Insights into Brand and Product-Specific Marketing (B)
When the customer wants to know what a product will do, advertising by product lines provides the data needed to make a decision based on quantitative information. When the customer wants qualitative information on comfort and safety, advertising by brand is most effective, providing all the products are safe and comfortable. If the company is going to use a TV ad campaign, brand is the approach that makes the most sense, as TV ads are designed to evoke feelings. Building a loyalty to a brand is also more long-lasting than to a product.
OVERVIEW OF THE MARKET
Increasing spending on farming has made the agricultural market one of the fastest growing markets. Research reports are predicting a CAGR of 6.2% over the next six years. Part of this growth is driven by governments, especially in the Asia Pacific region, seeking to modernize their farming. Some of it will be driven by the expanding market for all sizes of tractors.
INSIGHT #1 — NUMBERS MATTER
- When a customer goes to buy a tractor, they have a certain set of uses in mind for that tractor.
- When we analyze the product information available for tractors we can clearly see that the top priority for all manufacturers is making sure the customer has access to the mechanical information and the related numbers for each product.
- For each different product, we found data on engine size, transmission, number of forward and reverse gears, cylinders, speed, fuel type, size of fuel tank, implements and attachments.
- All of these technical specifications are included in great detail in all four of the brand and product tractor brochures and/or web pages — and all of those numbers help the customer understand what the tractor can be used for.
- For print information, brochures by product with all the technical specifications would be the optimum decision. The drivers of these tractors care what it will do, and different products are designed to do different things.
- Educating the consumer on what the numbers mean might be helpful for new customers in helping them decide which product to buy.
INSIGHT #2 — SAFETY AND COMFORT
- Another message which each brand and product highlights is safety and comfort.
- Valdana mentions safety nine times in 13 pages, in five different sections of their brochure.
- Malhindra talks much more about safety than comfort and is the only one that mentions ROPS (roll over protection structure) in their information.
- Kioti has the most information about the comfort of the driver, information about everything from air quality and temperature control, to panoramic windshields and deluxe suspension seating to color coded shift levers for ergonomics and CD players for entertainment.
- Kioti also has massive, high quality pictures of all of their safety and comfort features.
- Kubota offers both an operator seat and an instructor's seat for training purposes.
- Regardless of the size of the tractor, advertising the safety and the comfort of the brand is a solid marketing strategy, especially when combined with the product specifications.
INSIGHT #3 — IT'S MORE THAN A FEELING
- Sometimes it's numbers, sometimes it's physical and sometimes it's just a feeling.
- Recent TV ads for Kioti are centered around the tag line "We Dig Dirt".
- The TV ads don't provide any of the data supplied in insight #1, nor do they provide the information provided in insight #2.
- They are marketing the brand and with it the knowledge that Kioti "gets" the tractor owner. Their ads show both weekend and full time farmers, men women and children and they are sending the message — that their product is useful.
- You may get dirty using it, but you will get stuff done.
- You may get dirty using it, but we respect dirt.
- One of their ads, in which a typical suburban dad and his son climb into a tractor shows them turning into outdoors men with beards and checked flannel shirts. The ad sends the message that using a tractor will make you a real man.
- Kubota's video, on the other hand, are not really TV ads. Kubota releases 15-20 minute videos which give information on everything of interest, from mechanical specs to comfort and safety to all the little details they think will sell their product.
- Mahindra also has long expository videos on YouTube but not TV ads.
- There seems to be a common theme through the TV ads that people buying tractors are primarily weekend farmers/gardeners, most likely because professional farmers, who work from sunup to sundown, are not likely to watch TV commercials.
- TV ads would be best used to focus the customer on how the brand will make them feel.
- Until they look at the numbers they don't know which product they need, but they do know how they want to feel riding one.
In order to provide insights into brand and product specific marketing in the tractor market, we chose four brands. Three of them were recommended in the criteria: Kubota, Mahindra, and Kioti. We replaced LS with Valdana, the largest tractor manufactured in Europe, to get a sense of different marketing insights from another geographical area.
For each of those brands we selected the newest of their largest model and reviewed the brand and product advertising, creating a spreadsheet to provide a quick view of the topics being used in by each brand in marketing and to support our analysis.
We also searched the TV ads broadcast recently for tractors and found ads for Kioti, Mahindra and LS Tractors.
We also searched for radio ads but did not find any, nor did we find any print ads.
Once we had the information collected we analyzed it to determine the top three insights which could be determined. Each of the insights above describes what we found and is followed by an analyst recommendation addressing the issue should Kioti invest in product or brand marketing.