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Brand Repositioning If a brand does not reposition at the right time, it may not get a second chance.

In marketing, positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization. Re-positioning involves changing the identity of a product, relative to the identity of competing products, in the collective minds of the target market. De-positioning involves attempting to change the identity of competing products, relative to the identity of your own product, in the collective minds of the target market. Brand repositioning means rebirth of any brand for a particular product...relenshing of the old technology or concept by innovative solution.Repositioning can be required as the market changes and new opportunities occur. Through repositioning the company can reach customers they never intended to reach in the first place. If a brand has been established at the market for some time and wish to change their image they can consider repositioning, although one of the hardest actions in marketing is to reposition a familiar brand.

The repositioning strategy is rolled out in three stages: introductory, elaboration and fortification stages. This involves the introduction of a new or a repositioned

brand, seeking to underline the brands value over others, and to broaden the brand proposition. It is truly tough to change the customers perceived attitude towards a brand, and therefore the risk is great that the attempt to repositioning might be unsuccessful. After rolling out the strategy, it is time to modify the proposition through update of the personality and through repositioning. There are benefits and risks with both of this segments and it is of great significance that they are truly evaluated when deciding the next step in the process.


Timely repositioning Contemporary perception could involve Either the image or superior functional utility. Iodex was almost the unassailable leader for several years in the pain balm market but was forced to reposition itself by Moov, which made rapid strides. Dove is repositioning itself as a superior soap with moisturisers (as against its previous `trial for results' positioning). Vim Challenge was a response to several regional brands emerging in the dishwash market. Esteem's "Shall we go for a drive, please?" campaign (where the son hopes his dad's pleasure at the ride in the car will overshadow his poor marks) was triggered by the various offerings which entered the mid-segment passenger car market. If repositioning is not attempted by a brand in a timely manner, the brand may not get a second chance. The powerful positioning of economy by the no-frills Maruti 800 during the mid-Eighties could have been pre-empted by Ambassador, not necessarily by

the same economy proposition: Ambassador even today is widely acknowledged as a comfortable car for Indian roads and is also known for its space. Some of the recent offerings in the passenger car market today use this as a strong proposition. The brand could have used this effectively to create a favourable perception of itself. Maruti 800 became almost a legend as much known for derailing Fiat and Ambassador as it is for its fuel economy.

Even in fast moving consumer goods involving mundane household products, timely repositioning matters. The Ujala brand of blue used to whiten clothes made history with its liquid variant. The pioneering (and the brand which held the dominance for years) Robin Blue had a powder variant before Ujala was introduced. Powerfully repositioning Robin Blue (even before introducing the liquid variant as a follower) might have reduced the impact of the new entrant because of the favour and trust Robin Blue enjoyed with consumers.

Burnol, the antiseptic cream for burns (it did attempt some sporadic repositioning exercises) no longer seems to occupy the same space in the consumer's mind. Women continue to cook as before and probably mostly in a hurry to catch up with the pressures of life. Burnol being a handy brand to overcome the inevitable small burns could have been a probable proposition to reposition it. With several categories jostling for consumer mindspace, there is a relevant proposition required for a brand in the `small burns category' to get into the considerations set of consumers. The timing of repositioning (in such cases) should

be worked out to ensure that the category does not fade from the consumer's mind because of a number of other categories emerging to create generic competition in terms of the share of consumer's wallet. For example, a brand traditionally used for burns may be forgotten because of several categories of products and offerings like a cream for heels, herbal antiseptic ones for multiple injuries and corn caps. Forhans toothpaste, Zambac and Saibal multipurpose antiseptic ointments, Eno's for acidity relief, Waterbury's Compound for `after-cough' recovery and Crook's Lactocalamine lotion are some of the brands of yesteryear which could have maintained their dominance of the consumer's memory with appropriate repositioning strategies.

Contemporary image This matters in some categories which are conspicuous in terms of consumers' usage and observation. With changing lifestyles and nuclear families in urban markets (especially in the upmarket segments), the role of the male in the family is undergoing a change. The `relationship' repositioning of Raymond is a good example of a brand coming to grips with the changing psychographics of the target segment. Fair and Lovely's repositioning as a brand for the aspiring girl making a mark in a male-dominated world (woven around the cricket commentator commercial) too is one such example. Pepsodent's commercial in which the mother scolds her child for snacking and establishes the brand as a protector of teeth is associated with traditional habits which have been highlighted to create a realistic association between the brand and the target segment. Product/brand attribute relevance to the habit of the user (children) and the buyer of the category (concerned mother) has been used to reposition the brand. Lifebuoy's repositioning on health based on hygiene is an attempt to take into consideration the priorities

consumers place on heath in a deteriorating environment one of the issues raised frequently by mass media and consumer groups.

Changing the target segment It is difficult for an established brand to change its target segment overnight because of the prolonged associations and perceptions related to imagery and price. However, there have been rare instances of a brand repositioning itself for a new target segment. Cadbury, in an effort to make chocolates appeal to adults, created the repositioning around `spontaneous joy' (the girl's dance in the cricket field) and since then the mould version of its offering continues to be positioned for adults. With the company offering different offerings for different segments, the strategy for the mould version synergises with the overall strategy of the brand.

Timex, which was targeting the lower-end watch market when it entered India, has introduced expensive watches with high technology at the higher end of the market. Technology, with its rub-off on the product's attributes, could be a powerful factor in moving a brand from lower to higher segments. Changing the target segment for an established brand is a delicate marketing exercise and several aspects of marketing mix elements are involved. These are important from the viewpoint of consumer perception. Bata, during the Nineties started dealing with designer brands: it had developed the Power brand for youth and a number of offerings for middle-class consumers. In the recent times, it has segmented its retail outlets into discount outlets and higherend ones. In such a situation, it may be difficult for the brand to reposition itself

with a clear association. Communicating the newness can be seen in the `new, `improved' versions of old established brands. The point that is important in such a positioning is that consumers should be able to relate to the improved claims made by the brand. If Rin is repositioned to provide extra whiteness, the attribute should be recognised by consumers.

Decisions concerning repositioning A brand need not always rely on repositioning: the decisions are related to the strength of the company, competitive context and consumer perception. A brand could create several sub-brands over a period of time in tune with the changes in the environment. Hero Honda, after the success of its CD 100 almost two decades ago, continues to hold sway over the market by creating several sub-brands each distinctive from the other. It created SS, Passion and Splendor with differing appeals. Sometimes, a premium offering needs to be repositioned when consumers become more receptive to the brand over a period of time. Colgate Total, one such offering, was initially positioned on multiple benefits but later, the same benefits were positioned with the `12-hour protection' proposition. Brand positioning and repositioning deals with the mind of consumer. Brand repositioning is more complex as it has to take into account the perception already created in the consumers' minds.


USP or the unique selling proposition of a brand continues to be a critical issue in this era of digital marketing. Trout, one of the proponents of the positioning concept, is of the opinion that any advertising for a brand should sell with a USP rather than provide entertainment for viewers. USP positions a brand in the mind

of the consumer and creates a strong differentiator for it from among competing brands in the respective category. Fevistick (adhesive in the form of a stick) had convience as its USP even though it is several times more expensive than the regular gum. Maruti (the initial no-frills version) changed the Indian consumers perception of passenger cars. While a USP in todays context can be a benefit from brand attribute (ingredients of Colgate total resulting in multiple benefits associated with oral care), there can be other ways also in which USP can be formulated , by taking into consideration the various research inputs from the appropriate target audience. Sidney Levy, a well known researcher in the area of qualitative marketing presearch, proposed models on these qualitative aspects that can be applied to the present day clutter of communication to ensure that the message is conveyed to the intended segment. This can be very valuable to a company interacting with an advertising agency to make sure that creativity is meaningful and practical.


1) Operating environment - there could be changes in the environment brought about by change in laws of the land etc. like ITC's shift towards FMCG and apparels since tobacco industry is being hanuted world over due to its negative factors. 2) Competition - Either you keep making the loudest noise or improve your service deliverables a notch higher to that of your competition. In both cases it calls for substantial resource allocation. So the simplest thing instead would be to reposition yourself. There doesnt seem to be much of a dent in Airtells marketshare despite the tough competition from Vodafone and our own BSNL.

3) Brand positioning - Holds good for a lot of old world brands that have been built on a sound proposition that was relevant in those days but look weak in modern times. Like videocons change in positioning from a desi brand to that of an international one.


Brand repositioning is necessary when one or more of the following conditions exist: Your brand has a bad, confusing or nonexistent image. The primary benefit your brand "owns" has evolved from a differentiating benefit to a cost-of-entry benefit. Your organization is significantly altering its strategic direction. Your organization is entering new businesses and the current positioning is no longer appropriate. A new competitor with a superior value proposition enters your industry. Competition has usurped your brand's position or rendered it ineffectual. Your organization has acquired a very powerful proprietary advantage that must be worked into the brand positioning. Corporate culture renewal dictates at least a revision of the brand personality

You are broadening your brand to appeal to additional consumers or consumer need segments for whom the current brand positioning won't work. (This should be a "red flag." This action could dilute the brand's meaning, make the brand less appealing to current customers or even alienate current customers.)


The implication with the term repositioning is that a company modifies something that is already present in the market and in the consumers mind. The definition of repositioning changes different individuals and professions. To view the different definitions and perceive a greater understanding about this concept, three examples of repositioning given by individuals in different professions is stated below: Repositioning is a change, principally about trigging the vision, mission and value in a new direction that is more suited for the brand in the future
Establishing the brand proposition Selecting appropriate marketing mix

Modifying the proposition Repositioning Updating the personality.

Rolling out the strategy Introductory stage Elaboration Stage Fortification Stage

Principally, reposition concerns changing the consumers perception of the brand Repositioning is built upon the change of unique and differentiated associations with the brand in some kind of direction, it is about having a balance between the

category party and differentiation when using reposition strategies(Leading brand strategist) From these definitions, it is obvious that reposition is about moving something to a newer and hopefully to a more attractive and relevant position. The purpose of the movement differs with regards to what the company wants to achieve. A company might want to reach out to a larger target group, or be involved in several different positions at the market. There is also a visible relation between price and quantity aspects. When a company perceives the market as a demand curve, the purpose is to down stretch or up stretch in this curve. When moving down it is often spoken of as an expansion down wards, and when moving up and there is a need for reaching the premium segment and expand up wards.


New Position

Price Experienced Quality

Previous position

When striving towards a new position in the market, it is important to understand that consumers minds are limited. Peoples minds select what to remember and it is therefore significant to convince the consumers with great arguments. The market demand changes rapidly and therefore repositioning can be necessary to

meet these demands, newer and stronger arguments have to be established to convince them to stay as loyal customers. As stated in the literature, repositioning is a very complicated matter and therefore there are no detailed theories or models. The aim with repositioning differ from person to person, and the only connection between all the different theories is that repositioning is moving something from somewhere towards a greater position at the market.


Corstjens and Doyle (1989) identified three types of repositioning strategies: (1) Zero repositioning, which is not a repositioning at all since the firm maintains its initial strategy in the face of a changing environment; (2) Gradual repositioning, where the firm performs incremental, continuous adjustments to its positioning strategy to reflect the evolution of its environment; (3) Radical repositioning that corresponds to a discontinuous shift towards a new target market and/or a new competitive advantage. After examining the repositioning of several brands from the Indian market, the following 8 types of repositioning have been identified. These are: 1. Increasing relevance to the consumer 2. Increasing occasions for use 3.Making the brand serious 4. Falling sales 5. Bringing in new customers 6.Making the brand contemporary 7. Differentiate from other brands

8.Changed market conditions. It is not always that these eight categories are mutually exclusive. Often one reason leads to the other and a brand is repositioned sometimes for a multiplicity of reasons.


Segmentation is the process of dividing a cluttered market (in terms of a mix of consumers) into homogeneous markets in such a way that a company can target specific consumer segments with its positioning strategies. Segmentation variables are used to divide the market. In a dynamic competitive context, marketers should consider the constant changes in their target segments and reposition the brand accordingly. The following aspects provide linkages between segmentation-related changes and brand repositioning direction: How should brands be repositioned when segment of consumers buying brands offering value shift to unbranded offerings? This happens in unorganized markets in categories like edible oil, pens and moulded luggage. An un-organised market is one which has a number of unbranded offerings promoted only through low prices in local markets. They are generally not branded and fall short of quality expectations. These offerings are sold within a vicinity of about 20 to 30Km from the place of manufacture and some of them may also be illegal offerings (duplicates). How should a brand that wants to appeal to a different segment be repositioned? How should a brand that wants to supplement its existing brand personality position itself for an additional segment to be repositioned?


How should a brand, successful with a functional proposition, be repositioned to another segment which may require a symbolic orientation apart from the functional qualities? How should a premium brand that wants to enlarge its niche segment after it has created brand awareness, be repositioned? How should a brand be repositioned when it wants to reach out to consumers at the upper end of the market? (It has to be ensured that the brand does not get into an image trap as it is moving from down market to an up-market position). How should a brand be repositioned when it wants to shed its image (due to competitive reasons) after maintaining a proposition for a period of time in the market?

The seven linkage points out to the fact that brand repositioning in a competitive environment involves a combination of issues concerning brand associations, sub-brands, product-line offerings and marketing mix elements.

There are seven kinds of repositioning strategies taking into consideration the segmentation repositioning linkages and the basic idea of SCP & brand related dimensions.


Value-Oriented Repositioning Segment-Oriented Repositioning Celebrity-Oriented Brand Enhancement Repositioning Symbolism-Oriented Repositioning Upmarket Technology-Oriented Repositioning Niche-Oriented Repositioning Change of Image-Oriented Repositioning

The Above seven kinds of repositioning strategies are explained as follows: Value-Oriented Repositioning This strategy is useful in two situations: 1. When a brand offering values is competing against the unorganized sector (explained in the example given below) 2. When a brand has strongly established a value proposition. The examples are old ones but ones that offer insights for a conceptual direction. The three examples reflect the importance of repositioning a brand associated with value in the perception of consumers.

Reynolds is a brand of ball-pen which was launched in India during the eighties. It was nearly double the price of the other competitive offerings in the market. These offerings which were in the un-organised sector(without registered brand names and marketed in a small territory) were of poor quality. Reynolds used the skimming price(higher price point) strategy and became a successful brand. Besides, Reynolds also has a sturdy product casing( apart from a good, uniform flow of ink which ensured easy writing).

Though consumers paid more for Reynolds, they perceived it as a reliable brand. Reynolds created this positioning and association through a good product and higher price. Its advertisements created awareness but the associations came from a price quality perception in that ball-pen market. Repositioning Reynolds should involve a better quality product and higher price (even if variants are launched), especially when a number of brands have entered the market with similar offerings.

Akai was practically institutionalized the second-hand TV market in India. At a time when consumers perceived price number of features combination as an indication of value. Akai created value perception by announcing exchange schemes. There were schemes by which consumers could exchange their existing television for a new one and pay around 50 percent of the price for a new television. In a market where brands were attempting to positioning themselves as no frill-low price or feature ridden or through comparative advertisements that emphasized a few extra features, Akai entered the mind of prospects through sales promotion schemes. Akai could position itself as a brand which offers value through good sales promotion schemes. Repositioning for Akai will work through sales promotion schemes that are enhanced through proper value addition. The creativity in repositioning exercise for Akai will lie in the ability of the brand/organization to launch innovative and competitive sales promotion schemes. If a brand relies on certain unique

characteristics of the market(large number of second-hand buyers in this context), it may be effective to use a similar approach while repositioning it. Of course there are other options like creating a high quality product and symbolic aspects. But the unique association of a brand is carried

over with an innovative approach that is associated with the original positioning strategy.

The edible oil market in India is largely dominated by manufactueres of loose oil who sell unbranded, unpacked edible oil. The branded ones cater to the upper end of the market. Vendee, a brand of edible oil created a differentiation by reaching out to consumers through vending machines-in an unpacked form. There was standardization of quality with regards to this brand. Consumers (in the loose-market segment) who were used to inconsistent quality of edible oil may have thought of upgrading to vendee. The positioning routevendee was through the innovative distribution channel. It was distributed through vending machines. Repositioning the brand will involve a better quality oil variants through vending machines. This will give the brand credibility vendees original association has been with vending machines. Segment-Oriented Repositioning This strategy is useful when a brand wants to change the segment to which it is currently catering. Sunny was a two-wheeler scooterette (a hybrid between a moped and (scooter) which was initially positioned for teenagers. The brand was endorsed by a well-known sports celebrity. The initial positioning wa through a novel product (scooterette) and the glamour of the celebrity both of which may have appealed to the target segment. The company probably realized that the product(50cc) was not much of a success in the market. This was reflected when the brand was repositioned as Sunny Zip and it was upgraded to 75cc. the target segment for the repositioned

product was women, comprising the housewives and college-going girls. The repositioning involved up-gradation of the product change of segment and a sub-brand(Sunny Zip). The advertisements did not incorporate a celebrity. They showed typical users of the product. Brand imagery was used to strengthen the brand association. This is an

example of brand repositioning for a new target segment after the product is modified.

Another interesting example is the Fair & Lovely fairness cream. After decades of positiong on the fairness platform for young people, the brand started targeting middle-aged married women. The TV commercial amplifies the usage of the brand by a married women (user imagery) and not so much the brand benefit(which has been hammered in for years). This approach also shows how a benefit can be extended to different segments at different times, especially when the original target segment may be exposed to new brands. This approach may require development of a strong brand before such a repositioning is done. Fairness as a benefit was being extended to married women at a time when personal grooming has become important for consumers I in the Indian context. The brand did not continue the repositioning presumably because of strategic reasons which gave away to several other variants subsequent to the repositioning exercise discussed.

In consumables, Cadbury chocolate ( moulded variant in the rectangular slab) was positioned for children in the eighties. In the nineties, the same variant was directed towards adults using a change in the brand imagery.

The objective of the brand was to expand the market and bring in adults into its segment Cadbury introduced a variant of the moulded version under the sub-brand Cadburys Gold. This sub-brand was positioned on a permissive and mischievous personality platform with appropriate visuals (in the TV commercial) the TV commercial showed a lady clad in permissive apparel in a gymnasium embracing men. This association contradicted the fun-loving adult association of the earlier moulded variant that was not considered as permissive in the Indian context (during the time the brand was launched, and the context has changed since then). Cadburys Gold did not sustain itself in the retail shelves. Was it because of the contradictory brand associations? is the conceptual angle that needs to be addressed while discussing repositioning strategies. This example reflects the impact of positioning a new variant, using overall brand associations, associated also with the earlier variants. Celebrity-Oriented Brand Enhancement Repositioning This strategy is useful when brand uses imagery (can even be a celebrity) to strengthen its association and makes an attempt to enter a new segment based on the strength of the same imagery. BPL, a brand in consumer electronics, originally operated in business-tobusiness marketing (X-rays and telecom) before moving into televisions, its first product category in consumer electronics. The brand initially positioned itself as one associated with high technology. This is a typical example of a brand attempting to use technology as an intangible.

Consumers may have exhibited a strong preference towards the brand because of tis technology association without even knowing its

intricacies. During the mid-nineties the brand repositioned itself using a celebrity association. The celebrity had a charismatic appeal(for masses as well as elite) and would have been a good fit for the brand which is targeting the rural Indian population. The company is also marketing refrigerators, microwaves, radios, CDs and kitchen appliances. The repositioning using a celebrity did not elaborate on product attributes or benefits. It used ethnocentrism, a personality-related concept which reflects a strong tendency on the part of an individual to buy products which are made in his own country. The celebrity in the TV commercial spoke about the conviction which consumers should have about Indianmade products. This was an effective strategy considering there are a number of multinational companies in the consumer electronic categories in india. The repositioning exercise added a favourable Indian association to the associations of the brand that had a favourable image. The repositiong may have also helped the brand to make an impact on rural consumers, for whom the celebrity held a tremendous charisma. Symbolism-Oriented Repositioning This strategy is useful when a brand wit h a strongly entrenched functional image wants to expand its market using a symbolic positioning without losing its earlier association. Bajaj, a brand in two-wheelers, was in the Indian context for over several decades. The brand personality of Bajaj was rugged, trustworthy, economy-oriented and a family friend. With lifestyle changes in the nineties, Bajaj attempted to reposition itself as a contemporary hip twowheeler. Bajaj came out with specific sub-brands (affixed to the reassuring name of Bajaj-Bravo and Classic. Both these sub-brands were

positioned on the lifestyle platform. Classic was positioned as a vehicle which provided a comfortable and enjoyable experience to an executive who leads a high-pressured life. Bravo was positioned as a scooter which would appeal to men who like to havea macho image. The repositioning exercise here was attempted partly with new sub-brands. The repositioning exercise of Bajaj with the sub-brands reflects the alternatives available for an entrenched brand to reposition itself (there may be several other factors that go into the actual success of an offering). Raymond is a well-known upmarket brand in textiles. The brand initially positioned itself as a guide to a well-dressed male. The brand is priced higher than a number of other fabric brands and it has a network of exclusive outlets throughout the country. The brand repositioned itself a decade ago as the fabric for the complete man. The repositioning attempted to emphasize that the offering was meant for an up-market consumer who also has his share of family experiences in life. Repositioning of the brand involved lifestyle aspects after the functional proposition of the brand was well-accepted by consumers. The lifestyle repositioning of the brand has created a strong differentiation for the brand.


Upmarket Technology-Oriented Repositioning This kind of strategy is useful when a down market brand attempts an upward stretch apart from continuing to serve its current consumer segments. Ponds os a household name in India. The brand repositioned itself as a contemporary skin-care brand using the technology and research association.The brand used the concept of Ponds Institue that was associated with state of the art products. Ponds currently has skin-care products in the upper end of that market. The repositioning of the brand created a perception which helped it to move to the higher end of the market without a new brand or sub-brand from the perception of consumers. It is also worthwhile to note that the brand could stretch itself upwards without getting into the image trap. Niche-Oriented Repositioning This strategy is useful when a niche brand (premium one) is interested in expanding its consumer base after it has created brand awareness. Dove is premium soap in the upper end of the soap market and the brand has a small market share in the overall soap market. Initially, the brand attempted to reposition the entire soap market by introducing the brand as a moisturizer bar. Doves TV commercial compared other offerings of soaps and conveyed that the brand is superior to soaps(establishing the point of difference after conveying the point of parity to enable the consumers to know that the brand competes with soaps). The positioning focused on the advantages of using a moisturizer bar. Doves positioning in a niche market involved the repositioning of the soap category. The


brand continued to reposition the soap category with a new TV commercial on the same theme. Change of Image-Oriented Repositioning It is worthwhile to investigate the impact of marketing mix elements on positioning strategies. An interesting aspect is that the environment can also influence the positioning of a brand along with its marketing mix strategies. Maruti 800 (the no-frill version) was a car launched in the economy segment in India during the mid eighties. The brand was sold at a premium for three years. Maruti was not a brand which a middle class household in india could afford. The periodic price hikes in over a decade and the proliferation of two-wheeler brands (had made Maruti a status symbol, if not a premium one). When competition entered the market with several offerings the perception of value underwent a change in the minds of consumers. After 15 year of success with the small car image, Maruti has repositioned itself as a car for the Indian middle class. Repositioning has initiated a change in the brand image without affecting the core economy proposition of the brand. Ray Ban, the global brand of sunglasses, entered india during the early nineties through a positioning which emphasized the brand name. Later, the brand was repositioned using product benefits as the theme of the repositioning exercise. Some variants in the product line were also positioned on the lifestyle theme with a specific sub-brand (Killer Loop). Repositioning of the brand also consisted of introducing low-priced variants to create a perception that the brand was not as up-market as consumers perceived it to be. In all these repositioning examples, the brands made use of image change. The sustainable core proposition

(SCP) is extremely useful in terms of creating brand associations suited for the long term usage. But there can be a number of situations in which the positioning association of a brand needs to be changed, and the consistency involved in SCP cannot be followed when the brand is not accepted by target segment. A framework which emphasizes the usage of SCP and non-SCP strategies based on two specific dimensions can help marketers to decide on the applicability of the SCP in a given marketing environment. The framework also helps to analyze the changes required to fine tune positioning strategies so that the brand is accepted by the target segment after the initial positioning strategy has failed to evoke the required response.


A four-phased brand repositioning approach can be followed to achieve the intended benefits:

Phase I. Determining the Current Status of the Brand Phase II. What Does the Brand Stand for Today? Phase III. Developing the Brand Positioning Platforms Phase IV. Refining the Brand Positioning and Management Presentation


The benefits that can be derived from brand repositioning exercises can be summarized as: Value over others Updated personality Relevant position

The risks associated with such strategies are: Loss of focus Neglecting original customers Losing credibility for the brand Confusing the brand

Therefore, brand repositioning is more difficult than initially positioning a brand because one must first help the customer unlearn the current brand positioning (easier said than done). Three actions can aid in this process: (1) carefully crafted communication, (2) new products, packaging, etc. that emphasize the new positioning and (3) associations with other brands (co-branding, comarketing, ingredient branding, strategic alliances, etc.) that reinforce the new brand positioning. This exercise is so critical to an organizations success that the organizations leadership team and its marketing/brand management leaders should develop it, preferably with the help and facilitation of an outside brand-positioning expert.




Many marketers are rethinking their brands positioning because competitive pressures, new channels, and changing customer needs have eroded their brands positions of strength. How- ever, increased marketing expenditures to reposition brands often fail to produce any improvements in either overall image or market share. Our experience has shown that companies should focus on achievable rather than aspirational positioning, and that three steps can help ensure success:

1 . Ensure relevance to a customers frame of reference. Be fully aware of the brands frame of reference so that a repositioning strategy will resonate with customers. Look at a combination of customers attitudes and the situations in which the brand is used to obtain the most powerful customer insights.


2. Secure the customers permission for the positioning. Recognize that permission amounts to a reasonable and logical extension of the brand in the customers eyes. Leverage a brands unique emotional benets to carry customers from their current brand perception to the intended one. 3. Deliver on the brands new promise. Identify the pathway of performance signals that will convince customers of the new brand positioning. Develop product/ service programs to ensure consistent performance on these signals. Track and assess performance against customer signals prior to launching the new positioning. Adopt an interim positioning to establish brand credibility and performance.

An array of factors is requiring marketers today to rethink their brand positioning. Changing customer needs are often eroding the brands established position. At the same time, increasing competitive pressures created by new entrants and product innovations, and the proliferation of new channels and promotional campaigns, are driving marketers back to the drawing board. Many CEO s and CMO s, however, nd themselves displeased with the results of their repositioning efforts. Increased marketing expenditures devoted to repositioning brands in the minds of consumers often fail to produce any improvements in either overall image or market share.

Be Relevant to the Customers Frame of Reference

When repositioning a brand, its essential for marketers to capture not just the emotional and physical needs of the customer, but the dynamics of the situation in which those needs occur. We refer to this as the customers frame of reference.

For example, while Rasna and Tang are thirst- quenching drinks, consumers tend to think of them in the broader context of sports, exercise, and physical activity. Importantly, the frame of reference sets the parameters for customers consideration set the brands they will choose from. Indeed, most customers have a very specic denition of what the brand is and what it can be relative to their frame of reference. Repositioning a brand too far from this frame of reference creates customer confusion that makes a positioning unsuccess- ful.

Being fully aware of the frame of reference for a brand can help ensure that its repositioning strategy will resonate with custom- ers. But the frame of reference is usually a combination of both customers attitudes and the situations in which the brand is used. As a result, we typically nd the most powerful customer insights and segmentation come from looking at a combination of these factors. In some categories, customers broader attitudes are the dominant factor. How customers think about pet-related brands, for example, can be seen in the context of how they treat their own pets whether they view them as family members, best friends/ companions, or in a less personal way. If customers view pets as family members, the optimal message for the brand


will appeal to such human qualities as nurturing and pampering. This familymember orientation or frame of reference may helpsupport a brand extension to a full range of pet services,such as grooming and accessories. Other customer needs are not as consistent, but better understood within the context of specicsituations or sub- categories. In the eld of airline travel, for example, the customers frame of reference may be a function of the type of trip they are taking. The customer who is used to traveling within the U.S. in cramped coach-class conditions, for example, will have a much different set of needs and expectations than the traveler who is used to ying to international destinations with all the comforts of rst-class service. As a result, in most instances the frame of reference is built upon a combination of both of the above attitudinal and situational forces. For

example, while consumers may generally have a health-conscious attitude about the foods they eat, on certain special occasions they may allow themselves to become more indulgent, creating what we call a need state.

Securing the Customers Permission

Establishing the frame of reference does not automatically translate into successful brand repositioning. To reach that end point, marketers must rest ensure they have the customers permission to claim the new ground to which the brand aspires. Because that permission amounts to a reasonable and logical extension of the brand in the eyes of the customer, it requires building a bridge that can carry customers from where they perceive your brand to be today to where you want to take it in the future. Thus, for the Celestial Seasonings brand, the bridge leverages customers perceptions of the brand as organic, natural, and healthy to allow the brand to extend from its core product offering of teas into herb-based and

alternative vitamin and mineral supplements. Similarly, Marriott uses customers perceptions of the brand as a leader in hotels and living -care to extend the brand into assisted living for senior citizens.

Emotional brand benets can provide the most powerful source of brand permission. If a brand is currently meeting the customers emotional needs, then extension of that brand into an allied product/ service arena becomes much more plausible and acceptable the extension is likely to be granted customer permission. For example, the strong emotional benets associ- ated with the Hallmark brand in greeting cards allowed for the extension of the brand into wrapping papers, ornaments, and other products with emotional ties to celebration and com- memoration. A strong brand identity can also help marketers secure the desired permission from consumers. Because Victorias Secret owns or is associated with the notion of intimate moments, for example, it would be easier for that brand to get permission to introduce a new line of lingerie or perfume with a sensual connotation than it would be to launch a line of jeans or handbags. In repositioning, marketers must embrace the idea that they are brand stewards, while customers dene their relationship with the brand and determine the basis for the relationship. A steward must spend more time deeply understanding what customers really think about the brand and where potential bridges to growth and new positionings exist.



Axis Bank, previously called UTI Bank, was the first of the new private banks to have begun operations in 1994, after the Government of India allowed new private banks to be established. The Bank was promoted jointly by the Administrator of the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (UTI-I), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation Ltd., National Insurance Company Ltd., The New India Assurance Company, The Oriental Insurance Corporation and United Insurance Company Ltd. UTI-I holds a special position in the Indian capital markets and has promoted many leading financial institutions in the country. The bank changed its name to Axis Bank in April 2007 to avoid confusion with other unrelated entities with similar name.[2] Shikha Sharma was named as the bank's managing director and CEO on 20 April 2009.[3] As on the year ended March 31, 2009 the Bank had a total income of Rs. 13,745.04 crores and a net profit of Rs 1,812.93 crores


Branch Network
At the end of March 2009,the Bank has a very wide network of more than 726 branch offices and Extension Counters. The Bank has loans now (as of June 2007) account for as much as 70 per cent of the banks total loan book of Rs 2,00,000 crore. For HDFC Bank, retail assets are around 57 per cent (Rs 28,000 crore) of the total loans as of March 2007. In the case of Axis Bank, retail loans have declined from 30 per cent of the total loan book of Rs 25,800 crore in June 2006 to around 23 per cent of loan book of Rs.41,280 crore (as of June 2007). Even over a longer period, while the overall asset growth for Axis Bank has been quite high and has matched that of the other banks, retail exposures grew at a slower pace. If the sharp decline in the retail asset book in the past year in the case of Axis Bank is part of a deliberate business strategy, this could have significant implications (not necessarily negative) for the overall future profitability of the business.Despite the slower growth of the retail book over a period of time and the outright decline seen in the past year, the banks fundamentals are quite resilient. With the high level of mid-corporate and wholesale corporate lending the bank has been doing, onewouldhaveexpectedthenetinterestmargins to have been under greater pressure. The bank, though, appears to have insulated such pressures. Interest margins, while they have declined from the 3.15 per cent seen in 2003-04, are still hovering close to the 3 percent mark. (The comparable margins for ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are around 2.60 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. The margins for ICICI Bank are lower despite its much larger share of the higher margin retail business, since funding costs also are higher).


1993 The Bank was incorporated on 3rd December and Certificate of Business on 14th December. The Bank transacts banking business of all description. UTI Bank Ltd. was promoted by Unit Trust of India, LifeInsurance Corporation of India, General Insurance Corporation of India and its four subsidiaries. The bank was the first private sector bank to get a license under the new guidelines issued by the RBI.

1997 The Bank obtained license to act as Depository Participant with NSDL and applied for registration with SEBI to act as `Trustee to Debenture Holders'. Rupees 100 crores was contributed by UTI, the rest from LIC Rs 7.5 crores, GIC and its four subsidiaries Rs 1.5 crores each.

1998 The Bank has 28 branches in urban and semi urban areas as on 31 st July. All the branches are fully computerised and networked through VSAT. ATM services are available in 27 branches. The Bank came out with a public issue of 1,50,00,000 No. of equity shares of Rs 10 each at a premium of Rs 11 per share aggregating to Rs 31.50 crores and Offer for sale of 2,00,00,000 No. of equity


shares for cash at a price of Rs 21 per share. Out of the public issue2,20,000 shares were reserved for allotment on preferencial basis to employee of UTI Bank. 3,47,80,000 shares were offered to thepublic. The company offers ATM cards, using which account-holders canwithdraw money from any of the bank's ATMs across the country which are inter-connected by VSAT. UTI Bank has launched a new retail product with operational flexibility for its customers. UTI Bank will sign a co-brand agreement with the market, leader, Citibank NA for entering into the highly promising credit card business. UTI Bank promoted by India's pioneer mutual fund Unit Trust of India along with LIC, GIC and its four subsidiaries. Balance of

1999 UTI Bank and Citibank have launched an international co-branded credit card. UTI Bank and Citibank have come together to launch an international cobranded credit card under the MasterCard umbrella. UTI Bank Ltd has inaugurated an off site ATM at Ashok Nagar here, taking the total number of its off site ATMs to 13.m


2000 The Bank has announced the launch of Tele-Depository Services for its depository clients. UTI Bank has launch of `iConnect', its Internet banking Product. UTI Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with for e-broking activities of the site. financial Securities Ltd., an e-broking outfit is typing up with UTI Bank for a banking interface. Geojit Securities Ltd, the first company to start online trading services, has signed a MoU with UTI Bank to enable investors to buy\sell demat stocks through the company's website. Indiabulls has signed a memorandum of understanding with UTI Bank. UTI Bank has entered into an agreement with Stock Holding Corporation of India for providing loans against shares to SCHCIL's customers and funding investors in public and rights issues. ICRA has upgraded the rating og UTI Bank's Rs 500-crore certificate of deposit programme to A1+. UTI Bank has tied up with L&T for providing customized online trading solution for brokers. 2001 UTI Bank launched a private placement of non-convertible debentures to raise up to Rs 75 crore.


UTI Bank has opened two offsite ATMs and one extension counter with an ATM in Mangalore, taking its total number of ATMs across the country to 355. UTI Bank has recorded a 62 per cent rise in net profit for the quarter ended September 30, 2001, at Rs 30.95 crore. For the second quarter ended September 30, 2000, the net profit was Rs 19.08 crore. The total income of the bank during the quarter was up 53 per cent at Rs 366.25 crore.

2002 UTI Bank Ltd has informed BSE that Shri B R Barwale has resigned as a Director of the Bank w.e.f. January 02, 2002. A C Shah, former chairman of Bank of Baroda, also retired from the banks board in the third quarter of last year. His place continues to be vacant. M Damodaran took over as the director of the board after taking in the reins of UTI. B S Pandit has also joined the banks board subsequent to the retirement of K G Vassal. UTI Bank Ltd has informed that Shri Paul Fletcher has been appointed as an Additional Director Nominee of CDC Financial Service(Mauritius)Ltd of the Bank.And Shri Donald Peck has been appointed as an Additional Director (nominee of South Asia Regional Fund) of the Bank.


UTI Bank Ltd has informed that on laying down the office of Chairmanof LIC on being appointed as Chairman of SEBI, Shri G N Bajpai, Nominee Director of LIC has resigned as a Director of the Bank.

2002 B Paranjpe & Abid Hussain cease to be the Directors of UTI Bank. UTI Bank Ltd has informed that in the meeting of the Board of Directors following decisions were taken: Mr Yash Mahajan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab Tractors Ltd was appointed as an Additional Director with immediate effect. Mr N C Singhal former Vice Chairman and Managing. Director of SCICI was appointed as an Additional Director with immediate effect. ABN Amro, UTI Bank in pact to share ATMs. UTI Bank Ltd has informed BSE that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank is scheduled to be held on October 24, 2002 to consider and take on record the unaudited half yearly/quarterly financial results of the Bank for the half year/Quarter ended September 30, 2002. UTI Bank Ltd has informed that Shri J M Trivedi has been appointed as an alternate director to Shri Donald Peck with effect from November 2, 2002.

2003 UTI Bank Ltd has informed BSE that at the meeting of the Board of Directors of the company held on January 16, 2003, Shri R N Bharadwaj, Managing Director


of LIC has been appointed as an Additional Director of the Bank with immediate effect. UTI Bank, the private sector bank has opeaned a branch at Nellore.The bank's Chairman and Managing Director, Dr P.J. Nayak, inaugurating the bank branch at GT Road on May 26. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nayak said, This marks another step towards the extensive customer banking focus that we are providing across the country and reinforces our commitment to bring superior banking services, marked by convenience and closeness to customers. UTI Bank Ltd. has informed the Exchange that at its meeting held on June 25, 2003 the BOD have decided the following: 1) To appoint Mr. A T Pannir Selvam, former CMD of Union Bank of India and Prof. Jayanth Varma of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad as additional directors of the Bank with immediate effect. Further, Mr. Pannir Selvam will be the nominee director of the Administrator of the specified undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (UTI-I) and Mr. Jayanth Varma will be an Independent Director. 2) To issue NonConvertible Unsecured Redeemable Debentures upto Rs.100 crs, in one or more tranches as the Bank's Tier - II capital. UTI has been authorised to launch 16 ATMs on the Western Railway Stations of Mumbai Division.


UTI filed suit against financial institutions IFCI Ltd in the debt recovery tribunal at Mumbai to recover Rs.85cr in dues. UTI bank made an entry to the Food Credit Programme, it has made an entry into the 59 cluster which includes private sector, public sector, old private sector and co-operative banks. Shri Ajeet Prasad, Nminee of UTI has resigned as the director of the bank. Banks Chairman and MD Dr.P.J.Nayak inaugurated a new branch at Nellore. UTI bank allots shares under Employee Stock Option Scheme to its employees. Unveils pre-paid travel card 'Visa Electron Travel Currency Card' Allotment of 58923 equity shares of Rs 10 each under ESOP. UTI Bank ties up with UK govt fund for contract farming Shri B S Pandit, nominee of the Administrator of the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (UTI-I) has resigned as a director from the Bank wef November 12, 2003.


UTI Bank unveils new ATM in Sikkim

2004 Comes out with Rs. 500 mn Unsecured Redeemable Non-Convertible Debenture Issue, issue fully subscribed UTI Bank Ltd has informed that Shri Ajeet Prasad, Nominee of the Administrator of the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (UTI - I) has been appointed as an Additional Director of the Bank w.e.f. January 20, 2004. UTI Bank opens new branch in Udupi UTI Bank, Geojit in pact for trading platform in Qatar UTI Bank ties up with Shriram Group Cos Unveils premium payment facility through ATMs applicable to LIC & UTI Bank customers Metaljunction (MJ)- the online trading and procurement joint venture of Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India (SAIL)- has roped in UTI Bank to start off own equipment for Tata Steel.


DIEBOLD Systems Private Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Diebold Incorporated, has secured a major contract for the supply of ATMs and services to UTI Bank HSBC completes acquisition of 14.6% stake in UTI Bank for .6 m UTI Bank installs ATM in Thiruvananthapuram Launches `Remittance Card' in association with Remit2India, a Website offering money-transfer services

2005 UTI Bank enters into a bancassurance partnership with Bajaj Allianz General for selling general insurance products through its branch network. UTI Bank launches its first Satellite Retail Assets Centre (SRAC) in Karnataka at Mangalore.

2006 UTI Bank unveils priority banking lounge UTI Bank launches operations of UBL Sales, its Sales Subsidiary -Inaugurates its first office in Bengaluru


UTI Bank announces the launch of its Credit Card Business UTI Bank becomes the first Indian Bank to successfully issue Foreign Currency Hybrid Capital in the International Market UTI Bank Business Gold Debit Card MasterCard Launched Designed for business related spending by SMEs and self employed professionals

2007 AXIS Bank Ltd has informed that consequent upon handing over charge as Administrator of the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI), Shri. S B Mathur, the Nominee Director of SUUTI has resigned as a Director of the Bank w.e.f. December 06, 2007. AXIS Bank Ltd has informed that Fitch Ratings on December 14, 2007,has upgraded the Bank's National Long-term rating to 'AAA(ind)' from 'AA+(ind)'. AXIS Bank Ltd hasappointed Shri K N Prithviraj as an Additional Director on the Board at Directors of the Bank. Company name has been changed from UTI Bank Ltd toAxis Bank Ltd.

2008 Axis Bank launches Platinum Credit Card, India's first EMV chip based card


Axis Bank set up its branch at Ilanji at Meenakshi Nagar on the CoutralamMadurai road on April 16.

2009 Axis Bank today said its board has recommended the appointment of Shikha Sharma, currently chief of ICICI group's life insurance business, as its next managing director and CEO. Axis Bank has set up a new branch at Perumbavoor. The bank has a network of 832 branches along with 8 extension counters and 3622 ATMs across the country. Axis Bank, on Wednesday entered into a strategic alliance with Motilal Oswal, the financial services firm, in order to facilitate the online trading for the bank's customers. AXIS Bank Ltd has informed that the Board of Directors of the Bank at its meeting held on June 01, 2009, inducted Smt. Shikha Sharma as an Additional Director of the Bank. Axis bank has received final clearance from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to begin its mutual fund operation and will launch debt and equity schemes soon whereas IDBI Bank is awaiting the regulator's permit for an entry.


Axis Bank opened the new branch at Irinjalakuda while it has a network of 892 branches, 8 extension counters and 3,806 ATMs across the country. 2010 Axis Bank Limited has informed that at the meeting of the Board of Directors held on January 15, 2010, the following decisions were taken:

(1) To appoint Dr. Adarsh Kishore, former Finance Secretary, Government of India and former Executive Director, International Monetary Fund representing Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka,as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Bank, subject to RBI approval;

(2) To appoint Shri S.B. Mathur, former Chairman, LIC and the National Stock Exchange of India, as an Additional Independent Director, with immediate effect. AXIS Bank Ltd has appointed Shri M. S. Sundara Rajan, former CMD, Indian Bank as an Additional Independent Director with immediate effect.


Retail banking Deposit schemes Loans and advances - Personal Loans - Housing Loans - Cards - Consumer durables - Auto Loans Personal banking Accounts - Terms deposits - Fixed deposits - Recurring deposits Cards - Different variants like: Gold plus cards, silver and silver plus cards Corporate banking Accounts - Normal current a/c - Trust/NGO savings a/c Services - Private equity, mergers and acquisitions - Advisory services - Capital market funding - E- broking


Axis Bank has implemented a new derivatives system -- Summit FT by global financial applications provider -- Misys. The system will provide the bank with the ability to structure derivative products in real time, reduce time to market, and give a single view of the entire transaction to the customer. According to Prabhakar Saxena, general manager (India) of Misys, "A lot of banks are providing derivative products on a back to back basis. But these are plain vanilla products, which are uniform in nature.Summit FT will help Axis to structure its derivative products differently and offer its customers products that are different from the run-of-the-mill derivatives. Thus, it can charge a premium for its dynamic services." The bank hopes to leverage the ability to rationalize its currently dispersed functions to provide a single view of every transaction to customers. Derivative transactions can expose the bank to three broad categories of risks: counterparty credit risk, market risk, and operational risk. With derivatives and structured products operations currently served by a range of third party vendor solutions, spreadsheets, and customer built platforms, the bank is predicting that rationalizing systems across front, middle, and back office operations will provide significant competitive advantage. "Apart from helping the bank to create new derivative products without having to resort to developers each time, it also helps from a regulatory compliance standpoint," said Saxena. The RBI favors transparent online systems that can track every transaction and report it exactly as it is. Currently spreadsheets are being used to record information, which leaves room for misreporting,errors etc. The Summit FT product was evaluated against Products by competitors Murex and Calypso before it was finally adopted by Axis Bank.

Strength Support of various promoters. High level of services. Knowledge of Indian market. Weakness Market capitalization is very low. Not having good image. Not been able to position itself correctly. Opportunities Growing Indian bank sectors. People are becoming more service oriented. Opportunities to be explored in global market. Threats Threat from various competitors. - Foreign banks - Govt. banks, e.g. SBI, PNB etc - Private sector competitors like HDFC, ICICI Future market trends. Advent of MNC banks.


Segmentation Strategy The market segmentation strategy can give a firm a commercial competitive advantage. Axis bank considers the customer as the base for segmentation. This strategy crosses over traditional boundaries set within the company. It takes into account important issues such as market demographic and Psychographic Variables of niche markets currently being served or targeted. DemographicVariables Demographic segmentation variables are amongst the most popular bases for segmenting customer groups. o Location o o Age o Senior citizens Minors Metros

Occupation Business persons Salaried class(both govt and private) Working woman

Psychographic Variables Lifestyle The people who believes in modern banking i.e. internet banking (icontact, mobile recharge, e-payment, travel currency card etc.)

Social class Many Marketers believe that a consumers "perceived" social class

influences their preferences for products & services. Targeting strategy The targeting strategy involves segmenting the market, choosing which segments of the market are appropriate, and determining the products that will be offered in each segment. Target market A 'target market or target Audience is the market segment which a particular product is marketed to. Market Targeting is the process in which intended actual markets are defined, analyzed and evaluated just before the final decision to enter is made. o o o Corporate banking market: this market target the industries Capital market: this segmented is targeted on the long term needs of the individual as well as of industries Retail banking market: this segment is for the retail investor and provide them short term financial credit for their personal, household needs

Selective specialization strategy o This is a multiple-segment strategy, also known as a differentiated strategy o Different marketing mixes are offered to different segments. The product itself may or may not be different - in many cases only the promotional message or distribution channels vary. o I.e. the bank selects a number of segments, each objectively attractive and appropriate. There may be little or low synergy among the segment but each segment proves to be worth full of it.

For example, axis bank have different set of credit cards, each targeted at different set of people i.e. segment and each one has its own importance in bank.

Positioning Strategy Positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization. Axis bank has positioned itself as a bank which gives higher standard of services through product innovation for diverse need of individual and corporate clients. Axis banks are positioned as the technically advanced They highlight following points in their positioning statement: o o o Customer centric. Serviceoriented. Product innovation. These are the main strategies followed by axis bank so as to achieve competitive advantage over others.



The New Logo


The logo depicts a strong growth path for the bank supported by a strong base, indicating that the bank is moving on from a position of strength



UTI bank is a well-known brand name that quickly comes to our mind. But on July 30, 2007 the bank has changed its name to AXIS BANK. Many of us might be wondering why its name has been changed and some of us may not like to change a well-established name. The initial reaction is as usual many of us didnt link it. Similar thing happened when BOMBAY became MUMBAI. But after a few months we got accustomed to MUMBAI only. So what happens to UTI now, we take a look at it. UTI was a government institution, its subsidiary UTI Bank has been categorized as a private sector bank, according to RBI guidelines. UTI brand was given in 1994 by its promoters and UTI Bank could use the brand only till January 2008 as per Government directives. After the split of UTI, entities like UTI Securities, UTI MF and UTI Bank were all allowed to retain the UTI brand name for a while. Now that it is time for UTI Bank to shed the brand name, it has opted to go for the more modernsounding Axis Bank. The recommendation for name change to Axis Bank has aris...... Change is good, especially when it comes with an image makeover to a better and upmarket product positioning. In the Indian context at present, a bank, mobile phone operator and an airline are hoping that their re-branding exercise will help them achieve that. . For UTI Bank, the re-branding story was slightly different. Making a clean break from its UTI heritage, Axis was the name chosen to represent its new global identity. Bringing in a set of twins to build an emotional connect with the new brand, for UTI Bank it was an attempt to build its image of being a professionallyrun private bank with everything else remaining the same.


Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, South Asia, says, The change of name from UTI Bank to Axis Bank is precisely that: Only a name change. Everything else about the brand remains the same. Axis is a strong name with an international aura to it. It is very much in keeping with UTIs success story in the private banking arena. Rolling out a multimedia campaign to announce the change of name from UTI Bank to Axis Bank, it simultaneously reassured customers that the change of name will in no way affect the services offered by the bank. The creative platform adopted for the name change campaign was based primarily on twins: siblings whose names are different, but are identical in every other way. Television was given a priority as it gives the maximum reach amongst the mass media channels. Besides the mass media channels, the 2,500-odd ATM locations were also used to convey the name change message. Hemant Kaul, President - Retail, Axis Bank, explains that the name Axis is sharp, short, simple and acceptable in any geography or language. This is in line with our global expansion aspiration. Axis Bank now has a pan-Asia presence in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Dubai. UTI has a connotation of being a PSU. The name Axis reflects a more private sector identity, it reflects what the bank is more closely than UTI Bank did. Axis reflects new thinking. Also, as Kaul elaborates, banking is a high-involvement product and involves product safety and security. Therefore people had to be assured that nothing would change with the re-branding from UTI Bank to Axis Bank.


THERE ARE 3 MAIN REASONS 1. They had to give up the UTI name after using it for 13 years as we were not prepared to accept terms and conditions (including royalty) from UTI AMC The decision to rebrand itself was taken by the bank as it was allowed to use the 'UTI' brand name for free till January 31, 2008, beyond which it had to pay royalty for using the name.

2. The recommendation for name change to Axis Bank has arisen from the existence of several shareholder-unrelated entities using the UTI brand, and the consequent brand confusion that this generates

3. The name UTI bank was changed to AXIS bank as UTI gave a look of government sector bank. They had to change our name to have our own brand and identity. "The name was taken into effect consequent to the approval of shareholders, Reserve Bank of India and the central government (Registrar of Companies). The UTI brand is owned by UTI Asset Management Company The bank would change logo and colour of logo the bank is likely to spend around Rs 50 crore in the re-branding exercise. The bank acquired the services of Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) to design and implement the rebranding campaign.The new name was chosen considering the banks pan- Indian as well as international presence. The first time that a bank has dropped an established brand for an unknown name. The name Axis is chosen as it is simple and it conveys a sense of solidity and a sense of maturity. It also has a universal appeal.

Banks wants to achieve following marketing objectives by the end of year 2011: To get the market capitalization 500 crores To get the 200 crore retail investment To get 125 crore corporate investments To get the 175 core capital investments. At present Axis bank is ranked at the 6th position (overall )by its market share and capitalization and 3rd in the private banks category. It wants to get the 3 rd position in overall Indian banking market.


Shikha Sharma was named as the bank's managing director and CEO on 20 April 2009. As on the year ended March 31, 2009 the Bank had a net profit of Rs 1,815.36crores The bank now has 835 branches including extension networks across 30 States and 4 Union Territories. The bank also has overseas offices in Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Dubai. Crosses the 3,723 ATM mark in 2009 Launches Platinum Credit Card, India's first EMV chip based card . Axis Bank is now trading at Rs 911.85 (17th Sep).



NEW ENTRY Yes bank, Deutsche Bank Indian Overseas Bank Vijaya bank





For the private sector banks: Differentiation on the basis of area coverage. Restricted Reach. Level of service is the same.


Axis got advantage because of Product Innovation.

For the government sector banks : High level of service quality and through product Innovation. AXIS not any where near, but has created a different set of segment. `People who believe in the higher set of services

For the International Banks : Differentiated itself on the base of the reach and coverage to the people. Service level is somewhat same. In the future these banks may create a problem.


In 2007 the bank decided to have an identity of its own distinct from its parent UTI-I. Thus was born a brand Axis - a word which connotes solidity and gives a feel of transcending geographical boundaries. The Bank successfully rebranded itself as Axis Bank in July 07 which has helped it in shedding the faint perception of being a Government owned entity. This brand makeover was very well executed, thus ensuring No slippages in the banks growth trajectory which was evident from the 67% growth in its customer accounts to 9.9 mn during FY08 as against 5.93 mn during FY07.

The Bank today is capitalized to the extent of Rs. 403.63 crores with the public holding (other than promoters and GDRs) at 53.72%.

The Bank's Registered Office is at Ahmedabad and its Central Office is located at Mumbai. The Bank has a very wide network of more than 896 branches and Extension Counters (as on 31st December 2009). The Bank has a network of over 4055 ATMs (as on 31st December 2009) providing 24 hrs a day banking convenience to its customers. This is one of the largest ATM networks in the country.

The Bank has strengths in both retail and corporate banking and is committed to adopting the best industry practices internationally in order to achieve excellence. Axis Bank currently has global footprints in four countries by way of 3 branches in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and 2 representative offices in Shanghai and Dubai.

It has also sought permission from the Sri Lankan Government to open a branch in Sri Lanka in the current fiscal. In these locations it offers corporate credit and trade finance solutions, debt syndication and wealth management services to NRI population settled in these cities. Promoters Axis Bank Ltd. has been promoted by the largest and the best Financial Institution of the country, UTI. The Bank was set up with a capital of Rs. 115 crore, with UTI contributing Rs. 100 crore, LIC - Rs. 7.5 crore and GIC and its four subsidiaries contributing Rs. 1.5 crore each.

SUUTI - Shareholding 24.09% Erstwhile Unit Trust of India was set up as a body corporate under the UTI Act, 1963, with a view to encourage savings and investment. In December 2002, the UTI Act, 1963 was repealed with the passage of Unit Trust of India (Transfer of Undertaking and Repeal) Act, 2002 by the Parliament, paving the way for the bifurcation of UTI into 2 entities, UTI-I and UTI-II with effect from 1st February 2003. In accordance with the Act, the Undertaking specified as UTI I has been transferred and vested in the Administrator of the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI), who manages assured return schemes along with 6.75% US-64 Bonds, 6.60% ARS Bonds with a Unit Capital of over Rs. 14167.59 crores.

The Government of India has currently appointed Shri K. N. Prithviraj as the Administrator of the Specified undertaking of UTI, to look after and administer the schemes under UTI - I, where Government has continuing obligations and commitments to the investors, which it will uphold.


QUESTIONNAIRE Why the bank decided to change its brand name? AXIS Bank wants to become an MNC bank, so the name change will enhance image? Was it have been very tempting for you to stay on the existing brand by paying a higher royalty, given the cost and time involved in this exercise? The UTI brand had a quasi-government sovereign ring to it, especially when you go outside metros. That would have been an advantage, would you lose it now? Where do you position Axis Bank from the business point of view? In private sector peers, there are missing links, since most of them have a mutual fund and insurance business? The bank has often raised capital from the international market, rather than making an offering to the Indian public. Why is it so? Which are the other areas that the bank will branch out to, as you have raised much capital? Will the bank be looking at acquiring another bank, since you have adequate capital? The central bank has told your bank to put a succession plan in place?


Axis Bank had done change of brand name partly because there are shareholderunrelated entities that carry the UTI brand, which was becoming increasingly untenable... If there are no shareholder relations between the two organisations, so they cant actually share a common name. When UTI was split into two vehicles, the brand was given to UTI Mutual Fund and others were permitted to use the brand only till January 2008. When it became clear to them that it was no longer tenable, they decided to have a brand of their own. The name Axis was chosen as it means a line of reference, around which everything is measured. Axis bank felt that with time, people will think of them as Axis Bank. The test is whether in the next six months people would forget their old name. Otherwise, nothing really changes in the bank. They raised capital worth Rs 4,500 crore , which would help Axis Bank start off on a strong footing. They felt that this capital would last at least for three years in the case of pure organic growth. One of the few banks to have gone in for a brand makeover, UTI Bank has now assumed a new name, Axis Bank. PJ Nayak, the chairman and CEO of Axis Bank, seems to be quite clear about the way forward, the change in identity, the positioning of the bank, the pros and cons of pursuing organic growth, etc. In recent years, they have contributed more than their fair share on restoration of the UTI brand. But when it was clear to them that there was no other option, they decided to bite the bullet. They decided to assume their very own identity. The UTI identity came to them from the undivided Unit Trust of India (UTI). The split of UTI was the starting point for what was eventually a search for a new identity. Axis banks customer base is very different from the customer base of a mutual

fund. So they were never really able to ride on the brand. The pace at which their customer base has grown indicates the level of customer service they provide. Also, the UTI brand was seen as a public sector brand. They are a board-managed private sector entity. By changing the name, they could reinforce this image. They have taken the first step towards seeing ourselves as becoming an MNC bank from India. they have presence in four overseas locations - Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Dubai. This is part of a journey to become a pan-Asian bank and then, eventually, a bank that is more multinational. They are foraying into smaller towns and entering district headquarters in a big way. In the next thirty months, they want to be present in 450 district headquarters. they have received licences to open 150 branches and 500 ATMs. They plan to open 125 branches by July 2008, half of which would be in large cities. Axis bank are also setting up a large agri financing business for which they need to be close to farmers, hence they are opening branches in villages. Besides, the bank has set up priority banking branches for customers with deposits of over Rs 5 lakh. It is one of the most fastest growing customer base of our bank, growing at 4% each year. They have three such specialised branches now, and plan to have one each in all the major metros. Commercial banking is something Axis Bank have tried to focus on since their inception. As the first step towards diversion, they have set up an AMC to manage a private equity venture. Axis Bank would be in a position to launch the first tranche of the fund by end of September. The AMC will provide equity support for infrastructure projects. There are not many private equity funds here, focusing on infrastructure projects.This is partly because wholesale offering always fetches a better price, and they also decided to cast the net wider than the Indian shores. The funds were raised through a combination of GDRs and QIPs. they also saw to it that they go for uniform

pricing of shares, which has in turn protected the minority shareholders. Axis Bank is growing at 45-50% every year. If they grow purely organically, this capital will last for 3-4 years. But they are looking at other areas within the financial services domain. Going forward, Axis Bank could also look at evolving into a group.Within the banking space there are not many opportunities available. Many of the old private sector banks have a size of -three months of our growth. Also, there are issues relating to the integration of technology platforms and human resources. They have a clear business model, under which they see no value in a merger or an acquisition purely to acquire branches; they get licences easily from the central bank. May be, they could look at such options in the wider financial services space, beyond the mainstream banking sector.The succession plan to place with central bank is to be decide by the board of directors.


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Books : Consumer Behaviors & branding S. Ramesh Kumar.