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Hero Motocorp Marketing Case Study: SWOT & Competitor Analysis Included

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Hero is India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing company, headquartered in New Delhi. It is a trusted brand founded in 1984 and has thus been in business for many years now. With over 50% share in the domestic motorcycle market, Hero MotoCorp is the clear market leader in India, the world’s largest two-wheeler market.

In this blog, we shall talk about the Hero Motocorp marketing strategy, SWOT analysis, competitor analysis, marketing budget, and marketing campaigns.

But before we get into that, let’s get to know and understand the brand – Hero.

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About Hero

Hero MotoCorp Ltd. (formerly Hero Honda Motors Ltd.) achieved the coveted position of being the largest two-wheeler manufacturing company in India and also the ‘World No.1’ two-wheeler company in terms of unit volume sales in a calendar year. The company continues to maintain this position to date.

The story of Hero MotoCorp Ltd. began with a simple vision – the vision of a mobile and an empowered India, powered by its bikes. The company is committed to providing world-class mobility solutions with a renewed focus on expanding its footprint in the global arena. Hero MotoCorp’s mission is to become a global enterprise fulfilling its customers’ needs and aspirations for mobility, setting benchmarks in technology, styling, and quality so that it converts its customers into its brand advocates. Since we’re talking about its marketing in this blog, let’s begin by learning about the company’s marketing budget.

 

Hero’s Marketing Budget

Hero, which has annual sales of 5.8 million units, is already one of the top marketing spenders in India with influential brand ambassadors. However, Hero is also expanding in international markets by associating with ace golfer Tiger Woods. 

It is thus evident over the years that Hero invests heavily in its marketing and branding, by engaging in partnerships with high-profile celebrities and spending on other marketing channels as well.

A sound management strategy includes carrying out SWOT analyses regularly. The necessary steps can be taken after a thorough SWOT analysis to draw up plans that tackle the challenges and capitalize on the benefits. 

Let us hence look at the SWOT analysis of Hero.

 

SWOT Analysis of Hero Motocorp

 

The SWOT analysis is a study of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is conducted to evaluate and understand the internal and external factors that affect the company’s current and future success. Following is the SWOT analysis of Hero Motocorp:

 

Hero’s Strengths

  • Huge brand Equity– This is one of the biggest strengths of Hero Motocorp. The company is one of the biggest players in the two-wheeler market.
  • Strong brand image– Being in business for many years has created a distinct brand image of reliability and affordability in the minds of the customers. This has proven to be an advantage as Hero is hence a recognized and sought-after brand.
  • Excellent Distribution – Hero Motocorp has more than 3000 dealerships and service centers which have made it the leading company in the industry.
  • Wide Variety of Products– The more products a company launches successfully, the more popular it becomes. Hero Motocorp, therefore, dominates the market, targeting different types of customers.

  • Awards and Recognition– Customers can rely on a brand when it is acknowledged with rewards and awards. Hero Motocorp has gathered many accolades over the years.
  • Sponsorships– Events related to sports and racing provide sponsorships to the company. This has made their brand hugely popular and well recognised in the minds of the masses.

 

Hero’s Weaknesses

  • Strong Competition– There are lots of national and international players in the market who give tough competition to Hero Motocorp.
  • Lack of Innovation– Most of the products of the company come with almost similar features, whether it is in terms of design or functions.

 

 

Hero’s Opportunities

  • Growing Industry– The demand for two-wheelers is increasing a lot, especially during the pandemic, and that brings the opportunity for the company to grow.
  • Expansion of product line- The company can introduce a new product category of bikes targeting the premium segment.

 

 

Hero’s Threats

  • Strong Competition– There are tons of other companies which are emerging rapidly.
  • Betterment of Public Transport– As other modes of transportation have undergone and are currently undergoing development, the use of private vehicles could be threatened.

 

We gather from the SWOT analysis that Hero certainly has many advantages working in its favor. But in an industry with heavy competition, the company needs to have an edge in order to maintain its long-standing position at the top. Let’s understand this better by analyzing its competitors.

 

Competitor Analysis of Hero Motocorp

 

The motorcycle segment is very fast-growing, accounting for about three-quarters of the two-wheeler market in India. This naturally induces competition with big players trying to capture larger customer bases. The current increase in demand has only escalated this further. The major competitors of Hero, thus, are:

 

  • Maruti Suzuki
  • Bajaj Auto
  • TVS
  • TATA Motors
  • Yamaha  
  • Hyundai
  • Royal Enfield
  • Ather Energy

 

-Bajaj Auto is the top competitor of Hero. Bajaj Auto is a public company that was founded in Pune, Maharashtra in 1945. Bajaj has 678 fewer employees vs. Hero MotoCorp

-TVS is also seen as one of Hero MotoCorp’s biggest rivals. TVS was founded in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 1978. Compared to Hero, TVS generates $1.6B less in revenues.

-Ather Energy is an upcoming threat to Hero. Ather Energy was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Ather Energy competes in the application software field. The company generates $3.7B lesser in revenues vs. Hero MotoCorp.

Hero is undoubtedly the market leader and that of course calls for consistent growth and performance in order to defend its coveted position. Let’s now look at how Hero got here in the first place by discussing its marketing strategy.

 

Hero Motocorp Marketing Strategy

 

Hero’s segmentation and targeting have always accurately captured their ideal audiences. The company’s motorcycles are now one of the guaranteed options considered by any potential customer looking for a bike. This has been possible because of their excellent STP strategy. Hero offers affordable bikes that aren’t too pricey and thus the company segments the market on the basis of demographic factors. Hero’s segmentation- young boys looking for reliable and sporty bikes for Indian roads is thus very precise. The company targets males in the age group of 18-30 that are middle class. 

Hero’s marketing has tried to demonstrate the common Indian man’s struggles in order to emotionally connect with its target market to position itself as a brand that is for every person who has a hero within themselves. This marketing strategy has surprisingly proved to work very well for the brand.

Let us now learn how the company executed this strategy and created its current reliable image in the minds of the customers, by looking at its marketing campaigns.

 

Hero’s Marketing Campaigns

 

The Hero Motocorp brand has a fresh and trendy identity that appeals to its target audiences. The colors black and red in the logo give out a strong message of passion, energy, and confidence.

  • The brand has come out with a new anthem that focuses on creating an emotional connection with all the viewers and customers. Their ads are about the story involving the struggle of a common Indian, how he overcomes them and turns into a true and successful Hero.

  • Even the Tag Line – “Hum Mein Hai Hero” is apt in showing the customer that every person has a hero inside them. This helps in building the emotional connection that the brand is aiming for. All of its advertisements have catchy slogans and display a strong message. These ads are aired at regular intervals on television and radio, as well as in newspapers, magazines and even billboards.
  • Hero Motocorp has been heavily associated with sports for most of its promotional activities. Previously the company was related to the Indian Open Golf Tournament. Hero, under its own brand name, sponsored the tournament FIH Road to London in the year 2012. These sponsorships are an excellent example of the apt marketing tools used by the company.
  • Hero has also always been associated with the cricketing fraternity, either for international tournaments or world cups.

  • Virat Kohli, Irfan Pathan, Ranbir Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan have been the company’s brand ambassadors over the years. At present, actor Akshay Kumar can be seen in most of the ads of the company and is synonymous with the brand now.

Hero has therefore carried out many successful marketing campaigns and continues to explore new ways to reach its audience.

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Conclusion

We can conclude that Hero is a strong company that has time and again proven that it deserves the spot of the market leader. Hero’s marketing strategy and campaigns have been successful in targeting its audience and connecting with them efficiently. The company also has scope for product expansion, as they could bank on their brand name and enter the premium segment. If Hero continues to exploit its strengths, it will definitely preserve its dominance in the market.   

If you found this blog interesting and wish to explore Digital Marketing as a career, register and attend IIDE’s Free Live MasterClass and upskill yourself digitally. 

Thank you for reading! We hope you found this blog useful. If you liked our information and analysis, be sure to share, comment, and check out more of our blogs on the marketing strategies of other major companies.

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

Aditya Shastri

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