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New Delhi,Munjals decide to drop 'Honda'

New Delhi,Munjals decide to drop 'Honda'-It's end of the road for brand 'Hero Honda',one of corporate India's most recognisable brand,as the Munjals have decided to do away with the name for any new launch or even a refresh that the two-wheeler major announces henceforth.
The Munjals,who gained majority control of the company post the exit of erstwhile partner Honda in December last year,are working for a faster shift to a new brand strategy,even though they have rights to use the 'Honda' tag till June 2014. Company sources said the 'Hero Honda' tag will be dropped from all new launches, or even minor model facelifts, and this will happen over the next few months.It may continue on existing models till the time they also move for a refresh.

Hero MotoCorp Ltd is understood to be the new name the Munjals will propose at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) later this month to replace Hero Honda Motors Ltd (HHML). Industry analysts,however,said, "shift to a new brand will not be easy for the Munjals as Hero Honda enjoys a rich legacy and high brand equity. Also, the new branding will also have to be reflected across dealerships and all communications of the company, including mass media."

The Munjals appear to be working on this transition for some time and this can be seen by the fact Hero Honda did not launch any new product this year (except for two minor facelifts), something which is not so common for the bikemaker that has an average of 8-10 launches annually. According to sources, Munjals want to switch to a new identity quickly to have a smooth transition instead of a Sudden shift in 2014.

While the Hero Honda tag will be dropped, the names of the products (bike models) will continue. For example, if the company comes out with a new variant of the popular Splendor, it will be called 'X Splendor' instead of the 'Hero Honda Splendor' (X standing for the new brand identity).Company insiders said that since the product names would continue to remain the same, the market is expected to not feel much of a difference.

When contacted, Anil Dua,VP(marketing & sales) at Hero Honda, said,"Yes, we will not wait till June 2014,and it (transition) will be much faster,and much quicker."
The Munjals have roped in London-based brand specialist Wolff Olins and advertising agency Law and Kenneth Communications India to work on the new brand identity and is believed to be spending between Rs 150 crore and Rs 170 crore for the change.

Law and Kenneth has been mandated to bring alive the positioning of the new brand and evolve an impactful 360-degree campaign to communicate the same. Wolff Olins and Law & Kenneth will work closely to ensure that there is seamless transition between the strategic thought behind the new identity and the new brand campaign.

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