The third marketing case study presentation at the Mumbai leg of the Pitch CMO Summit 2009, held on December 17, was of General Motors, a company described by its Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Ankush Arora, as “superstars downunder completely”.
Arora candidly admitted that the filing of bankruptcy in the US definitely had a serious adverse effect on the company in India. The brand opinion took a serious hit from 51 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 to 46 per cent in the third quarter of 2008. Similarly, brand consideration dropped from 19 per cent to 14 per cent.
Taking off from this point, General Motors India went into damage control mode through four key strategies, which Arora termed as “The Chevy Way” of surviving slowdown. These include rolling out of the Confidence Campaign, visible at different touch points, reaching out to internal as well as external employees, continuing with new product and variant launches, and finally, driving value in business.
According to Arora, defining success measures was critical to gauge the impact various strategies had had on consumer sentiment. “Our consumer-facing strategies have led to increase in sales and improved brand metrics,” he claimed. The company’s brand opinion has gone up from 46 per cent in the third quarter of 2008 to 52 per cent in the third quarter of 2009. Brand consideration too has increased from 14 per cent to 19 per cent during the same period. Sales have seen a 36 per cent jump from Q3 2009 to Q4 2009 from 18,341 units to 25,000 units.
For a company that was nearly facing the threat of being closed down, this has certainly been an achievement of sorts and has allowed them some breathing space for now.