MADRAS RUBBER FACTORY (MRF

)
A BRAND HISTORY
BY ANUJ KAUL 507

BRANDING: MRF

Page 1

Since the days of the inception of brand MRF. After its association with Mansfield tyres (Ohio). Madras (now Chennai). opened a small toy balloon manufacturing unit in a shed at Tiruvottiyur. MRF was pegged to compete internationally. In 1952. M. India. were produced. Mammen Mappillai. MRF had become the market leader with a 50% share of the tread-rubber market in India and with that a number of MNC’s operating in India had to shut down business operations. Thambu Chetty Street. a variety of products. ranging from balloons and latex-cast squeaking toys to industrial gloves and contraceptives. BRANDING: MRF Page 2 . Although the factory was just a small shed without any machines. superior quality was synonymous with the brand. As a result of which MRF began expanding its operations and setting up various plants across the country. The power of the brand was so large and respected that by the close of 1956. MRF established its first office at 334. Tamil Nadu.MRF: A TRUSTED BRAND INTRODUCTION In 1946 a young entrepreneur. During this time. K. MRF treaded into the domain of making of tread rubber which would later catapult MRF to be one of the largest tyre companies in the world. Madras (now Chennai).

FIRST 1 MRF was the first companies to manufacture and market nylon passenger tyres commercially which were majorly used in another iconic vehicle donning the Indian roads in the 1960’s. However what built its brand was a series of firsts it pioneered and was a part of. FIRST 2 In the 1980’s a revolutionary product was released in the Indian market. And it maintained this image throughout history through its products that never compromised on quality.THE AMBASSADOR which still is a preferred choice of all politicians and is their hologram and symbol. In succession it also developed MRF superlug-78 for trucks which later on went to surpass all its other brands and helped create an identity for MRF which is discussed later.BRANDING STRATEGY MRF was associated with words like superior quality. BRANDING: MRF Page 3 . MARUTI 800 went on to become the car of the country and this helped MRF to build a brand alongside Maruti and its brand equity. durability and strength. MRF was primarily into B2B selling and thus the regular channels of B2C advertising were not its first option.MARUTI 800 and MRF were the first tyres that were associated with the product.

BRAND IDENTITY THE MUSCLE MAN MRF introduced its logo for the first time. We were doing a campaign for truck tyres. which was known as the Madras Rubber Factory. We went to Koliwada in Mumbai. takat chahiye. we got the visual of the 'MRF Muscle BRANDING: MRF Page 4 . where we met the truck drivers' conglomerate and asked them what they wanted from a tyre. “I was handling MRF at that time. So. We thought that it was a rather weak name for a tyre company. from them itself. The concept of this logo as explained by Alquee Padamsee (the creator). so we rechristened it as MRF. Almost every one of them flexed their muscles and said mazboot hone chahiye.

I wrote the line 'The Tyre with Muscle'. However MRF recently in 2008 gave the muscle man a modern look that symbolized its attitude towards changing with the times. which still defines MRF even after 45 years.Man'. MRF LOGO IN 1960 THE MODERN AVATAAR IN 2008 AS QUOTED BY THE COMPANY: A SILENT TESTIMONY TO THE GROUPS’S INDOMITABLE STRENGTH BRANDING: MRF Page 5 .” This logo gave MRF a symbol and an image for the strength its product embodied and further strengthened its brand image.

2. In 1999. MRF signed on Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador and agreed to be its bat sponsor. MRF entered into a technical collaboration with NASA for the development of NASA’S space shuttles tyres and internally starting an exercise in quality improvement and new product development. 3. was the pillar of the Indian cricket team and its strength. 1. FIAT With its Uno model and OPEL with Astra. BRANDING: MRF Page 6 . This association strengthened the core philosophy of MRF as Sachin in 1999. Subsequently many other automobile companies also associated themselves with MRF such as FORD with its Escort model.BRAND BUILDING ACTIVITIES MRF has for long now branded its brand through various associations with either certain personalities or by creating numerous institutions that reflect its core ideology of STRENGTH.

Sreesanth. FORD ESCORT MRF launched an academy to train fast bowlers that had immense talent in the art of fast bowling. Brett Lee attributes were what MRF as a brand stands for. Chaminda Vaas. Fast bowling is an`` art in which the bowler is require to show and maintain a high level of strength. Irfan Pathan and R. 5.P. stamina and resilience. These three Hall of fame: Indian bowlers Zaheer Khan. S.Singh among others International bowlers Mitchell Johnson. Another branding activity that MRF carried out was to sponsor major events such as motocross and rally driving which essentially test the power of the car and the driver and a main component of the Page 7 BRANDING: MRF . Many of these players went onto become players of the Indian cricket team.FIAT UNO OPEL ASTRA 4.

And in this case. However gradually MRF started participating in such events and have been winning these events for a long time now hence further deepening the association of vehicles and MRF.car are the tyres. BRANDING: MRF Page 8 . vehicles that OUTPERFORM other Vehicles. These cars and bikes are painted with the MRF logo which provides the brand with a high visibility thus helping it create a brand image linked with vehicles.

BRANDING: MRF Page 9 .This advertisement signifies how their initiatives in promoting and participating in such events helps MRF build its brands image.

high quality and a promise of great performance in every aspect from its product to its service and its association with its customers PHYSIQUE The muscle man CULTURE Strength. high quality RELATIONSHIP Sponsoring and promoting rally’s PERSONALITY Strong. durable and long lasting REFLECTION Strong. This kind of promotion helps reinforce MRF’s image as a company committed to ensure the safety of its users through its products. SMILE CAMPAIGN This is a campaign that MRF pioneered and was aimed to spread awareness regarding safe driving and spreading SMILES on roads. high quality and sustainable BRANDING: MRF Page 10 .6. reliable and safe The brand epitomizes strength. KAPFERER’S BRAND PRISM SELF IMAGE Tough.

outlookindia.BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.aspx?100123 2. http://business.mrftyres. http://www.com/article.com 3. Google images BRANDING: MRF Page 11 .

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