Their tagline go this way…”All Brain. All Power. All Electric”. Then they go on to say, “At Ather, it is all about passion and purpose.” Ather Energy, the brand who powered the Gujarat Titans, is one of India’s first intelligent electric vehicle manufacturers.
Brands exercising their true passion are stories we grow up with in our Marketing classes. We study the vision of such brands, note with fervour the paths they follow and the sweet taste of success. In recent market conditions, largely propelled by the economic devastation caused by Covid 19, Ather Energy is indeed a brand to study. How they achieved such a grand share of eyeballs, been less known just a few months back, is what dwindling bottomlines can get a dose of inspiration from. And then of course, “fortune favours the brave” couldn’t have found a better example! Let’s walk down the path of Ather Energy and study their strategy.
This IPL 2022, when Hardik Pandya stepped onto the greens with his men in blue, the words Ather flashed from the front of their jerseys in bold. How many of us wondered “Ather…?” And while the mighty Titans smashed their way to the finals and then walked away with the trophy, India praised this new team, while at the same time we learnt more about Ather Energy. The reach of IPL, the strong emotions for the game cutting across demography, gender, social sectors made Ather’s visibility widespread.
Let’s take a dipstick view of the automobile industry and how this has been one of the worst hit, right from 2017 demonetisation era and through the pandemic. Embracing technology through the keywords “stay connected” was an easy strategy to stay on the top of the curve. Hence the advent in 2013 of Ather Energy by a young duo from IIT Chennai and the launch of Ather 450X in 2020.
At Aidias Consulting Group, we base any brand strategy on UBP – Unique Buying Proposition. We try and understand what makes the product features and benefits allure customers to buy the brand. What is it that the brand has which serves as a strong buying proposition to the end user? And how is it that the right communication of the brand proposition reaches the end users? And in our study of Ather Energy, the brand ticked all the boxes.
But what is most crucial is UBP? To strike adequate and effective awareness for a new category in a new market. Right?
Let’s a step back and look at a brand and a product lifecycle. EV is a new and emerging market in India and therefore, brands must continue to build awareness. EV as a category or product is in the introductory stage in its lifecycle. Innovations are emerging even as we speak. Ather Energy, as a brand, is definitely still in its nascent stage, having been launched in 2013. Hence awareness building among consumers is of prime importance. Armed with all pros and cons, technically, convenience and performance-wise, a consumer would only then proceed to the next level in his purchase decision – inquisitiveness or a curiosity to know more. The market is flooded with a number of brands, with varying levels of technology, convenience and price. All the more reason why it is easy for a new consumer in this category to be confused.
At AIDIAS, we have built our business model on this basic mantra of marketing. And Ather Energy seems to have ticked the boxes fairly well. IPL offers one of the best platforms to carpet bomb the market with awareness and motivation. IPL provides a reach like no other across demographies, geographies and social sectors. As a new brand in a new category, this is possibly the best way to reach across to millions in one go.
Turning the pages of our Marketing textbooks, we come across the one concept our organisation is based upon: Awareness – Inquisitiveness – Desire – Interest – Action – Sales.
IPL took care of the AID of AIDIAS, the first three crucial steps in any buying decision. The next step is a systematic follow up and effective sales management system. The homework already is well done.
Let’s begin with each parameter of buying proposition i.e. UBP:
With a whole lot of options in the market, the question is “Why Ather 450X?”
This isn’t a case study on the brilliance and relevance of the product. This is a platform to inform and engage with you on Ather Energy’s great marketing strategy. A quick check on backdrop:
Ather Energy’s positioning has been as a connected, smart electric vehicle company, where it is up against legacy brands like Bajaj and Hero. Introducing a new concept is always a challenge, though an exciting one. As told in an interview to Adgully, Nilay Chandra, Director Marketing & Charging Infrastructure, Ather Energy said “Electric vehicle category needs higher consumer education and Ather Energy is taking the lead in doing this in India. The launch of our 450X and setting up charging infrastructure is making consumers consider an electric vehicle and that’s a big milestone to achieve.”
As in a textbook scenario, the mantra was to first educate the market on the EV category and then introduce the brand. And they hit success. Proof? Read this headline, in case you missed this before…
Gujarat Titans name Ather Energy as main sponsor in ‘US$2.7m a year’ deal
Main sponsor of Gujarat Titans, Ather Energy became the first EV brand to hold a major IPL sponsorship deal. The two-year agreement will see the Ather Energy logo feature on the front of the Titans’ jerseys from the start of the team’s inaugural 2022/23 season. As Colonel Arvinder Singh, Chief Operating Officer of the Titans says, “Ather Energy, a young and flourishing company that has been leading the way in the EV sector in India.”
So what’s the best thing a marketing team of an EV brand can do. Why choose IPL? As clearly stated by Ravneet Singh Phokela, Chief Business Officer of Ather Energy, we summarised the key marketing goals and reasons for IPL as:
Unlike its competition, Ather Energy has aggressive geographic expansion plans. They have now adapted a diverse multimedia marketing strategy – a shift from digital to now a more traditional marketing mix, including sponsoring sports teams.
What better way to reach out to millions of Indians than the IPL – the one platform which unites all, online and offline. The IPL 2022 marks a multi-year agreement, a guarantee to be seen by millions nit just during the matches, but in highlights all round the year and in the next season IPL 2023.
Summing it up, the thought we are left with have been so nicely worded by Ravneet Singh Phokela and Colonel Arvinder Singh.
Ravneet Singh Phokela: “Being relative newcomers in our respective fields, what binds us are shared values of fearlessness and positivity, and a hunger to make a difference in our highly competitive environments.”…” the partnership will now allow it to tell the story of its “breakthrough product with a breakthrough team and will help enhance awareness, build credibility, and trust”.
Colonel Arvinder Singh, “The blend of youthfulness and strategic thinking that Ather Energy projects resonates with us as a team as we embark on a journey with youthful spirit and determination in mind to make our mark in the league.”
Takeaways in a nutshell:
The marriage has kicked off with total success. Seems like it has been a debut hit not just for the Titans, but for the young and vibrant Ather Energy team as well!
Brand Building & Digital Content Specialist. Passionate about pets and wildlife.