Uneasy lays the head that had lost the crown.

Wokas the once undisputed market leader of the organized Indian AC market, and a respected brand in the industrial segment in India and abroad is today staring at a possible bleak future. The failure of its marketing strategy and the gradual decline as a brand can be captured by the fact that 76% of the target customers couldn’t recall the wokas ad or the associated tagline. The rot is so widespread that not only the retailers are reluctant to push their ACs to the prospective customers; they go great lengths in advising to shun the Wokas brand. For Wokas, It couldn’t have been any worse than this. But, what led to such a situation for a well established brand like Wokas in a growing AC market in India? The market is very dynamic and evolves constantly. The consumer durables market segment is no different. Indian society and the resulting market were undergoing tremendous structural changes due to the integration with the global environment. The consumer class was evolving into a more “WANT” based from “NEED” based and was becoming more discretional as they had more disposable income. Wokas failed in recognizing all these. It was in slumber, and when it woke up it realized its facing extinction. The failure of Wokas to recognize the changes in its environment (Micro and Macro) the impact on its competitive advantageFAILURE 1. It failed to tap into the unorganized AC market which constituted 60% of the Household segment in India. IMPACT Despite increase in sales due to Industrial segment, growth in Household segment remained stunted. New middle class Indians preferred other brands. Lost opportunity. Easy entry of foreign brands with distinct and new product positioning. Negative brand perception and negative word of mouth publicity. Very poor Brand recall and customer association. Brand not recognized with the product category. Tremendous hit in the sales of its Product.

2. Failed to recognize the changed consumer profile in the now globally integrated AC market. 3. Overdependence on the industrial sector led to lack of focus on the Household and SOHO segment, growing at 20% YoY. 4. Abysmally poor customer service. With very sub standard after sales service. Lack of empathy towards customers’ issues and expectations. Disinterested sales team and service centre. 5. In aggressive Marketing strategy and diluted Brand Positioning with unimpactful product promotion. PR department in limbo. 6. Dealership model and existing retailers dissatisfied.

Brand Positioning. wokas has to reinvent itself and integrate more advanced features like energy efficiency etc in its ACs at an affordable price and should not lose its price advantage over its competitors. The product promotional campaign and the associated tagline have to be reworked and should be distinctly assertive in stating its inherent strength which it draws from its parent group.With the present state of relations between the retailers not to rosy. not much is lost for Wokas. With a strong brand acceptance and respectability of its parent group to fall back upon. The lost love has to be restored with various strategies. Clearly this calls for a newer brand positioning where the product should place itself as the most trusted brand form the house of the most respected business group in India. After sale service. the company must let go of this partners who are a liability in the decline of the brands health. This calls for continuous product upgrading and value innovations for the consumers.Proposed Revival Strategy Wokas has to adopt a completely different MARKETING STRATEGY directed towards the changing needs of the consumers.To complement the above brand positioning strategy. This also makes the company strategically future ready to tap the after sale service market which has a huge potential to grow and over shadow the sales market. The profit margin of the retailers has to be increased and more innovative promotional and financial schemes have to be made available to them to push their products off the shelf. Retailer & Distributor Relationship. . Most importantly this rids the company of the baggage of the vendors who were solely responsible for the customer dissatisfaction. The company must itself focus on providing after sale service to the customers by creating an internal division. The retailers have to be educated about the new product offerings of wokas and its inherent brand character.As is evident that its existing vendors providing maintenance service are completely inefficient and incompetent in providing satisfactory maintenance services. the company has to adopt an approach of mending its relations with its retailers. More newer and dedicated models have to be launched targeting the sub segments of the target market in synchronization with its competitors. A very focused approach in implementing these structural changes in the organization and its functional model with increased outlook towards customer satisfaction and renewed brand positioning and promotion should revive the lost glory of wokas. Product Innovation.Its positioning as an ‘Intelligent AC’ failed to capture the intended space in the mind of the consumers as they were unable to differentiate distinctly as to what was so intelligent about Wokas which offered very limited models range and no niche technology.

Most importantly it as a company has to remain continuously aware of the changing environment and proactively evolve in these changing market scenarios. Only then can it revive its market chare and hold on to it. .

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