Hero Honda: Brand power

Recommendation: Hold B. Krishnakumar Aided by its strong brand image and proven product quality, Hero Honda has successfully exploited the growing demand for motorcycles. Backed by the technical support of the global major Honda, the company is No. 1 in the four-stroke motorcycle segment.

Hero Honda's Splendor range of motorcycles is the country's top selling brand. It has been conservative in new product launches, instead coming out with variants of its existing range. Splendor, Sleek, Street and CBZ were the major model launches of the 1990s. Of these, CBZ was the most recent launch and has steadily gained market acceptance. Positioned at the premium end, the CBZ range offers a combination of power and fuelefficiency. Recently, Hero Honda launched cosmetic variants of its top-selling brand -Splendor. While Splendor roared, Street and Sleek enjoyed muted success. As for future prospects, the company will continue to benefit from the growing demand for motorcycles. With capacity expansion completed, the company will be able to exploit demand growth. However, the entry of players such as TVS Suzuki, LML and Kinetic into the four-stroke segment could bring pressure on profitability. A cause for concern is Honda Motor Company (Hero Honda's collaborator) setting up a 100 per cent subsidiary. Honda is to initially manufacture scooters and could eventually move to motorcycles. Though Hero Honda has indicated that it would be retained as the preferred producer of the Honda range of motorcycles, it is premature to come to any conclusion about the long-term impact of this move. These concerns apart, Hero Honda is now the top player in the motorcycle market. Besides the range of popular brands, its presence across the entire motorcycle spectrum market should help the company retain its top position. For Hero Honda, maintaining volume growth will not be difficult. However, growing competitive pressure could check profitability. Existing shareholders may remain invested and contemplate fresh exposures on price weakness.

Hero Honda
Needs rescuing
November 8, 2004

Once a hero always a hero. That’s what the Hero group seems to believe and it has made its brands literally heroes in the Indian market. The strategy followed looks simple—promote a product that would be relevant to the Indian middle class and the sheer size of the target audience would mean that even a small percentage of market share would equal a large market.

Focusing on personal transportation was also a smart move. Hero started first on bicycles and then moved into motorcycles. Both choices were targeted at India’s burgeoning middle class, which was tired of the insufficient public transport system and in search of economical and reliable personal transport. In 1984, the Hero Group, then the world’s largest manufacturers of bicycles, entered into a joint venture with Honda Motors of Japan to create Hero Honda Motors Ltd, which has gone on to become the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheelers. Impressive yes, easy no! Hero Honda’s success relied on its ability to create a motorcycle that required little maintenance and had enormous fuel efficiency. It was not inexpensive, but it had a reputation to last the distance over years without requiring any serious repairs. Spares were easy to get and inexpensive. The brand’s simple ad campaign “Fill it, shut it, forget it” struck a chord with its audience who were very conscious of the need for fuel efficiency. Many feel that the brand’s success is largely a function of being in the right place at the right time. This probably is partially true but it’s not fair to dismiss Hero Honda’s success as a fluke, it did take initiative to achieve its position and convert a concept into a reality.

The brand’s ability to stick to its knitting allows it to stay focused on its activities. In a visit to herohonda.com, one expects to see a site that is as clear and focused as the brand. Unfortunately the site is unimaginative and cold, leaving the site visitor detached and unimpressed. Dull and unanimated, the home page has nothing to make one want to click through the rest of the site. Snippets of the Hero Honda commercial flash on the home page but the ad itself is unimpressive so there’s no value added through it to the site. The home page is structured and neat, which in this case, conveys cold efficiency. Most brands have an About Us section that helps introduce the company to the site visitor. Some use it well as an opportunity to inform the viewer; others use it as an opportunity to boast. Hero Honda’s About Us is a yawn. It’s factually accurate but lacks passion. The Mission Statement is as vague and confusing as mission statements are known to be. The Milestones section is a combination of pride and boastfulness, while The Chairman is poorly written. Overall, About Us does much to turn people away from the brand. After talking about itself, the brand moves on to talk to its investors. Hero Honda is one of the most influential stocks in the Indian stock market and it is keenly followed by many. The Investors section is detailed and thorough and will answer the many queries of investors or wannabe investors. The products section is matter of fact. Each page is packed with information but does not inspire interest or arouse the desire to buy. It seems fairly easy to rouse enthusiasm for a bike, but the site leaves one cold. The new brand, Karizma, opens into a separate page that takes ages to load, leaving the site visitor fidgeting. The rest of the brand pages open fast but are largely unimpressive. The Service and Spares sections are routine, doing their job as

a staple. The Service section has an arm long service statement that says very little. The only part of interest is the Customer Education segment that has some useful information for customers. I’ve always wondered why brands feature advertising on their site. Ads are supposed to be intrusive and therefore it would seem that no one would go in search of them unless one is working on a school project or is pitching for the brand’s advertising account. Hero’s section has a bit about its ambassadors (popular Indian cricketers and a film star) so there is a smattering of interesting information, but it adds nothing to the overall impression of the brand. The In the News section gives the brand yet another chance to boast. There are no articles on how the brand has at times seemed at crossroads or how the motorcycle market is evolving. This section has an impressive stock of favourable clippings that are a trifle overwhelming. Overall the site is drab and uninspiring. It does not reflect the passion and drive that built the brand. It has the unimaginative and unexciting feel of a motorcycle that chugs steadily without any zing. A vain and boastful site, herohonda.com has missed a big opportunity online to display some pizzazz. Not a hero.
*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.

Scope of the Report - Provides all the crucial information on Hero Honda Motors Limited required for business and competitor intelligence needs - Contains a study of the major internal and external factors affecting Hero Honda Motors Limited in the form of a SWOT analysis as well as a breakdown and examination of leading

product revenue streams of Hero Honda Motors Limited -Data is supplemented with details on Hero Honda Motors Limited history, key executives, business description, locations and subsidiaries as well as a list of products and services and the latest available statement from Hero Honda Motors Limited


https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/1124693/hero_honda_motors_limited_swot_analys is http://www.docstoc.com/docs/24413472/Hero-Honda-Motors-Limited---SWOT-Analysis


To Find out Brand image of various motorbike companies. To determine the sources through which customer get information regarding new models. To measure the factors that influences the buying behavior of customers . To find out the value perception of customers regarding bikes on different parameters. To find out the expectations of customers looking to derive from different brands. To find out the reasons for rejection and acceptance of various models of different brand. S e g m l i n e e n t a t i o n o f p r o d u c t

Basic.-Crux(105.6cc). 2) Standard-Alba,(106cc). 3) Executive.-Gladiator(123.7cc),G5(106cc) 4) Deluxe.-FZ16(150cc),FZ-S(150)CC,FAZER(150cc),R15 s w o t Strength ‡World famous & reputed company ‡High Promotion of experienced staff ‡wide range of motorcycles Weakness ‡Unhappy employees ‡ No well maintained showroom ‡ After sales service Opportunity

‡Increasing population ‡changing life style ‡ Big group of youngsters Threats ‡ Many competitors ‡Slow down. ‡Economies of scale

SCOPE OF STUDY This study would also provide us with hands on experience of market research based on an intensive method of scaling.  This study also provided us as a part of Yamaha team with a better understanding of various parameters that play important role in retaining the customers.  This research would enable Yamaha to get a better picture of its performance on various sales and service parameters and also enable it to compare its standards with that of its competitors LIMITATION OF STUDY  Numbers of responses vary.  Survey was time bound.  Weights assigned to each parameter were assumed on the basis of relative importance of each factor on the overall satisfaction level. conclusion ‡Yamaha is the most favorite brand amongst youths in the Indian market. ‡Yamaha is regarded as the original makers of racing bikes by the respondents. ‡Yamaha is the third most preferred brand after Hero Honda Motorcycles Ltd. And Bajaj Auto Ltd. ‡Youth (Students) are the major market for motorcycles in India. ‡Family/friends, TVCF and newspapers are the major source of awareness for motorcycle brand awareness. ‡Major influencing factors in the purchase of bikes are-family/ friends and information from the dealer. ‡ Recommendations ‡ Expand FZseries ,R-15,FAZER. ‡ Sponsor youth festivals. ‡ Produce bikes in economical range. ‡ Should use more sources for brand promotion. ‡ Focus on after sale services. ‡ Should focus on the profit margins of dealers.

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