After Hero’s Honda divorce, it starts work on its Brand Identity!


Hero Honda has been the largest manufacturer of two–wheelers since a decade. With a market share of 60% in motorcycles and 43% in two – wheelers, Hero Honda has been the leader by far. But then as they say everything isn’t always hunky – dory, Honda recently sold off its stake of 26% in the Hero Group because of problems which have not really come out in open. So, basically their 25 year old successful association has culminated in a sad divorce.image

How will this affect the Hero Group?

This divorce would affect the Hero Group at three different levels: –

  • Customers
  • Communication
  • Competitors

Hero Honda has built its massive customer base because it is HERO HONDA! The fact that there wouldn’t be any Honda after 2014 (the time till which they can use the Honda name) has excited the competitors. A decade of leadership hasn’t really given the competitors an opportunity to do something special. Because something special for them is fantastic for Hero Honda! The name is what attracts people to Hero Honda because it is associated with trust and quality.

But then communication too is important for the “top of the mind” recall for customers, isn’t it? The “Fill it – Shut it – Forget it” as well as “Desh Ki Dhadkan” campaigns of Hero Honda are probably some of the most famous ad campaigns in the country. With Hero breaking up from Honda, the Hero Group would have to come up with an entire new communication strategy. The branding campaign would have to be completely changed because people wouldn’t be able to associate with the Hero Group so readily.

And this is the reason they have asked JWT to help them. Their plans include using a branding strategy for motorcycles even though they are present in the bicycles segment as well. The most important thing they need is “reinforcement of the brand” and smooth transition from being “Hero Honda” to just “Hero”.

The ones who are grinning from ear to ear at this divorce are Hero Honda’s competitors. Launching of new products, poaching their employees and dealers as well as greater spending on R & D – Hero Honda’s competitors are licking their lips.

Some positives for Hero as well

Having said that, it may turn out to be a great positive for Hero group, if they are able to do the brand play well. With their break-off with Honda, they are now free to expand on to foreign shores, which was not possible for them till now due to Honda’s presence in those countries.

Only time will tell how successful Hero will be going forward – Its time to wait watch! Whats your take!

  1. Prashant Patankar says

    I think it’s good decision by both companies both are performing well as it was not expected that hero can come up massively

  2. mushin says

    I Think, very soon a new brand name is likely to hit the market,it may be Hero-Suzuki / Hero-Mahindra …like that.bics as the horo honda group held the leadership of the 2wheeler segment of indian roads for a long tym and honda,obviously the engine makers, has a plat form as their own,its hero which s left in the broken pieces of diamond ,and surely other motorcycle manufactures will never miss this chance to b the next partner of one of the leaders of the road.

  3. nisha says

    i believe this divorce will not affect to its customers as hero honda
    has been the largest manufacturer and even after splits also hero
    group will able to attracts its customers and gain their confidence
    through their effective ad campaigns.
    the hero group should work on branding campaign and should come up
    with new innovative ideas.
    as it is also true that now hero will have to deal with their rivals alone.
    however hero group has to more focus on new strategies and should plan
    out new ideas how they can enjoy the sustainable competitive

    1. Aseem Rastogi says

      Hopefully what you say turns out to be true. But for now its going to be difficult initially for the Hero Group to establish its brand identity as its recall has always been associated with Hero Honda!

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