Following a strategic presentation made earlier this month, Quadrant Communications, Mumbai, has won the advertising business of Kotak Mahindra Primus Ltd (KMPL), the car finance division of the Kotak Mahindra Group. KPML is the joint venture between Ford Credit and Kotak Mahindra, set up to finance the purchase of non-Ford cars.
Although the KMPL account is not big in terms of spend levels (Quadrant is unwilling to reveal the exact size of the business citing confidentiality), the gain is significant for two reasons. One, Quadrant has won the account from creative heavyweight Contract Advertising. And two, the win gives Quadrant a toehold in the Kotak edifice. For the record, the bulk of the communication for Kotak's range of finance solution businesses is with Grey Worldwide.
"We will be officially starting work on the account from June 1, 2001," revealed Anil Nair, vice-president, Quadrant Communications, while speaking to agencyfaqs!. "Quadrant will be involved in developing the overall corporate communication strategy for KMPL, with specific focus on strengthening relationships amongst its key target constituencies - that is, the end consumer, the manufacturer and the franchises."
While the move was not preceded by an official pitch, agencyfaqs! has gathered that there were two other agencies that were actively pursuing the business, although their identities are not known. Speaking about the presentation, Nair said, "The presentation we made to the client was primarily our strategic thinking for the KMPL brand. In fact, we didn't carry any creative work, since we strongly believe that the creative process should not be initiated unless both sides are convinced on the strategic direction for the brand." And Nair believes that it was "the ability to think through the entire marketing and communication process, and thereby recommend a more effective strategic direction for the brand" that won Quadrant the account.
Car finance is a hugely competitive category, where many private banks (ICICI, Citibank and ABN Amro, to name a few) have big stakes. And although KMPL claims to be the market leader, the biggest challenge for the company is building and maintaining consumer loyalty over the long term. With interest rates fluctuating the way they are, consumer fickleness is a given. And with almost all players adroitly playing the 'best deal' card to wean away consumers, brand loyalty is the first casualty.
Nair acknowledges this, but believes Quadrant has a solution. "We believe that with the correct strategic focus, KMPL should be able to create a distinctive position for itself in the market, and thereby enhance its preferred brand status amongst its consumers," he says. "KMPL's USP is that of a 'specialist' in car finance. Most of the other players in this category do not have their core competences in the car finance business; we see a huge opportunity in this for KMPL in the future. Also, KMPL is backed by the Ford name, an internationally established player in this business with a business philosophy that is 'customer-centric' and 'service-oriented'. These, we believe, will form the core of the strategic direction for KMPL in the future."
© 2001 agencyfaqs!