Mahindra & Mahindra’s Scorpio Launch

Problem - In 1997, Mahindra, the then leader in the Utility Vehicles segment, was experiencing market share loss. Since the opening of the economy in 1991, many players had been entering the auto market with aggressively product launches (Tata Sumo and Toyota Qualis in particular) The areas where Mahindra had an existing stronghold did not show much growth opportunity. However, in order to grow Mahindra needed to break into the urban segments and gain a leadership position. Driven by the urge to develop a world class vehicle, Mahindra initiated 'Project Scorpio' in 1997 and a major success by 2005. Based on market research studies, M&M figured that there was a hidden and unmet taste for style, power and ruggedness that was not being met by any of the offerings. After an evaluation of options it felt an opportunity to create a new point of reference in the UV with “car plus” experience. By making a clean break with the “ruggedness” perception, it was able to break the mould of the parent “Mahindra” which was more associated with a transportation and rural vehicle. Because an entirely new frame of reference was being created, this brand penetrated long term memory. Marketing and Strategic Action - The 'Project Scorpio' efforts were driven primarily by consumer insights gained through market research. In the year 2002, Scorpio launched a new generation sports utility vehicle that redefined the SUV market. The competitive intelligence results showed that all other SUVs had a proposition of luxury and comfort and there was no clear differentiation. Hence, Scorpio needed to be differentiated from others in terms of features and value for money. • Segmentation - Since the conventional UV market was not significant in India, it was a necessity for Scorpio to look beyond UVs. Market research showed that the volumes in the automobile industry were coming from midsize car market (C class) and small luxury car segment (B class) segments. • Targeting - M&M strategized to target a wider target audience, beyond UV customers - C class and B class, but would cut across rural and urban customers. It wanted to avoid the taxi trap that Indica and Qualis had fallen to it and did not offer colour of white. Targeting was for those who wanted a lifestyle product that assured style, performance and ruggedness. The ruggedness appeal came from the parent brand itself. Class was more of the growing upper middle class. • Positioning – M&M built an innovative positioning around the theme of an SUV with a `car plus' package. The positioning communicated that the vehicle was better than competition in terms of any of these cars and is a better buy in terms of money. The commercials intentionally used foreign models to give an international look and feel to the product, there was a deliberate emphasis on the aspirational and world-class orientation of the Scorpio. It adopted a bold “car plus’ approach that because it was a totally new frame of reference that was being created. The primary focus was on the lifestyle – a carefree, successful and bold attitude depicted by cruising on international highways. Mahindra purposely wanted to breakway from its brand of ruggedness. The ‘nothing else will do’ was another play on the excellence that was attempting to be pushed. Advertising was strongly reinforced with below the line marketing – sponsoring events and strong test drive marketing. Results - The brand was considered not only in the SUV market, but also in the `C' class cars segment. Survery suggested that Scorpio was among only three main car sub-brands whose ad and brand recalls were more than the master brands (Indica of TATA Motors and Santro of Hyundai). In fact this was a successful case where the sub-brand had boosted the image of the parent. Consumer Behavior - Before launching Scorpio, M&M analyzed the consumer segments (B and C category car buyers) to better understand their expectations and perceptions about cars. The key consumer insight was that “Consumers want to consume premium imagery at prices affordable to them”. The results of the market research showed the following psychology of consumers:

Ease and in control – high speeds being achieved as a matter of fact – woman driver. Mahindra successfully launched a new sub-brand. who middle-upped middle class consumer increasingly placed value on international imagery of success – hence foreign models and foreign era of high economic growth for middle and more globalised India . off track vehicle for transport purposes. to bring associations of global excellence and also to obfuscate the parent “Mahindra” image of rural. .upper middle class sought products that indicated their status as well as matched their inner sense of achievement. Consumers seek actual value – first vehicle in India with CRDi Rail Diesel Technology – this was promoted by Mahindra in print campaigns that emphasized quality – subsequent brand additions and versions of Scorpio started to emphasise feature to reinforce and make customer more secure of his perception. To summarize. • Promotional need ..• Unarticulated and hidden need for product combining luxury. By identifying and meeting the need of a consumer in an uncategorized and unrecognized. The advertisement was unique in certain aspects to India only insofar as India represented an emerging economy. Size mattered. helped in re-branding the parent brand on the basis of excellent product design. Luxury – associated images of helicopter and castle. the value creation for the customer is immense – the first mover advantage not only builds a super brand but also reinvents the image of parent brand. This made economic sense for upper middle class – those who could not necessarily own separate vehicles for each of these value perceptions. creating of new target segment and position in the mind of the consumer by recognizing and articulated promotional aspiration of successful upper middle class Indians and placing the Scorpio in the mind to meet that need. but yet real segment. performance size and ruggedness.big size stands for status.