Consumption trend in India is growing at a phenomenal rate and there is an increasing inflow of global players in both product and service sectors. Competition is getting fierce and brand loyalty has become a challenge for every player in a sector.
Product brands are focusing on building a stronger product portfolio, aligned with the needs and expectations of the consumer across categories. However post-sale, only a generic set of services- authorized service centres, call centres are available to fulfill needs of the consumers. For instance, individuals who buy a 32 inch (INR 25,000), 55inch (INR 50.000) or UHD (>INR 80,000) LED TV, end up being consumers of the same service centre, go through the same process to resolve a complaint and hence end-up living the same post-sale service
Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/LG_Showroon.JPG
On the contrary, service brands have realized that, their offering needs to be sharpened to meet the needs and expectations of consumers across categories (economy, premium etc) beyond the point of purchase. They are on a mission to tailor new and improved portfolio of services, which meet and exceed expectations of the consumer in every category. This is inclusive of services which ensure the relationship continues beyond the purchase/usage phase of a service.
For example, in the airline industry, brands have managed to tailor a portfolio of services to meet the needs of the economy, premium economy, business and first class consumers beyond the in-flight experience. These service portfolios transform the experience of a customer with a brand, but most importantly, put the brand in the driver’s seat to WOW every category of consumer by going above and beyond the expected.
Image source: https://www.bangaloreaviation.com/2015/01/inflight-review-tata-sia-vistara-premium-economy-a320-new-delhi-mumbai.html
The portfolio strategy of service brands holds insights into how product brands in the Consumer durables, FMCG and Automobile sectors can differentiate themselves and ensure loyalty in a highly competitive market. With a strong portfolio of services which complement the product portfolio, product brands can enhance the value delivered to its consumer and keep the relationship alive.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) through its NEXA brand has embarked upon this journey to redefine its value for customers as a Product brand, by not looking at car purchase as a “one-time” transaction. NEXA is trying to build a lasting relationship with its consumers by offering an unique portfolio for services catering to the needs and expectations across pre-sale, purchase to ownership phase of its products. Under NEXA, instead of salesmen, Relationship Managers act as SPOC to manage all future needs of NEXA consumers across phases of purchase and ownership. The Relationship Manager in combination with other services meets to all needs and expectations of the NEXA consumers.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maruti_Nexa_Pallimukku_showroom_in_Kollam_city,_Mar_2017.jpg
For Product brands, portfolio of services complementing the portfolio of products beyond the point of purchase will evoke a feeling of “being valued” among consumers while it would help brands stay connected and sustain an active relationship.
Roshan is a Design Strategist, who aspires to experience the world on a motorcycle.
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