or indirectly. While Bridgestone India has traditionally followed a subdued promotion strategy to let its tyre’s reputation for quality do the talking, MRF has gone all out to woo the consumer to its tyres. MRF continually looks to improve its Brand Equity by maximum mediums of brand contact (consumer’s exposure to the brand name). Today, MRF command top-of-mind recall excellent brand recognition in all categories of vehicles in the tyre market. 4.1 The Marketing Communication mix:  Communication mix refers to the major mediums that companies use to promote their products. There are eight major modes of market communication: Advertising, Sales Promotion, Events and Experiences, Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Word-of-Mouth marketing, and Personal selling.

1) MRF: Gods of Advertising MRF uses advertising as the primary medium to reach out to its customers. The company invests heavily on print, TV and outdoor media, to drive its brand into the minds of the customer. MRF is credit with devising some of the most creative ads ever made for an Indian tyre company. It allots a huge budget outlay for advertisements and other promotional activities. Its mascot, the MRF muscleman along with its slogan “Tyres with muscle” was once one of the most recognizable advertising campaign in Indian advertising history. It was specially devised at Lintas by its CEO, Alyque Padamsee himself. Allyque and his team painstakingly surveyed scores of truck drivers at road side dhabas to understand their needs and wants. MRF takes care to promote its tyres as tough, reliable and high endurance. This is because its main share of customers comes from the Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicles segment. Truck and bus owners in this segment consider strength and endurance as the No.1 factor desirable in a tyre. For the passenger and two-wheeler segment, MRF promotes itself as a high quality and high performance tyre manufacturer. 2) Bridgestone: Driving Sales Promotions through its dealers Sales promotions are used more by Bridgestone than MRF. Bridgestone regularly introduces festival offers, consumer discounts and other sops through its dealer outlets. These offers to customers are called sell out schemes.
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Some recent offers and incentives that Bridgestone has provided its potential customers include: a) Free Provogue T-shirts worth Rs. 1,200/- for every car tyre purchase b) Free tyre and battery check-ups every 4-6 months exclusively for Bridgestone customers c) 50% discount on alignment and balancing exclusively for Bridgestone customers d) Free F1 racing trip tickets through lucky draw Bridgestone constantly works with its dealers, to give its customers a unique experience while shopping for its tyres. As a part of achieving this enhanced experience, Bridgestone has made it mandatory that only dealers with automatic wheel alignment and balancing equipment can apply for its tyre dealerships. This ensures that when customers buy a Bridgestone tyre, they also get an added benefit of perfectly aligned wheel fitting.

3) MRF: spin doctors of publicity campaigns Over the years, MRF has perfected the art of publicizing its brand through highly visible events and celebrity endorsements. MRF has consciously aligned itself with a number of sporting events in India. Its most memorable association with sports and celebrity endorsements was the MRF label that adorned Sachin Tendulkar’s bat for many years. MRF is also well known for founding the MRF Pace Foundation, which is today one of the premier training institute for India’s budding pace bowlers. Though cricket, given its cult like status, gave MRF a lot of publicity, it was its sponsorship of auto-racing projected its slogan, “Tyres with Muscle” and outlined the quality of its tyres and allied products .

4) Bridgestone: Riding the wave of Word-of-Mouth marketing The biggest asset in Bridgestone’s marketing arsenal is the goodwill it has created for itself amongst its thousands of satisfied customers and OEMs. Bridgestone tyres are known for their international quality, ride comfort and durability. OEMs prefer Bridgestone over other manufacturers for its reliability and quality. Similarly, Bridgstone
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customers have had little reason for complaining about their tyre and have always perceived it to b a value for money buy. This trust and user satisfaction seems to have generated a large following of customers who strongly recommend Bridgestone tyres. Most new Bridgestone customers purchase the tyre because their close relatives, mechanics, or friends recommended it. 5) Bridgestone: Banking on Below-The-Line (BTL) promotional activities “Below The Line" promotion refers to forms of communication that do not include the media. Below the line sales promotions are short-term incentives, largely aimed at consumers. Put simply, BTL promotions are a very good way to achieve communication objectives more efficiently when the budget is limited. BTL is especially suitable for products whose target groups are limited and specific. Bridgestone uses BTL in a big way. It indulges in sales promotion activities such as encouraging dealers to promotion their tyres, and regularly introduces festival offers, consumer discounts and other sops through its dealer outlets. These offers to customers are called sell out schemes. Some recent offers and incentives that Bridgestone has provided its potential customers include: a) Free Provogue T-shirts worth Rs. 1,200/- for every car tyre purchase b) Free tyre and battery check-ups every 4-6 months exclusively for Bridgestone customers c) 50% discount on alignment and balancing exclusively for Bridgestone customers d) Free F1 racing trip tickets through lucky draw

6) MRF: Banking on Above-The-Line (ATL) promotional activities

Above-The-Line is a type of advertising that uses the media to promote a brand. This type of communication is conventional and impersonal in nature. MRF invests heavily on print, TV and outdoor media, to drive its brand into the minds of the customer. MRF is credited with devising some of the most creative ads ever made for an Indian tyre company. It allots a huge budget outlay for advertisements and other promotional activities. Its mascot, the MRF muscleman along with its slogan “Tyres with muscle” was once one of the most recognizable advertising campaigns in Indian advertising history.

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4.2 : Developing Effective communications    4.2.1 Identifying the target audience:    The first step to designing an effective communication strategy is identifying the target audience. As the figure below shows, there are three main customer segments in the car tyre market: a. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) b. The Replacement Market (replacement of old, worn out or defective tyres) c. Exports  

    For each of these segments a appropriate communication strategy needs to be developed.     4.2.2 Determining the Communication Objectives    There are four possible communication objectives for a company: a. Category Need: Establishing a product or service as belonging to a particular category of products. Especially used for new-to-the-world products. b. Brand Awareness: Building brand recognition and Brand Recall through promotional activities. Brand Awareness forms the foundation for building Brand Equity. c. Brand Attitude: Evaluating a brand with respect to its perceived ability to meet a relevant need.

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d. Brand Purchase Intention: Self-instructions to purchase a brand or to take purchase related action.     1) MRF­ creating Brand Awareness:    MRF has mastered the art of creating lasting impressions in the mind of the consumer. It pioneered the practice of heavy advertising and promotion in the tyre industry. So much so, that today, MRF commands top-of-mind recall and top brand recognition amongst all tyre manufacturers in India. There is hardly any tyre customer who hasn’t heard of the MRF brand. MRF achieved this remarkable feat by adopting a multi-pronged marketing strategy that involved endorsements by sports celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh, promoting popular sports like cricket and car rally races, and even introducing its own mascot: the MRF muscleman, that reflected the tough image it projected for its tyres. Today, dealers look forward to stock MRF tyres because customers demand it.   2) Bridgestone­ shaping Purchase Intention through Sellout schemes    Sell out schemes refer to the promotional offers and discounts that companies offer to positively impact the buyer’s purchase decision. Bridgestone, in collaboration with its dealers, offers a variety of discounts, special deals and compliments to influence the customer into buying its tyres. Some recent offers and incentives that Bridgestone has provided its potential customers include: a) Free Provogue T-shirts worth Rs. 1,200/- for every car tyre purchase b) Free tyre and battery check-ups every 4-6 months exclusively for Bridgestone customers c) 50% discount on alignment and balancing exclusively for Bridgestone customers d) Free F1 racing trip tickets through lucky draw       4.2.3 Designing the communication    To design a communication strategy that achieves the desired response, the marketer needs to solve three problems: what to say? (message strategy), How to say it? (creative strategy) and who should say it? (message source)

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Since Bridgestone India does not advertise its tyres much but instead depend on Push strategies at the dealer level and reputation at the OEM level to gain sales, let us instead look at how MRF has designed its communication strtategy.   MRF – Using Sports and Muscle as Message Strategies  The MRF mascot, the MRF muscleman, clearly states the category membership MRF subscribes to. MRF communicates to the customer its superior endurance and strength through its advertisments. The company sponsors a number of sports such as cricket and rally racing, to position its tyres as high endurance and sporty. Its slogan, “Tyres we race are the tyres you buy” stands testimony to their category membership. MRF takes care to promote its tyres as tough, reliable and high endurance. This is because its main share of customers comes from the Light and Heavy Commercial Vehicles segment. Truck and bus owners in this segment consider strength and endurance as the No.1 factor desirable in a tyre.   MRF – Implementing Creative Strategy through informational appeal  The creative strategy (How to say it?) for a communication channel can be realized through Informational Appeals. Informational Appeals elaborate on a product’s attributes and benefits. MRF communicates its brand value to the customer by emphasizing on the toughness and durability of its tyres. The benefit it offers the consumer is increased endurance and performance under the most testing condition.    MRF – Using celebrities as Message Sources  MRF has mastered the art of effectively using sports celebrities to endorse its products. The list of celebrities who have endorsed the MRF brand is formidable. The list includes sporting greats such as Sachi Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Steve Waugh and Gautam Gambhir. One of the most enduring images of MRF brand is the MRF logo that adorned Sachin Tendulkar’s bat over a decade.

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  MARKET FEEDBACK AND CONTROL MECHANISMS                                
A PRIMARY DATA ANALYSIS 
 

As a part of our primary data exercise, we visited 10 tyre dealers in Coimbatore who stocked MRF and Bridgestone brand of tyres. We prepared a closed-ended questionnaire for them and took their feedback on various parameters involving the tyres they sell. The results provided us with a deep insight into a typical dealer’s mind.

A Marketing Survey of Tyre Dealers (2009-2010) Questionnaire

1. Details of the firm and proprietor. Name and Address of the Firm/Branch Name of the Proprietor/Partner

2. Facilities available in your shop.
Wheel Alignment Wheel Balancing Tyre Changing Nitrogen Gas Alloys Others

3. Dealer For
MRF Apollo Ceat JK Bridgestone Birla Goodyear Michelin Others

4. Which Brand is more profitable?
MRF Apollo Ceat JK Bridgestone Birla Goodyear Michelin Others

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5. Best selling pattern and size.
MRF Apollo Ceat JK Tyres Bridgestone Birla Tyres Goodyear Michelin Others

6. Which brand is more preferred by customers?
MRF Apollo Ceat JK Bridgestone Birla Goodyear Michelin Others

7. Price of different brand products?
High Moderate Low

8. Which company is providing better after sales service?
MRF Apollo Ceat JK Bridgestone Birla Goodyear Michelin Others

9. Which companies sell out scheme is more effective?
MRF Apollo Ceat JK Bridgestone Birla Goodyear Michelin Others

10. Which companies sell out scheme is effectively reached to customers?
MRF Apollo Ceat JK Bridgestone Birla Goodyear Michelin Others

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1. Dealer For

Dealer Number  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 

MRF   Y 

Apollo  

Ceat  Y 

JK 

GDY 

BS 

Michelin 

Birla  Y 

Others 

Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 

Brands 
          MRF            Apollo            Ceat            JK            Goodyear            Bridgestone            Michelin            Birla            Others 

Total 
6  6  4  4  3  3  1  5  5  1 3 3 4 5

Dealer for
MRF Apollo Ceat JK

6

6

Goodyear Bridgestone

4 4

Michelin Birla Others

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2. Which brand is more profitable?

Dealer Number  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 

MRF   Y 

Apollo  

Ceat 

JK 

GDY  Y 

BS 

Michelin 

Birla 

Others 

Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 

Brands            MRF             Apollo            Ceat             JK            Goodyear            Bridgestone            Michelin           Birla            Others            Total 

Total  6  3  1  2  4  2  0  1  2  21 

Percentage  28.57 %  14.28 %  4.76 %  9.52 %  19.04 %  9.52 %  0.00 %  4.76 %  9.52%  100 % 
4 0 1 2

Which brand is most  profitable?
MRF Apollo 2 6 Ceat JK Goodyear Bridgestone 3 2 1 Michelin Birla Others

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3. Which Brand is more preferred by customers?

Dealer Number  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 

MRF   Y 

Apollo  

Ceat 

JK 

GDY 

BS  Y 

Michelin 

Birla 

Others 

Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 

Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 

Brands            MRF             Apollo            Ceat             JK            Goodyear            Bridgestone            Michelin            Birla            Others            Total 

Total   6   3   1   2   1   7   1   1   2  24 

Percentage  25 %   12.5 %   4.16 %   8.33 %   4.16 %   29.16 %   4.16 %   4.16 %   8.33 %  100 % 

Which brand is most  preferred by  customers?
1 1

MRF
2 6

Apollo
7 1 2 3 1

Ceat JK Goodyear

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4. Price of different brand products

Dealer Number  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10    

MRF   L   M 

Apollo   H      M  

Ceat           L       M     M        

JK  M         M         M   L   M     

GDY     M         M   L         M     

BS  M      H           H  M       H 

Michelin     H          H        H      H  

Birla        M            L           

Others     L      L   L   M      L      L  

 M  L   M 

   M      M  

M  L  M  

      M  

Brands  MRF  Apollo  Ceat  JK  Goodyear  Bridgestone  Michelin  Birla  Others 

High  ‐  1  ‐  ‐  ‐  3  4  ‐  ‐ 

Moderate  5  4  2  4  3  2  ‐  1  1 

Low  3  ‐  1  1  1  ‐  ‐  1  5 

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High Priced
1

Apollo 4 3 Bridgestone Michelin

Moderately Priced
MRF 1 1 2 3 4 4 2 5 Apollo Ceat JK Goodyear Bridgestone Michelin Birla

Low Priced
MRF 3 5 1 1 1 1 Apollo Ceat JK Goodyear Bridgestone Michelin

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5. Which company provides better after sales service?

Dealer Number  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 

MRF   Y         Y         Y         Y  

Apollo      Y      Y         Y           

Ceat                   

JK     Y                 

GDY     Y         Y                 

BS  Y            Y         Y      Y  

Michelin           Y         Y           

Birla                             Y  

Others  Y               Y              

      Y  

Y        

Brands 

Total   4   3   1   2   2   4   2   1   2  21 

Percentage   19.05 %   14.28 %   4.76 %   9.52 %   9.52 %   19.05 %   9.52 %   4.76 %   9.52 %  100 %  69 | P a g e  

Which company provides better after  sales service?
1 2 3 4 2 2 1

           MRF             Apollo            Ceat             JK             Goodyear             Bridgestone             Michelin            Birla            Others            Total 

MRF
2 4

Apollo Ceat JK Goodyear Bridgestone

1.

 

Brand Strategy Analysis        

 

Which company’s sell out scheme is most effective?

Dealer Number  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 

MRF   Y         Y         Y      Y     

Apollo      Y      Y      Y                 

Ceat       

JK     Y     

GDY  Y            Y                 

BS  Y      Y   Y         Y   Y   Y     

Michelin              Y                 

Birla                               

Others     Y                          

            Y      Y  

Y      Y            Y  

Brands            MRF    4   3   2   4   2   6   1   0   1  23 

Total 

Percentage   17.39 %   13.04 %   8.69 %   17.39 %   8.69 %   26.08 %   4.34 %   0.00 %   4.34 %  100 % 

Which company's  sellout schemes are  more effective?
1 6 4 01 4 3 2 Apollo Ceat MRF

          Apollo            Ceat             JK             Goodyear             Bridgestone            Michelin            Birla            Others            Total 

2

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Which company’s sell out schemes effectively reach the customer?

Dealer Number  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 

MRF   Y         Y      Y      Y      Y  

Apollo      Y         Y   Y              

Ceat        Y                       

JK                    Y      Y   Y  

GDY           Y                   

BS  Y   Y      Y   Y      Y   Y      Y  

Michelin                               

Birla                               

Others     Y                          

Brands 

Total  Percentage  5   3   1   3   23.81 %   14.28 %   4.76 %   14.28 %   4.76 %   33.33 %   0.00 %   0.00 %   4.76 %  100 % 

Which company's sellout  schemes effectivley  reach the customer?
001 5 7 3 3 1 1 Ceat Apollo MRF

          MRF             Apollo            Ceat             JK 

          Goodyear   1             Bridgestone            Michelin            Birla            Others            Total   7   0   0   1  21 

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Best selling pattern and size. Name MRF Tyres Pattern
All passenger car segments. ZCL ZUL ZUTS ZCT All T & B tyre models. 175/80 R13 145/70 R12 145/80 R12 235/75 R15 165/65 R13 175/70 R13 900/20 1000/20 1100/20 145/70 R12 145/80 R12 165/65 R13 900/20 1000/20 1100/20

Size

Apollo Tyres

Amezer XL Aspire Sigma Steel (All Models) Amargold (T&B) All T & B tyre models.

Ceat Tyres

All truck & bus tyre.

900/20 1000/20 1100/20 145/70 R12 145/80 R12 165/65 R13 165/60 R13 235/70 R16 155/65 R13

JK Tyres

All rally models. JK Ultima-XP Elanzo Crusero Ultima-NXT Brute Tornado

Goodyear

Maruti (All Models) G28 GPS2 T & B Models

Bridgestone

S322 & B350 S248 S322 & B250 B390 All passenger car segments.

145/70 R12 145/80 R12 165/65 R13 195/70 R14 175/70 R14 155/70 R13 900/20 1000/20 1100/20 145/70 R12 145/80 R12 145/70 R13 155/65 R13 205/80 R13 155/80 R14 165/80 R14 175/75 R12 195/70 R12 235/70 R16 155/80 R13

Michelin Tyres

XM (Models) Energy En XM LTX A/T

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Birla Tyres Other Tyres

MXTE All T & B tyre models.

Nexen SB802 92H N5000 SB652 N7000 CP661 Falken

165/65 R13 900/20 1000/20 1100/20 255/70/16 165/65 R13 155/70 R13 145/80 R12 P205/65 R15 175/70 R12 145/80 R13 235/70 R16

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CHAPTER 3                      
     

 

   MARKETING STRATEGIES: 

              A RELATIVE ANALYSIS                                 
   

       

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ANALYZING THE MARKET STRATEGIES                                                   
A RELATIVE ANALYSIS 
   

1. ANALYSIS OF THE OVERALL MARKETING STRATEGIES:   
1.1 Marketing Strategy Analysis    1) Bridgestone: Pursuing a Push strategy, reputation, and BTL (Below the line ) promotion strategies Bridgestone pursues a strong push strategy in its channel marketing. The advertising layout for Bridgestone India is minimal. Bridgestone spends very little on advertising and promotion. Instead, they concentrate on incentivizing the dealer to stock, promote and sell their products. As a result, Bridgestone regularly introduces sell-in schemes (promotional schemes for dealers), gold vouchers, international holiday vouchers, OE camps, etc. Bridgestone uses BTL promotional activities in a big way. It indulges in sales promotion activities such as encouraging dealers to promotion their tyres, and regularly introduces festival offers, consumer discounts and other sops through its dealer outlets. These offers to customers are called sell out schemes. Some recent offers and incentives that Bridgestone has provided its potential customers include: a) Free Provogue T-shirts worth Rs. 1,200/- for every car tyre purchase b) Free tyre and battery check-ups every 4-6 months exclusively for Bridgestone customers c) 50% discount on alignment and balancing exclusively for Bridgestone customers d) Free F1 racing trip tickets through lucky draw The biggest asset in Bridgestone’s marketing arsenal is the goodwill it has created for itself amongst its thousands of satisfied customers and OEMs. Bridgestone tyres are known for their international quality, ride comfort and durability. OEMs prefer Bridgestone over other manufacturers for its reliability and quality. Similarly, Bridgestone customers have had little reason for complaining about their tyre and have always perceived it to b a value for money buy. This trust and user satisfaction seems to have generated a large following of customers who strongly recommend Bridgestone tyres. Most new Bridgestone customers purchase the tyre because their close relatives, mechanics, or friends recommended it.
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Analysis: Though Bridgestone has succeeded in almost completely wooing the OEM market with its focus on quality, reliability and international pedigree, the Replacement market still seems to give it sleepless nights. The Push channel strategy adopted by Bridgestone might have made it popular with the dealers (who receive numerous incentives from Bridgestone), but the end customer still considers MRF as the natural choice, thanks to its high visibility campaigns. Bridgestone needs to take a leaf out of MRF’s aggressive ATL promotional campaigns and start targeting the customer directly. With its international reputation, parent company’s brand equity and strong financial outlay, Bridgestone has all it takes to launch a strong promotional campaign to increase its brand equity in the minds of the consumer.

2) MRF: Masters at Pull strategy, Publicity campaigns and ATL promotional methods MRF follows exactly the opposite strategy. MRF has mastered the art of Pull strategy. It pioneered the practice of heavy advertising and promotion in the tyre industry. So much so, that today, MRF commands top-of-mind recall and top brand recognition amongst all tyre manufacturers in India. There is hardly any tyre customer who hasn’t heard of the MRF brand. MRF achieved this remarkable feat by adopting a multi-pronged marketing strategy that involved endorsements by sports celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh, promoting popular sports like cricket and car rally races, and even introducing its own mascot: the MRF muscleman, that reflected the tough image it projected for its tyres. Over the years, MRF has perfected the art of publicizing its brand through highly visible events and celebrity endorsements. MRF has consciously aligned itself with a number of sporting events in India. Its most memorable association with sports and celebrity endorsements was the MRF label that adorned Sachin Tendulkar’s bat for many years. MRF is also well known for founding the MRF Pace Foundation, which is today one of the premier training institute for India’s budding pace bowlers. Though cricket, given its cult like status, gave MRF a lot of publicity, it was its sponsorship of auto-racing projected its slogan, “Tyres with Muscle” and outlined the quality of its tyres and allied products Analysis MRF has been immensely successful in creating a brand that has become a household name today. Its marketing campaign has been one of the most innovative ever in the history of Indian advertising, thus wooing the customer completely. However, MRF Achilles heel seems to be its dealer relations. MRF so heavily concentrates on its
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customer promotion activities, that it hardly pays any attention to incentivizing the dealers. This is reflected in the very low margins it offers its dealers and the almost complete absence of promotional activates such as discounts, gifts, compliments, etc for the dealers (called Sell in schemes). Dealers stock MRF tyres simply because customers demand them. They do not seem to be very keen on promoting the product, since the company does not incentivize them to do so. A better incentive scheme for the dealers could change this situation in MRF’s favor. 1.2 Porter’s Generic Strategy Analysis  Michael Porter proposes three generic strategies that form the foundation for strategic thinking:

1) Overall Cost Leadership strategy: Achieving lowest production and distribution costs so that they can price lower than the competitor. This strategy does not work in the tyre industry for the simple reason that tyres are a highly raw material-intensive industry. More than 90% of the total cost of production stems from raw material costs. Given this fact, it becomes extremely difficult to produce tyres at costs that are significantly lower than that of the competitors, since raw materials cost the same to all industry players. 2) Differentiation strategy: The business concentrates exclusively on achieving a superior performance in an important customer benefit area.
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Bridgestone -Quality and Value for Money Bridgestone has achieved a high degree of differentiation in the market by positioning its tyres as international quality with value for money. The success of this positioning is amply clear from the fact that Bridgestone is the preferred tyre supplier to a majority of Automobile OEMs. OEMs generally select suppliers based on the products quality and reliability. Bridgestone’s main value proposition is its international quality and value for money. Every Bridgestone customer is assured of a tyre that is of international standards and will give him trouble-free service for a long time, thus giving him value for his money. MRF-Tyres with Muscles MRF has for log concentrated on the high performance its tyres offer in trying conditions. To further this image, it has partnered with many sports events and created a mascot that reflects the toughness it claims in it tyres: the MRF muscleman. MRF prides itself in making tyres that go into some of the most trying conditions on Indian roads: onto Heavy Vehicles on rough Indian roads. Consequently, MRF offers a compelling value proposition to heavy vehicle owners as well as passenger car and two wheeler owners: Quality tyres that endure in the worst of conditions. It drives home this macho message through its mascot, the MRF muscleman. 3) Focus strategy: In a focus strategy the business focuses on one or more narrow market segments Bridgestone India- Leaders in the Passenger Car Tyre market Bridgestone India has for the past one decade, focused exclusively on the Passenger Car Tyre segment. One major reason for restricting itself to this segment was that Bridgestone manufactures only radial tyres. While the rest of the Indan tyre market still runs mostly on non-radial tyres, the Passenger Car market has almost completely been radialised. This gave Bridgestone an opportunity to capture market share with its international quality and value for money proposition. Today, Bridgestone is the market leader in this category with a share of 31% of the Indian passenger car tyre market. MRF- Focusing on heavy duty vehicles Unlike Bridgestone, MRF has a product portfolio that covers the entire tyre industry. However, MRF’s promotional strategy focuses moreon the need of the Heavy duty truck and bus driver. This is mainly because a majority i=of its sales happe in the Heavy and Light Commercial Vehicles market. In order to tap this market further, MRF positions its tyres as “tyres with muscle”, to highlight its high endurance and strength.

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1.3 Creating Value:  1.3.1 Bridgestone – Quality and Value for money: Bridgestone’s main value proposition is its international quality and value for money. Bridgestone prides itself for making tyres that incorporate the international standards that people world over have come to associate with it. Bridgestone delivers this value by ensuring that every customer is assured of a tyre that is of international standards and will give him trouble-free service for a long time, thus giving him value for his money. 1.3.2 MRF – Endurance guaranteed: MRF prides itself in making tyres that go into some of the most trying conditions on Indian roads: onto Heavy Vehicles on rough Indian roads. Consequently, MRF offers a compelling value proposition to heavy vehicle owners as well as passenger car and two wheeler owners: Quality tyres that endure in the worst of conditions. It drives home this macho message through its mascot, the MRF muscleman. MRF delivers this value to the customers by guaranteeing that their tyres are designed to endure in the most trying of Indian weathers and roads. To achieve this MRF regularly tests its tyres in cross-country rallies and other extreme conditions. 1.4 Communicating the Value:  MRF takes care to promote its tyres as tough, reliable and high endurance. MRF has mastered the art of creating lasting impressions in the mind of the consumer. It pioneered the practice of heavy advertising and promotion in the tyre industry. So much so, that today, MRF commands top-of-mind recall and top brand recognition amongst all tyre manufacturers in India. There is hardly any tyre customer who hasn’t heard of the MRF brand. MRF achieved this remarkable feat by adopting a multi-pronged marketing strategy that involved endorsements by sports celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh, promoting popular sports like cricket and car rally races, and even introducing its own mascot: the MRF muscleman, that reflected the tough image it projected for its tyres. Today, dealers look forward to stock MRF tyres because customers demand it. Bridgestone on the other hand banks more on its ability to incentivize dealers and also on Word-of-Mouth marketing from its thousands of satisfied customers to promote its tyres. OEMs prefer Bridgestone over other manufacturers because of their positive experience with Bridgestone tyres. Its international links with F1 racing also adds a halo of pedigree around the brand.
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1.5 Capturing the Value – pricing philosophies:  The tyre market is not a very price sensitive market. Consumers are more concerned about the tyres functionality, than its price. Besides, being a homogenous product, most tyre companies price their tyres at more or less the same levels. International players such as Bridgestone price their tyres slightly higher than the rest of the market. This is partially to demonstrate its superior quality and pedigree.  Bridgestone and MRF: Price leaders Bridgestone and MRF have long been leaders in the Passenger Car tyre segment. By virtue of their market share, they have traditionally been price makers. The rest of the tyre industry has followed the pricing cues set by these leaders. Bridgestone- Using Price-Quality inference to its advantage: Many consumers use price as an indicator of quality. Bridgestone understands this subtle connection very well. Being world leaders in quality and reliability, Bridgestone actively tries to remind the superior quality factor to its customers by pricing its tyres a little higher than the competition. Consumers are ready to pay this price because they perceive Bridgestone tyres to be value-for-money. The high prices in turn reaffirm the perception of quality product in the consumer’s mind. Thus, higher prices induce a continuous cycle of quality reaffirmation. 1.6 Sustaining the Value – Building relationships:  While MRF banks on its aggressive advertising campaigns to attract customers to its tyres, Bridgestone pays more attention to the customer’s experience while buying its tyres. Bridgestone ensures that its potential customer encounters a positive experience at every touch point (point of contact between the customer and its product). To ensure this Bridgestone even goes to the extent of insisting that its its dealers must compulsorily posses automatic wheel alignment and balancing equipments. This ensures that its customers walk away not only with a good quality tyre, but also a set of perfectly aligned wheels. Bridgestone regularly holds camps for its dealers, where the dealers are trained in identifying customer needs and catering to them. Bridgestone also introduces special schemes and services for its customers regularly, such as free car checkups, gifts and complements, and special discounts on services susch as alignment and balancing.

\

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1.7 Rating the Marketing Strategies of Bridgestone and MRF:  This exhaustive study of the marketing strategies of Bridgestone and MRF has made it very clear that the two companies follow a very different approach to marketing its products. While Bridgestone appears to prefer the subdued BTL form of promotions, MRF has gone all out on its aggressive ATL promotion tactics. Both the strategies seem to be working, though in very different fundamental ways. While MRF’s aggressive advertising, celebrity endorsements and event sponsorships seem to have earned it top-of-mind recall and high brand recognition amongst individual customers, Bridgestone’s focus on quality and dealer incentives seem to have made it extremely popular with the other two customer segments in the car tyre market: The OEMs and the replacement dealer’s market. Both companies can learn a lot from each other’s marketing strategies. While MRF can improve its dealer incentive programs and also focus on communicating its tyre’s endurance and strength to OEMs, Bridgestone needs to adapt aggressive ATL promotional methods to improve its brand recall and brand equity in the minds of individual customers.

 

 
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REFERENCES 

o

“Bridgestone tyres: value for money“ (2009). Retrieved Jan 2, 2010 from
http://www.bridgestonemotorsport.com/Bridgestone/en-gb/About+Us/

o

“Tyre input costs soar“(2009). Retrieved Jan 2, 2010 from
http://www.livemint.com/2009/11/13142836/Bridgestone‐bullish‐on‐India.html

o

“Tyre-Industry“ (2009). Retrieved Jan 2, 2010 from
http://www.scribd.com/doc/6739519/Tyre-Industry

o

“Overview of the tyre Industry “ (2009). Retrieved Jan 2, 2010 from
http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Overview‐Of‐Indian‐Tyre‐Industry/866789      SBI capital Markets Limited, ”Indian Tyre Industry: An overview”, (2007)     

o

o

“Bridgestone Has Helped In Faster Radialisation Of Indian Market””, (2007). Retrieved Dec 3, 2010 from http://www.financialexpress.com 
  CRISIL ratings, “MRF financials” ,(2008)

 
o

o

“Indian tyre industry: An overview“ (2009). Retrieved Jan 2, 2010 from
Http://www.domain‐b.com/tyres/ introduction   

   

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