Even as four-wheelers are witnessing a dip in sales, two-wheelers have been registering double digit growth. The big brands usually hold fort due to the presence of emotional drivers such as safety in numbers, trust, reliability and so on, which create barriers for new brands looking to enter the market. The competition is tough with the scooters segment alone having no less than 11 brands.
In such a market scenario as well as the presence of heavyweights, creating differentiation for Vespa has been the issue. Commenting on the same, MV Krishna, VP - Marketing (Two-Wheelers), Piaggio India stated, “Vespa has been around since 1946, making it an iconic timeless classic and having a Vespa DNA which never goes out of fashion. In order to establish a label in a logic driven, linear market and command a premium, it was essential for us to remove ‘scooter’ out of the equation and hence, unscooter Vespa. This was done in order to create different yardstick to create value and establish the Vespa brand.”
Krishna believes that brand Vespa targets three types of mindsets. The first is the liberated one, who is expressive and belongs to the affiliate group. The second is the achiever, whose vehicle is a symbol of who he or she is, and the third is the badge seeker, whose vehicle defines the way he/she wants to be perceived.
In order to reach across to the taget mindset, Piaggio created a differentiated position for brand Vespa through events, TV properties, community and art. “Apart from the mass media and digital campaigns, we focussed on various on-ground entertainment activities to build the world of Vespa. This included glamour, youth connect, art and culture, in movies, properties (MTV) and the Vespa Club,” Krishna informed.
According to Krishna, it is essential to engage consumers through activities that would be able to deliver the message about brand Vespa unambiguously and sharply. Hence, Vespa was integrated with photoshoots in the magazine space such as HT Brunch, Femina, Elle, People magazine, Stuff magazine and so on as part of brand placement. The Vespa club is also one of the activities that has been undertaken for community building.
Elaborating further on the activities, Krishna stated, “We are also associating with MTV to create a MOD club, which will recognise cool. Since art and culture is an important facet for Vespa, we have associated with the Kala Ghoda Festival. There has also been a pre-launch digital contest ‘Once upon a Vespa’.”
Krishna concluded by saying that since movies are an expensive deal, it is not done on a large scale. The other activities that were undertaken included youth connect through college festivals in key colleges as well events such as concerts, fashion shows and so on.
MV Krishna was expressing his views on the topic ‘Vespa – Unscooter: Creating a Differentiated Position for Vespa Through Events, TV Properties, Community and Art’ at the Mumbai leg of the Pitch CMO Summit 2013, held in Mumbai on March 6, 2013. The session was chaired by Shripad Kulkarni, CEO, Percept Media.
The Summit was presented by Colors in association with MEC.