Rebranding of Bajaj

People should now get used to saying Humara Pulsar’ or ‘Humara Discover’ instead of ‘Humara Bajaj’. The reason Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto, has decided to drop ‘Bajaj’ from the two wheeler brand name.

According to reports, the company has decided to overhaul its distribution set-up and rename all its consumer touch points to just Pulsar or Discover with an estimated total cost of 21 Crores

Is this rebranding exercise makes sense? Does removing the parent company name make sense?

The Rationale

I would rather see this as a product portfolio management exercise which would give a clear vision to the product strategy and helps in streamlining promotional and product launch strategies.

Bajaj and Pulsar contributes more than 70% of Bajaj auto two wheeler sales and broadly these two brands serve the two distinct segments of Indian consumers.

So, instead of adopting product centric segments (like pulsar 150 CC, Discover 135 CC) Mr. Bajaj has created customer centric segments with Discover, a economy class segment with high fuel efficient bike for the families and Pulsar, a sporty bike for the youths.

Again if you look at consumers’ perspective, these brands (Pulsar and Discover) have a better recall due its high brand value rather than the brand equity of name “Bajaj”. Ask someone which bike they have? 8 out of 10 would say Pulsar or discover not Bajaj Pulsar or Bajaj Discover. So removing the brand name from the customer touch points and communications of two bikes would not harm the company.

Coming to the name Bajaj, it is associated with ‘broad’ values such as trust and reliability, especially in the two-wheeler category. While the strength of the Bajaj brand ‘identity’ is undeniable, its ‘equity’ is far from being well focused. The name Bajaj does not stand for any thing (Think of Volvo for safety, Mountain dew and Thumbs up for Adventure).

Ultimately it’s the brand value that drives the revenue not the parent name. It is up to the Bajaj to keep Pulsar and Discover relevant and refreshed.

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