SPEED CASE STUDY

Speed : Brand Revival Strategies
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, has been a leading players in the Indian Petroleum
Industry known for its marketing acumen and customer centric businesses and initiatives.
The Retail Business of Bharat Petroleum, with more than 13000 Fuel Stations across the length
& breadth of the country, meets the needs of customers on the move, offering a differentiated
fueling experience, assured product quality, high performance fuel, clean CNG to daily
essentials.
Bharat Petroleum’s offerings include World-class Fuel Stations across the country, from the
bustling cities and highways to the rural hinterlands. Their products and services are designed
to meet the needs of diverse set of customers across geographies.
The company is credited for offering many firsts in the Oil Industry in the form of pioneering
customer assurance programs such as Pure for Sure, Pure for Sure Platinum, One Stop Truck
and Tourist Shops-Ghar, Highway Stars; India’s first fuel Loyalty Programs- PetroBonus &
SmartFleet; India’s first branded fuels Speed, Hi Speed Diesel and Speed 97, powered by multi
functional additives to deliver superior driving experiences and sustained peak engine
performance; most comprehensive non fuel Convenience offerings to name a few.
Way back in 2002, even before the full scale entry of new generation car manufacturers in the
Country, Bharat Petroleum launched their first new generation premium petrol under the
brand name, 'Speed'. Another first by the oil major, known for its obsession for introducing
several customer focused initiatives ahead of its times. Soon after, the two other leading oil
companies, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) also
launched their own branded fuels.
Branded fuels were introduced with a view to offer a clearly differentiated product for the new
generation engines winning over the customers preference and satisfaction. The product
addressed customers growing concern about their vehicles performance and care and
environmental impact of harmful emissions. From the Company’s perspective, it demonstrated
its core values of Care, Innovation and Reliability while improving brand image and winning
over loyal customers.
The introduction of premium additive based fuels was a welcome change in the rather
commoditized fuel market of petrol and diesel, as a result of the proactive steps taken by the
Oil Companies post the liberalization period. The industry was getting more competitive and

Exhibit 1: Speed’s Sales Performance Trend (2003-2015) Sales Trend (in TKL) 1200 1088 1000 852 800 629 600 400 200 0 863 486 339 503 Sales (TKL) 350 254 134 33 32 . lower emissions and better drivability. The Industry experts viewed this as a trend in line with the global trends to introduce new generation fuels to woo consumers buying new generation cars.customer driven as the fuel stations transformed from outlets dispensing petrol and diesel to fuel and non fuel destinations offering convenience and value adds for motorists. Speed was a marketed as a superior fuel with multifunctional additives that enhanced engine performance. USA. It also delivered on the promise of improved mileage. The multi functional additives were sourced from Cheveron Oronite Company LLC.

04 9.53 25 23.05 15 10 5 0 18.84 Conversion % 9.36 4.52 .16 0.97 14.98 6.) 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 3452 3795 3996 3491 2773 2634 2386 1812 1599 No of ROs 1108 615 500 Exhibit 3: Conversion (%) (2003-2015) Conversion % 30 26.18 20 18.49 0.35 2.Exhibit 2: Speed Network Trend (2003-2015) Network Trend (Nos.

Speed and travel go hand in hand. Fueling the passion of many Motor Sport enthusiasts in the country. Amateur Motor Racing. involving Formula 1 association by sponsoring Narayan Karthikeyan. . Speed’s positioning on performance and association with motorsports was enhanced and taken to another level by bringing on board MS Dhoni. sponsoring young engineers for designing race cars and meet & greet events with brand ambassador. GoKarting Championships. Speed became the most loved brand in the category and a market leader with over 40% market share. Speed Run – India’s first drag race format. The brand became synonymous with Motor Sporting activities in India.Exhibit 4: Speed’s Performance in FY 2015-16 Volume (in KL) Network (in Nos. a campaign – ‘Take the first road out’ was launched to promote travel and getaways with partnerships with leading travel publications.) 2610 2372 35300 2058 1738 1260 811 400 452 520 4800 4200 4600 6100 42200 26600 20300 11700 APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC Speed’s journey as the first new generation fuel brand was an exciting one. Speed also introduced India’s First Motor Sports Quiz. Speed I Quiz in partnership with a leading Media House. nurturing and supporting Motor Sporting talent in the country. identification. India’s master blaster as a brand ambassador along with Narain Karthikeyan.

Exhibit 5: Brand Communication Exhibit 6: Speed’s Recent Campaign .

which was sold at a mere Rs. Media companies caught on to the misinformation and carried reports disestablishing the performance claims of branded fuels. in 2009. but also enjoyed high brand equity as a result of the investments made by BPCL. sales plummeted as the market shrunk and brands suffered from waning demand. To make it worse for the Oil Companies.5 to Rs. Due to the high price differential. However. For starters.Exhibit 7: Speed’s Recent Events Speed Royal Riders Rally Speed Treasure Hunt After a great start and an overwhelming response from the market. not only became the highest selling premium fuel. which further increased the price of branded fuels by Rs. which further increased the prices of branded fuels to Rs. In 2012. success comes with its own set of challenges. 10-12 per litre over the normal fuels. new duties were introduced on branded fuels. 1. 2 higher than normal petrol. without establishing the real cause of damage. . the brand faced a threat from some negative reports of engine damage on account of the branded fuels.8 per litre more than normal fuels. Speed. 7. the government withdrew the subsidy support for branded fuels. The anti-branded fuels movement caught on and was amplified beyond proportions.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is a Navratna Public Sector Undertaking and a Fortune 500 Oil Refining. 2. In the mid 1950s. the company launched Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel in Indian homes. Burmah Shell Oil Storage Distributing Company of Indian Limited was formed in 1928 as a result of Asiatic )Petroleum (India) joining hands with Burmah Oil Company. Addressing the following pointers. power. unleaded petrol. It also substantially caters to the requirements of fertilizer plants. BPCL markets the full range of petroleum products needed by the transport.Speed which was widely used by motorists and bikers now was bought only by premium luxury car and bike owners. other industries and domestic users apart from the petrochemicals industry itself. This has come as a blessing for Oil Companies and the consumers too! Marketing Challenge Bharat Petroleum is now determined to take Speed to newer heights…and become the No. Exploration and Marketing Conglomerate. 2. How can Speed improve its popularity and become the most preferred brand in the category. About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited Bharat Petroleum has a rich legacy. The newly incorporated 2.35 a litre. Suggest a suitable communication strategy for the Brand? 3. In a positive move by the Government in 2015. The Corporation has over 13000 fuel stations across the length and the breadth of the country. A pioneer in more ways than one. Burmah Shell began operations by importing and selling kerosene. On 1st August 1977 the company was rechristened Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.2 million metric tonnes per annum Burmah Shell Refineries Limited went on stream on 17th March 1955. The company has an impressive and diversified portfolio that includes automobile fuels. high speed diesel and high performance branded fuels like Speed. The advent of motorcars brought in canned gasoline and service stations. . Hi Speed Diesel and the MAK brand of lubricants. Suggest a 360 degree revival strategy for brand Speed. The Burmah Shell Group of Companies was taken over by the Government of India to form Bharat Refineries Limited. recommend a Brand Revival Strategy for Speed. 7. agriculture and aviation sectors. 1. Speed97. keeping in mind its legacy and positioning. the duties on branded petrol was reduced from Rs. 1 premium fuel with the highest brand equity in the category in the current Financial Year.50 to Rs.

.Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has become one of the most formidable names in the petroleum industry. largely due to its tenacious pursuit of qualitative excellence and its indefatigable urge to maximize customer satisfaction.