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INCON13MKT018

Comparativebrandpositioningofselectedbrandsofhatchbackcars
SuhasS.Ambekar
Asst.Professor,
SKNSinhgadBusinessSchool,
Korti,Pandharpur,Dist.Solapur,413304

Abstract:
Asconsumerslivesbecomemorecomplicated,rushedandtimestarved,theabilityof
abrandtosimplifydecisionmakingandreduceriskisinvaluable.Thisstudyiscarriedto
knowbrandpositioningofselectedbrandsofhatchback(smallcarsegment)cars.Itwillbe
interestingtoseethebrandimageinthemindofconsumers.Thesurveyisrelatedtosmall
car segment in Solapur city. It has been carried out to know the brand positioning of
Hyundai,Tata,ChevroletandMarutiSuzukibrandsinSolapurcity.
Thedatacollectedfromthisstudywillbehelpfulforthecompanyanddealerstoknowthe
brandpositioningoftheirrespectivebrandsanddesignsuitablemarketingstrategies.
Keywords:brandpositioning,hatchbackcars,brandassociation.
Introduction:
Brandpositioningisattheheartofmarketingstrategy.Itistheactofdesigningthe
companysofferandimagesothatitoccupiesadistinctandvaluedplaceinthetarget
customersmind.Thegoalistolocatethebrandnameinthemindsoftheconsumersto
maximizethepotentialbenefittothefirm.Agoodbrandpositioninghelpsguidemarketing
strategybyclarifyingthebrandsessence,whatgoalsithelpstheconsumerachieve,andhow
itdoessoinauniqueway.Brandpositioningreferstotargetconsumersreasontobuyyour
brandinpreferencetoothers.Itisensuresthatallbrandactivityhasacommonaim;is
guided,directedanddeliveredbythebrandsbenefits/reasonstobuy;anditfocusesatall
pointsofcontactwiththeconsumer.Atlowestlevelmarketerscanpositiontheirbrandson
productattributes;itcanbebetterpositionedbyassociatingwithadesirablebenefit.The
strongestbrandsgobeyondattributeorbenefitpositioning.Theyarepositionedonstrong
beliefsandvalues(KotlerandArmstrong2009).
Positioning requires that similarities and differences between brands be defined and
communicated. Specifically, deciding on a positioning requires determining a frame of
reference by identifying the target market and the competition and identifying the ideal
pointsofparity and pointsofdifferences and brand association (Kotler et. al. 2009).
Furthermoreasbrandsexpand,marketerswanttodefineasetofbrandassociationstocapture
important dimensions of brand meaning. Core brand associations are those abstract
associations(attributesandbenefits)thatcharacterizethe5to10mostimportantaspectsor

dimensionsofabrand.Thecanserveasthebasisofbrandpositioningintermofhowthey
createpointsofparityandpointsofdifference(Keller2008).Positioningofbrandsglobally
needsanunderstandingoflocalmarketsandcompetition(LopezandBoluda2006).Brand
positioningisnothingbutcreatingidentityinmarketbyanalyzingvariousbranddimensions
(Mohanty2012).
TheIndiancarmarketisoneofAsiaslargestandmostcompetitive.Asperstatisticslaunchedby
SocietyofIndianAutomobileManufacturers(SIAM),therehasbeenagrowthof
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32.28% in the domestic car sales, justified from the January 2010 sales 145,905 units
passenger cars, multi and sports utility vehicles against the 2009 sales of110,300 units.
(Source:SocietyforIndianAutomobileManufacturersSIAM).Withchangingbusiness
scenarioandglobalisedmarkets,theimportanceofbrandpositioninginIndiancarindustryis
evenfascinating.
Objectivesofthestudy:
1. Tocomparethecoreelementsandassociatedfeaturesoftheselectedbrandsviz.
Hyundai,Tata,ChevroletandMarutiSuzuki.
2. Tostudyandcomparetheattributesconsideredbythecustomerswhileselecting
theirrespectivebrands.
3. TomeasuretheBrandloyaltyofthecustomerstowardstheirrespectivebrands.
4. Topreparecomparativebrandpositioningstatementforselectedfourbrandsfrom
hatchbackcarsegment.
ResearchMethodology
TypeofResearchused
ResearchApproach
ResearchInstrument
SampleDesign
SampleSize
SampleSegment
SampleUnit

DescriptiveResearch
Survey
Questionnaire
120
Solapurcity.
Respondentswhoaretheownersofthe
Hatchbackcars(Smallcar)ofMarutiSuzuki,
Hyundai,TataandChevroletBrand.
PurposiveQuotaSamplingMethod(30
respondentsofeachbrand.)

SamplingMethod

Analysisandfindings:
Thedatacollectedfrom120respondentswhoaresmallcarownersofselectedbrandsis
analysedhere.Thefindingsarebasedontheopinionsgivenbytherespondents.
Tableno.1Ranksgiventofactorsthatforcedrespondentstobuyacar.
Sr.
No.
1.
2.
3.

Factors

Hyundai

Tata

Chevrolet

BusinessNeed
Status
RegularLongJourney

1
2
4

1
3
4

4
2
3

Maruti
Suzuki
1
6
3

Total
1
2
3

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

FamilyForce
LargeFamilySize
ProfessionalRequirement
Rewardofachievement
Friendcircle
HealthProblem

3
6
5
7
8
9

2
5
6
8
9
7

6
7
1
5
8
9

2
5
4
7
8
9

4
5
6
7
8
9
2

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Tableno.1representsrankingforthefactorsthatforcedtherespondentstobuyacar. In
general,mostlythefactorslikebusinessneed,statusandregularlongjourneyhavemore
significanceinbuyingacarwhereasthefactorslikehealthproblemandfriendcirclewere
insignificant.
Butifweconsiderindividualbrand,fortheownersofHyundaiandTata,factorslikebusiness
need,statusandfamilyforcehavemoresignificanceinbuyingacarratherthantheother
factorswhilefortheownersofChevroletmostlythefactorslikeprofessionalrequirementand
status hadforcedthemmore.WhereasfortheownersofMarutiSuzuki,statusisnotso
importantbutthefactorssuchasbusinessneed,familyforceandregularlongjourneyforced
themmuch.
TableNo.2Opinionofrespondentstowardsthewordscloselyassociatedwithbrands
Hyundai
Factors

No.of
R*

Tata
No.of
R*

Chevrolet

MarutiSuzuki

No.of
R*

No.of
R*

Valuefor
money

48

40%

48

40%

29

24.17%

82

68.33%

Superior
Quality

86

71.67%

28

23.33%

63

52.5%

25

20.83%

Economy

13

10.83%

85

70.83%

5%

100

83.33%

Safety

45

37.5%

68

56.67%

17

14.16%

43

35.83%

Status

88

73.33%

28

23.33%

72

60%

13

10.83%

Luxury

96

80%

20

16.67%

78

65%

7.5%

Trust

39

32.5%

77

64.17%

11

9.67%

69

57.5%

Better
service

28

23.33%

62

51.67%

13

10.83%

93

77.5%

Suitablefor
Indianroads

6.67%

95

79.17%

5%

96

81.67%

R=NumberofRespondents,*Outof120
Theabovetabledepictsopinionsofcarownersaboutthewordsthatarecloselyassociated
withdifferentbrands.
HyundaiLuxury,StatusandSuperiorQuality.
TataSuitableforIndianroads,EconomyandTrust.
ChevroletLuxuryandStatus.
MarutiSuzukiEconomy,SuitableforIndianroads,Betterservice&Valueformoney.

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Tableno.3Meanratingsfortheattributesthoseareimportantforrespondentswhile
selectingtheirbrand(5veryimportant,1Unimportant)
Hyundai

Tata

Chevrolet

Maruti
Suzuki

Brandname

4.7

4.167

4.197

4.5

Price

3.07

4.09

4.07

4.33

Mileage

3.84

4.707

4.8

4.83

Availability

2.14

3.2

2.67

2.57

Convenienceof
ServiceStation

3.433

4.8

3.864

4.53

ResaleValue

1.96

3.36

3.197

3.893

Variants

2.63

2.667

2.137

2.43

Design/style

4.83

4.73

4.94

4.63

Safety

4.57

4.77

4.46

4.73

Interior/Comfort

4.96

4.86

4.94

4.5

Maintenance

4.327

4.86

4.9

Durability

2.3

2.96

2.33

3.033

2.23

3.39

3.43

3.307

1.2

1.74

1.87

1.8

1.47

2.1

2.67

2.76

Factors

Family/Friends
/Relatives
opinion
Recommendation
by
dealer/salesperson
Advertisement

Tableno.3showstheattributesthatareimportantforrespondentswhileselectingtheirbrand.
FortherespondentsofHyundaibrand,Interior/Comfort(4.94),Design/Style(4.83)andbrand
namehavemoresignificanceinselectingHyundaiBrandcarwhereastheattributeslike
recommendationbydealer/salesperson,advertisementandresalevaluewereinsignificant.
IncaseofTatabrandmostlytheattributeslikemaintenance(5),Interior/Comfort(4.86)and
ConvenienceofServiceStation(4.8)havemoresignificanceinselectingTataBrandcar

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whereastheattributeslikerecommendationbydealer/salespersonandadvertisementswere
insignificant.
The attributes that are important for respondents while selecting Chevrolet brand are
attributeslikeInterior/Comfort(4.94)andDesign/Style(4.94)whereastheattributeslike
recommendation by dealer/salesperson, variants, and durability were insignificant.
Respondents selecting Maruti Suzuki brand mostly prefer the attributes like maintenance
(4.9)andmileage(4.83)whereastheattributeslikerecommendationbydealer/salesperson,
variantsandavailabilitywereinsignificant.
TableNo.4PreferenceofRespondentstothebrandtheywanttoswitch

Brand
Hyundai
Tata
Chevrolet
Maruti
Suzuki
Total

%
Respondents
ofHyundai

%
Respondents
ofTata

%
Respondents
ofChevrolet

%
Respondents
ofMaruti
Suzuki

Total

11.11%
33.33%

36.84%

31.58%

40%
30%

43.48%
34.78%
21.74%

35.21%
21.13%
19.72%

55.56%

31.58%

30%

23.94%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

HyundaitendstobemostpreferredbrandforswitchingwhereasHyundaicustomersprefer
Maruti Suzuki brand for switching. The brand switching behaviour is not because of
dissatisfactionfromcurrentbrandbutitmaybefortryinganewbrand.
TableNo.5Thetablerepresentingthebrand,seriouslyconsideredbyrespondentsfor
purchasing.

Responses
Hyundai
Tata
Chevrolet
Maruti
Suzuki
Total

%
Respondents
ofHyundai

%
Respondents
ofTata

%
Respondents
ofChevrolet

23.08%
3.85%

42.10%

10.53%

33.33%
26.67%

73.07%

47.37%

100%

100%

%
Respondents
ofMaruti
Suzuki

Total

47.83%
43.48%
8.69%

29.59%
24.49%
5.10%

40%

40.82%

100%

100%

100%

Thedecisionregardingselectingaparticularbrandwasnoteasierfortherespondents.They
have seriously considered other brands before finalizing the current brands. The analysis

showsthatMarutiSuzukibrandwasseriouslyconsideredbymostoftherespondentsbefore
choosingtheircurrentbrand.Thusbeforefinalizingaparticularcarbrandthebuyerseriously
gothroughMarutiSuzukibrandasitiswellknownandmosttrustedbrand.

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Conclusion:
MarutiSuzukiandTatabrandsarepositionedhigheronEconomybrandascomparedtoother
brands.MarutiSuzukibrandgivesultimateperformanceasitgivesimportancetomodern
technologyandperformance.Peoplepreferthisbrandbecauseitgivesmoremileageand
moreeconomyandprovidesvalueformoneyandbetterservice.Tatabrandgivesclassic
prestigeandsophisticateddrivingexperience.PeopleconsiderTataasmoretrustedandsafe
brandanditisalsosuitableforIndianroad.HyundaiandChevroletbrandsarepositioned
highasLuxurybrandcomparedtoMarutiSuzukiandTata.PeoplepreferHyundaibrand
becauseitgivessuperiorquality,statusandownershipexperience.Chevroletbrandgives
sporty and stylish driving experience. People prefer this brand because of its innovative
designandstyle.
Hyundai

Brand
representation
Brand
association

Ownership
experience

Tata

Sophisticated
driving
experience
Superior
Trust,Safety,
Quality,Luxury, Suitablefor
Status
IndianRoads

Chevrolet

Sportyand
stylishdriving
experience
Design&Style,
Luxury,Status

MarutiSuzuki

Technologyand
performance
Mileage,
Economy,Value
forMoney,
BetterService

ThestudyconcludesthatMarutiSuzukiisoneofthemosttrustedbrandandcustomersare
emotionallyattachedwithMarutiSuzukiBrand.ThisisquiteevidentthatMarutiSuzukiis
leadinginitsvarietyofHatchbackcars.Theseforallthiswhiletheyweretargetingthe
groupofpeoplewhoaremiddleincome,butMarutiSuzukihasslowlyenteredandissteadily
growingintothecategoryofSedanVehicles.ThoughMarutihaslaunchedluxurycarsas
well it is still considered as middle mans brand. Maruti Suzuki is giving very tough
competitiontoitscompetitorslikeTataMotor,HyundaiMotoretc.

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Webliography:
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www.marutisuzukiindia.com
www.hyundai.co.in
www.tatamotors.com
www.chevrolet.co.in
www.autocarindia.com
www.siamindia.com