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Old 8th March 2011, 00:10   #1
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Default "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Related Thread : Price, perception and looks : Factors that sell a car (Perception, Price and Looks : The factors that sell a car)

- Would the SX4 be a sell out if it was to have the Honda/Toyota/Volkswagen badge?
- Would the Manza enjoy a waiting period & premium if it was not a Tata product?
- Would the Indica Vista be a segment Leader/competition to reckon with in the Hatchback segment if it was to bear a V/W Badge?

So Many associates said..."Don't buy the SX4, even if it is almost 2L Cheaper, fits the need better than the ANHC, Has more features...No way...Buy the ANHC, Come on...Its a "HONDA"

Do we base a lot of our decision making on which Car to buy basis the "Perception" that it may have or the societal status of a brand?

If Yes...Is it time for it to change?

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team : Please take the time to use proper punctuation as per Team-BHP rules. Avoid...typing...like...this. Thanks.

Last edited by GTO : 8th March 2011 at 15:28. Reason: Adding link to related thread
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Old 8th March 2011, 03:07   #2
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

at least for tata, its because of their service quality, not just perception
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Old 8th March 2011, 07:15   #3
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Perception is developed from whats real or what the mass is made to believe. A combination of these gives life to a brand.

But if the perception doesnt sync with the ground realities, the former takes a hit.

As per the examples above,
SX4 would probably command a higher price tag with a honda badge, but would not be have a mass appeal without the service network of Maruti.

Indica from VW would have worked, if they would have been roadside serviceable and low on maintenance.

In both cases, its the product offering that really matters, rather than the perception of having a high status car.

But I must add, that Hyundai is capitalizing well on the image created by Santro (for aam aadmi) and Shahrukh Khan (fun aspect), even though they are unable to solve some of the basic design issues in i10 / i20 - This is my perception, created from the Hyundai bashing threads on this forum.
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Old 8th March 2011, 09:27   #4
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Aren't all our buying decisions based on perception of the product quality and its manufacturer. Why would it be different to automobiles.
E.g. Royal Enfield bikes being perceived as best for touring, whereas they do not fare well on the reliability front.

Perception does have a source to it though.

Honda are renowned for their engineering and this adds a premium cost to their products. Tata are not the best in creating products without niggles, so they cannot command a premium for their launches (exception Aria).

Yes, to some extant it does matter which stable the product comes out of before we plonk our money into it. But if VW or Toyota or Honda don't keep up the aura around them with their products and services, it will not be long before the perception dissolves.
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Old 8th March 2011, 10:01   #5
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

IMHO Perception management is more of a necessity in the indian market than anywhere else for the carmakerers.

This is because even entry level cars are an aspirational item for most of our population especially in the smaller towns/villages. it portrays an image of the owner in the society where he lives in. The perception is all the more important because a large part of general population are ignorant about cars.

FIAT , FORD, GM are prime examples of renowned foreign car makers who found the going tough in india because of perception issues. Once the perception gains strength, it's tough to change it like the Ford found with Fiesta and Figo. but it's possible like Ford and GM proved.
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Old 8th March 2011, 11:14   #6
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Perception becomes a reality when marketing does it right and that leads to creating a segment that sells.
But at the sametime perception reflects reality to some degree. If a product is not delivering value over a period of time that will affect the brand and ultimately sales and the product would be perceived as such.

Examples of Honda and Tata are closet in terms of build and quality with the former perceived (and in reality too) with a high degree of engineering and quality and the latter to a lesser degree of build quality.

We would still base our buying on perception with reality!

Cheers!
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Old 8th March 2011, 11:25   #7
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Quote:
The male lion isn't the smartest animal in the jungle. Apes, Elephants and Parrots are more intelligent. He is neither the largest animal nor the largest cat. The tiger is. He isn't the fastest animal or even the fastest cat. The cheetah is. He isn't even the hunter among his own pride. It's the female lions that track and subdue prey.

Then, why is the lion considered the king of the jungle? It is because he has an impressive mane and a big roar.

This doesn't mean the lion is a fraud. If called upon, he can back up that roar. However, what makes the lion special is the combination of genuine power and behavior that effectively communicates that power to the world.
Source: http://daveosh.com/2010/04/17/perception-management/

Perception works, even among animals. It has to be created, painstakingly, diligently. That is what Hondas and Toyotas have done over decades. It will take quite a considerable time and effort for Tatas to build the same. But I think they are in the right direction. Look at the success story of Hyundai in US. They had to overcome far too many odds to reach where they are now.

Last edited by vasoo : 8th March 2011 at 11:29.
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Old 8th March 2011, 12:07   #8
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

perceptions are realities in most of the cases. In the rare case it not being a reality then the company needs to go in for a 're branding' exercise.

one of the best examples i can cite for the perception management is done by this advertising agency called as fallon for Skoda.

Skoda earlier had a fuddy - duddy image, skoda + fallon got into a series of smart commercials which was directly targeted at the 'perception'.








But just one more thing, if you try to change your perception (via re-branding and stuff) but your product is still the same, it will jsut kill your product faster.

cheers,
ac
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Old 8th March 2011, 13:00   #9
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Perception and brand are interlinked. Brand is how the company would like its products to be perceived, its positioning and perception is the reality of how its perceived by consumers, which depends on both the product and things like service, support etc

But brands in the case of cars are built on the strengths of the products, advertising a bad product just accelerates its failure. Being unrealistic or exaggeration just does not work in auto, simply marketing will not succeed without a good product. And a well established brand launching a bad product will result in failure for the bad product and some damage to the brand. Hyundai has been trying for a long time in US but its only recently with new products, long and generous warranty schemes that they are seeing some success.

For instance Volvo has always been promoted from the safety standpoint for a long time now, and the company has backed up this positioning by trying to engineer its cars to be safer so in this case the market positioning did drive the product direction, Volkswagen was initially promoted at reliable, cheap to run, then safe and now I am not really sure what they are positioning is with Das Auto. Similarly Toyota has been about promoted itself on quality, and that's driven the product engineering and hence the recent problems have particularly hit the brand hard.

In India Tata brand has problems because of reliability perceptions, and backed up by consumer experience, Skoda expensive to service but built solidly, Honda reliable but at a slight premium, Toyota again reliable but not exciting. In this case the companies do try to influence the brand and how its products are perceived but ultimately its the products themselves, service, customer support and their pricing which determine the perception. An SX4 re badged as a Honda would probably fare the same, as would a Jazz re branded as a Suzuki - if priced the same, folks would still find the Jazz spacious and sensible but pricy.

A good product that addresses a consumer need will always work, irrespective of the brand perception. Things like service network can influence this negatively though.
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Old 8th March 2011, 14:18   #10
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_2025 View Post
- Would the SX4 be a sell out if it was to have the Honda/Toyota/Volkswagen badge?
- Would the Manza enjoy a waiting period & premium if it was not a Tata product?
- Would the Indica Vista be a segment Leader/competition to reckon with in the Hatchback segment if it was to bear a V/W Badge?

So Many associates said..."Don't buy the SX4, even if it is almost 2L Cheaper, fits the need better than the ANHC, Has more features...No way...Buy the ANHC, Come on...Its a "HONDA"

Do we base a lot of our decision making on which Car to buy basis the "Perception" that it may have or the societal status of a brand?

If Yes...Is it time for it to change?

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team : Please take the time to use proper punctuation as per Team-BHP rules. Avoid...typing...like...this. Thanks.
Perceptions and brands are derivatives of our ancestral "herd mentality".
Your perceptions are molded by other ppl's perceptions.
Brand builds its value solely based on herd of ppl holding the brand high in value - because they have built a perception.

Based on own experience? No. Based on popular opinion.

So should it change? I don't know. The proper question would be: will it change?
Never.

So it brings to your thread topic: perception management - which is equal to brand building. Of course every brand HAS to do it.
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Old 8th March 2011, 14:42   #11
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_2025 View Post
Do we base a lot of our decision making on which Car to buy basis the "Perception" that it may have or the societal status of a brand?

If Yes...Is it time for it to change?
Interesting topic.

I think the answer is both.

Some people buy based on perceptions and their own viewpoints aligned against it. But that is fundamental to any decision.

Some people buy based on societal status. And why not. If everyone thought only about VFM, everyone of us would have bought only M800 or Nano and stuck to that.

Is it time to change?
Ans: No! Why do you want to change?
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Old 8th March 2011, 15:28   #12
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

It also depends on individual's interest in upgrading their knowledge base over time.
Today, the metropolitan people are smart enough to make decisions, certainly brand perception is there, but that is not THE only factor in metros. Maybe that is the reason that brands like Fiat, Skoda, Ford still exist in India.

If you really want to see the rigidness in individuals thought (read love towards Maruti, Tata) go to small cities.
In my native Ranchi, people literally laugh to death at me once they hear that I own two fiats, their laughter amplifies once I show my hate towards build quality of Maruti/Tata cars. They are in no mood to learn apparantely.

Not everyone is a Team-bhp member.
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Old 8th March 2011, 15:29   #13
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Here's a related thread that I'd love to have more comments on : Price, perception and looks : Factors that sell a car (Perception, Price and Looks : The factors that sell a car)
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Old 8th March 2011, 20:28   #14
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Perception/ Brand Image + Good/ Reliable Product Quality + Right Price + Good After Sales Service = good sales....for anything. Why should it be different in the automotive scene?

If all this is not blend properly - the outcome is obviously going to be different (may not be a failure). For e.g., Skoda now sells Laura here whereas they are called Octativa's elsewhere. It makes us think that in India they have different product range!!

Not having one of them need not be a failure too. For e.g., Reva never marketed itself like the rest of the car makers. Yet it was a success for it's unique product range in this market!

Yes - one alone cannot sale especially "perception" (alone) will not sell/ sustain!

Another point of view would be that - because of these different blends - we as customers get variety! Imagine a world with only BMW's & no Tata's around!
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Old 8th March 2011, 21:02   #15
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Default Re: "Perception" Management in the Indian Automotive Scene

Perception influences car sales. Hyundai is an example. It is percept ed that Hyundai cars are cheap to maintain and free of troubles. But two threads on TBHP and my own experience have proved it to be otherwise. No offence meant to Hyundai owners.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...practices.html (Hyundai India, unreasonable long term maintenance and service practices!)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...sta-1-2-a.html (Feels like i'm 20 now - Hyundai i20 Asta 1.2)

General perception is that Tata and Fiat have bad After sales service. I myself have 2 Punto's and a close friend has Indica 1.2GLS. We have been absolutely happy with Tata service.

General Perception is that Maruti's service is best in class. But with our Alto we have always faced bad service problems. The car is good, but the service is horrendous. The way the car is water washed and polished leave much to be desired. May be this is because of the high volume of cars for service any given day.

Last edited by MCR : 8th March 2011 at 21:03.
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