A royal ‘enfield’ of a day


(IANSlife) Global Head of Marketing, Royal Enfield, Shubhranshu Singh reveals why Enfield has such a huge fan following and despite the competition, it clearly leads its segment. IANSlife caught up with Singh while he was speaking at The Great Lifestyle Brands Conference held recently in Gurugram.

With increasing competition in leisure and mid-segment motorcycling, Royal Enfield still manages to grow from strength to strength. To what do you credit this?

Singh: You”re right that a lot of competitors have entered this segment and naturally their interest has been provoked by the handsome success that Royal Enfield has had over the last decade. But, having said that, we have grown from strength to strength and the reason for that is that we have the best distribution network in the country; our products and brand have evolved to reach consumers in such a way that accessibility has itself led to the embracing of the brand. Besides that, a motorcycling brand is about the right service, the right network, the right institution such as rides and platforms that cater to a holistic experience for the consumer. It’s not only about making a great motorcycle, it’s also beyond the product – how you’re being able to create a culture for leisure motorcycling and I think Royal Enfield has done that brilliantly and that is why it is growing from strength to strength.

What has made Royal Enfield a favorite of riders across the country and the world?

Singh: Well, first of all, Royal Enfield exists to be an ally to riders wanting to explore the world around them and in the process explore themselves as well. Royal Enfield is about exploration and riding. We have no other purpose to exist except for making accessible middle-weight motorcycling available to people such that they”re able to have a fun time and these machines themselves become a catalyst for a lifelong pursuit of exploration. Therefore, in doing so, we are building culture. Please note that any brand can make an advertising campaign; most brands do a reasonable amount of marketing but very few brands in the world are able to create a culture. Royal Enfield is one such brand. It’s creating a culture. So, it is a favorite of riders across the country and the world because we are able to curate unique experiences for them as we have made our motorcycles a perfect choice for all kinds of terrains as we have grown experiences such as riding to the Himalayas which simply did not exist earlier. And, we have expert riders at every level of our organization who are constantly making a decision that helps to ride and the riding community.

When it comes to Himalayan expeditions, people from across the world prefer to do the motorcycle trips on a Royal Enfield; why is this?

Singh: Royal Enfield as a brand thinks of its spiritual home as the Himalayas. And, as you know we have an adventure-tourer motorcycle called ”Royal Enfield Himalayan” which has been built for exploration of the Himalayan terrain. Also ”The Himalayan Odyssey” which has been in existence for 16 years now is an epic ride and an institution in itself. We do many rides across the Himalayan canvas, for example, the tour of Bhutan, the tour of Uttarakhand; we also did the Everest base camp ride recently. We did another one from Leh which was called the ”Astral Rides” for photographers to shoot the Milky Way and the starry sky which can be seen from nowhere except Leh. So, the idea is not just about the Himalayas and the Himalayan motorcycles, it is also about creating a culture of riding to destinations that are a journey of education in themselves. And yes, people prefer ”The Himalayan” also because it is purpose-built but also because we have an unparalleled service network and we support our riders and communities where they are.

A lot of brands are focusing their marketing strategies on millennials; do you feel with a heritage brand like yours, a millennial-driven campaign would be the wrong move?

Singh: Firstly, I would say that the composition of the market has to do with demographics in the country itself. In India, it’s not only the millennials but the generation Z – people who are born after the year 2000 – that number alone is staggering 400 million. Please imagine the scale of this population bracket. 40 crore people in this country are yet not 20 years old. So, young people are an integral part and the future of this growing market. Therefore, Royal Enfield’s heritage and its presence in this country since 1955, the fact that it has enduring magic across generations, is a strength when it comes to appealing to millennials. It is not that we need to be something different from the millennials and something different from the rest of our consumers. Of course, we will make choices for the right delivery platform, we will engage in storytelling in different ways, we will make riding and experiences count for more amongst millennials because that’s where the present market and the future demand is. But, just because we are a brand that has been present and has been admired and adored across generations, I feel it is a massive strength when it comes to addressing the millennials.

What is the brand’s vision for the next two years and how do you intend on achieving it?

Singh: The vision for the brand has been very consistent and unwavering. It has been put in place and brick-by-brick, this massive house of success has been built. That’s to the undiluted focus that, our MD, Mr. Siddharth Lal has and in particular he has always been very keen on doing right things where Royal Enfield as a brand is concerned. In the next few years, certainly, the brand discovery would be a large agenda. We will want to do a lot more in terms of digital platforms. We are keenly working on analytics-linked personalization; accessibility – reaching people in tier 2 and tier 3 towns, expanding our network of unique stores and dealership, engaging with costumers more and more on social media. You may be surprised to know that up to 60-70 percent of the content that we use for social media marketing is user-generated content. The community is very well-knit. We celebrate and applaud the efforts of all riders and put riders at the heart of our brand Agenda. So, our story-telling is about stories about this fantastic world that they explore while they are riding Royal Enfield motorcycles. And, that is our unwavering mission and it will continue in the future. I think our achievement will continue to be a stellar achievement because we have never lost sight of our purpose which is to grow pure motorcycling and nudge people to discover a brilliant way of life for themselves by being customers of Royal Enfield motorcycles.

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