India’s Top 50 Marketers Awards: Recharges – 4. Maruti WagonR

The blue eyed boy

Innovation was the mantra for the new Maruti WagonR

Not many brands in the present market are flexible enough to modify themselves successfully. However, the year 2010 saw one such brand renew itself keeping its brand image intact – Maruti Suzuki WagonR. Maruti launched the new Maruti WagonR with a new environment friendly technology. Maruti Wagon R 2010 has a new series of 998 CC engine with three cylinders and a fuel economy of 18.9 KMPL.

The change has put the brand at the No 4 position in the ‘Rechargers’ category of the Pitch India’s Top 50 Marketers Awards 2010.

Shashank Srivastava, Senior General Manager, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India, says, “Being chosen as one of the winners is a great honour for Maruti Suzuki and is a cause of great satisfaction to the brand team.
This is especially so for the WagonR which is a very important brand in our portfolio.”

Blue Eyed Boy
The new Maruti WagonR positioned as the ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ sports the K-series engine. The overall length of the new Wagon R is now increased to 3,595 mm (an increase of 75 mm) with a wheelbase of 2,400 mm – the longest in its class. The new WagonR is also wider and taller. The new model also looks good with a curvier and sophisticated body design.

Srivastava says, “In the market for a developing country like India, the consumer tastes and choices are rapidly changing not just because of increased competition and market maturity but also because the consumers themselves are changing demographically and sociographically. In this scenario, a brand has to be refreshed periodically both in terms of product changes to reflect the new technology but also the image. I would rate this as one of the most important tasks for a marketer.”

While Brand WagonR was launched ten years back in 2000, it has come a long way to successfully be the ‘Blue Eyed Boy’. It became the highest selling car in the Indian automobile market. The ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ is a step ahead to make the brand WagonR updated with modern times. Srivastava says, “The idea behind the new WagonR was to offer the customers new technology, new looks and greater number of features and to establish it as the car for the ‘smarter’ people. This is in line with the customer requirements.”

The Blue Eyed Boy campaign was high on innovation. While Red FM turned blue for an entire day to celebrate the new features of the car, the website in.com turned completely blue to promote the car. A TVC starring R Madhavan was conceptualised by Hakuhodo Percept. Hakuhodo Percept’s objective for the new WagonR TVC was to take the brand to the next level in terms of imagery. The Blue Eyed Boy concept for the new Wagon-R TVC is meant to take this thought forward by positioning the car premium, desirable and appealing.

Srivastava says, “In image terms, we had to stress on the fact that it was a favourite of the Indian customers and hence the concept of Blue Eyed Boy.”

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