In the last year, Royal Enfield has climbed the sales charts while the Rs 35,000 crore two-wheeler industry has seen sales slide by 11%. Royal Enfield is riding on the iconic brand status of the 'Bullet'.
The real life 'Bullet' riders have helped Royal Enfield grow by 20% last year taking the total bike sold to 38,539. The brand has done what market leaders Hero Honda, Bajaj and TVS haven't managed to do and that is to grow. The top three players, with the combined 80% share of the 7 million units strong market, have seen sales plateau or drop. Royal Enfield is ramping up production and rolling out new models. It says that differentiated positioning for its premium bike is doing wonders.
"We now have to time ourselves along with industry growth because Royal Enfield is not bought by users for the sheer objective of either fuel efficiency or delivering a signal-to-signal speed. He is buying it after he has seen all, done all and achieved all in his life," said RL Ravichandran, CEO, Royal Enfield.
Their campaign created by Wieden & Kennedy marks Royal Enfield's return to advertising after a three-year gap. The media plan is selective and only on print and that too in lifestyle and fashion magazines. There are plans to release a commercial on the Internet but not on TV. Royal Enfield is consciously cutting down on traditional advertising and is focusing instead on cultural activities to leverage the cult status of the brand.
"It is not like an advertisement where we show people jumping from one hill to another. We actually have shot a bike, which is near the milestone, which says highest moterable road in the world. So, even there when we go to a very extreme pace, even that is done in a very realistic way and that is the spirit of the brand," said V Sunil, Executive Creative Director.
"For the year to come, our growth projection is another 20% of that level and our focus for next year will be to expand our base and introduce the new model in the international market," added Ravichandran.
Royal Enfield is also looking to strengthen its retail presence through brand stores. This is alongwith offering brand extensions like accessories, events, festivals and strengthening its all line community. These are some of the other initiatives being planned by the brand in order to offer a complete biking experience to its riders.
By Samidha Sharma, CNBC-TV18
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