Small products need smart positioning – TATA nano

Well it’s the all new TATA nano that has inspired me to get this here. For past few weeks I have seen  nano ads telling “ Now you can…”. This tag inspires that every one today can buy a car at Rs. 1800 / Month. Damn ! This is dirt cheap! As its “Worlds Cheapest”.



Now when you are the Mr. Tiny you actually celebrate a unique edge over your rivals. I can recall Marketing Guru Al Ries says that when you have product that’s unique (like TATA Nano) it’s often helpful to play up negative. In other words make fun of fact that the vehicle is very small. I extract this from the famous “BEETLE”.

When Beetle was introduced in US the company ran many ads that made fun of it. Rather the company also made fun of fact that the car was ugly. The typical headline: The 1970 Volkswagen Beetle will stay ugly longer. It was ugly but was “reliable”.  It was a bold statement of standing different this way, an attitude it still caries.  The brand differentiated by being Small and Safe.

BMW also introduced a Mini Chooper by making fun of the fact that the car was very small. It brought 20 big sports utility vehicles, or SUVs, and put the Mini Chooper on the top of these SUVs. Then it had SUVs driven all around 20 largest US cities. People were shocked and surprised to see a tiny car on top of the big SUVs.

Small products should not just be positioned on their price and value for money, because that’s just a number game ( as I say price is not a differentiator to build great brands) which can be challenged rather will be challenged by many other. They should build equity on smartness and may be even around the person who opts for small.  So small products need to think smart.

According to me the challenge for nano is somewhat similar. Nano has caused global a Public Relations. Every one around the globe has heard about it. The expectations out of it are huge. Now we got to see how relevant this brand is.  If Nano is differentiating on Performance Leadership or on Technological Leadership it was Rule the jungle.

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