The fastest growing segment in the 2-wheelers market, motorcycles witness a fair flurry of new introductions. And in this category, where stereotypes are strong, and bigger is better, the marketing challenge was to launch a mini-bike with a unique positioning. The product was an amalgamation of bike and moped, and was being pegged against low-end bikes like Hero Honda Dawn, Bajaj Boxer and Kinetic Boss.

The Research Objective

Explore plausible positioning platforms & identify the one most potent for generating creative for the launch of the mini-bike

The Challenge

As there was no time to go back again to the consumers with final concepts / ads, the research needed to provide definitive answers that would form the very basis for the launch positioning & creative.

The Research Methodology

Sequential Processing of Ideas in a Focus Group Discussions format, for positioning development


  • Co-development of optional positioning concepts with the consumers themselves
  • In the following groups, seeking reactions to concepts developed in the previous group, rejecting the weaker ones and exploring newer options if any emerged
  • Finally drilling down to the one concept that emerged as the most potent concept.
  • A total of 8 full groups were carried out back to back and Creative teams were a part of this real-time development & modifications of concepts

Key Findings

  • 3 positioning ideas were generated in the initial groups
    a) Biking = Buddies (like a friend / best moments with friends)
    b) Bike = My style statement (to impress girls, not to seek a serious romance)
    c) Different looking bike = stand apart from the clones. These three ideas were made into mood-boards with the help of consumer & creative teams, and used as stimulus in the groups that followed.
  • Consumers in successive groups rejected the second idea (impressing girls) as clichéd; liked the first idea but felt it was incomplete and not compelling enough; and found the third idea most relevant.
  • Additionally one more option was generated and found very relevant: Bike = Signals my success and achievement
  • This process of co-creation, fine-tuning and rejection finally collapsed into the position: “Different looking bike = stand above from the clones”
The Results
  • The exercise resulted in two creative routes being developed
    – Build a ‘different’ mental plane, away from macho-ness. Different defined here as ‘Sensitive’, which doesn’t really mean non-macho.
    – A more aggressive in-your-face stance: “Do you have the confidence to be different?”
  • The two adcepts were sketched by the creative team during the course of the final groups and a quick acceptance / rejection response was sought on the spot.
Sum up

Not having the time to go back to the drawing board after every round of groups, instead using the groups themselves as the co-creators (with creative supervision) was an interesting innovation. It almost merged the creative process with the research take-outs and proved useful in evolving viable position for the new bike as well as getting consensus of all stake-holders – strategists, creative & consumers.

The usual research task handled through an interesting methodology prevented process over-load (in terms of multiple research stages which would have been the usual way) yet was able to generate both a powerful positioning as well as exciting creatives.

In a category where technological superiority is perceived to be the deciding factor for fate of the brand, where lack of innovations/modifications can often cause an untimely death, what are the real technology associations? And how does a new brand make technology relevant and put it in the driving seat for differentiated brand imagery.

The Research Objective

Deep dive into consumer’s perceptions, association & real understanding of technology with respect to automobiles and where does it fit in with various brands.

The Challenge

How to ‘uncage’ the respondents, so as to scrape past the surface responses and unearth their real attitude, apprehensions and delights with technology.

The Research Methodology
  • Extended diads/triads of friends (instead of groups of unknowns), each owning a different brand of car.
  • Engaging them in “casual chats” amongst themselves, in the comfort of their own environment – at homes, relaxing in clubs, on a holiday, even accompanying them while driving
  • Quantitatively, checking in the associations with technology and mapping it to consumer types.
Key Findings
  • Better technology is taken as implied in newer products, and hooks-on well with Prestige, which drives the craving to own the latest. But it has a very short life span if limited to only ‘prestige’ cues without performance support.
  • Technology can often overwhelm. Frequent ‘technology value additions’ add to the complexity, causing confusion and anxiety of either being ‘led-on’ or ‘left-behind’. Result: cynicism & disbelief in the jargon & the gimmickry.
  • Technology is not necessarily what is under the bonnet, but what you feel when you ride the vehicle – consumer relates better to the tangible and emotional benefits that technology provides. This mindset is reflected in their attitude towards driving itself.
  • It boosts self-esteem and helps you get ahead…and stay ahead – whether be the first in the neighbourhood or be the first off a traffic intersection.
    It gets the adrenaline pumping – it excites the senses & uplifts the mood. Driving a superior vehicle shakes off inhibitions and brings out the ‘real’ you
The Results

Insights from this study proved effective in designing the launch strategy for the product – Real v/s superficial associations with & what to say about technology? Points of contradiction between the socially acceptable vs. the way they actually feel…

Sum up

A challenging yet intriguing research objective, tackled through innovative methodology helped us gain valuable insights on the key issue.