Established in 1981, Onida was the pioneer in the television industry in the country. There was a time when every household boasted of an Onida TV. Neighbours would flock over from adjoining homes to see India play Pakistan on an Onida, memories were made. Alas, Onida, the brand that redefined the TV watching experience during our childhood is suffering heavily today. In 2021, it clocked in a meager turnover of Rs. 762.69 crore. Although this projects a positive image in the sense that the brand has not entirely died out, a lot still needs to be done. What made Onida, a market leader in television sets, take such a huge blow? Digital Dribble has the answers for you.
Reasons for the Downfall of Onida
To look at ways to improve the Onida Brand, we must first understand why it failed in the first place. Here are a few reasons why Onida, which was once a powerful in-house name, has obscured into oblivion:
- Failing and falling consumer connect (Brand Amnesia) If you’re a millennial, you’re probably well acquainted with Onida’s brand mascot, the Red Devil. Unfortunately, the current generation has no clue who he is. Onida’s strong brand connect was one of its major weapons against foreign competition which has now become obsolete.
- A rise in foreign brands- Brands like LG and Samsung entered the Indian home space during the 1990s and things have never been the same for Onida. It struggled to hold on to its ground and with the technological offerings these brands had to offer to their consumers, Onida lost the battle.
- Changing brand taglines- Through the years Onida changed its taglines far too many times. The following image is a testament to that fact. Changing brand taglines too many times confuse the consumer and reduce the mindshare that the brand enjoys. This also attests to the fact that Onida could not set its brand tagline to align with the changing future thus showing its lack of fore planning and thought.
- No/Poor after Sales Services- Onida was not too keen on providing after-sales services which increased the dissatisfaction amongst its existing customers. Word of mouth spread fast and Onida started losing out on key and loyal consumers.
- Conflicts among owners- One of the major reasons for the brand’s fall is the internal conflict between the primary owners of MIRC Electronics, Onida’s parent company. The brothers, Gulu and Somu Mirchandani, and their brother-in-law, Vijay Mansukhani have been engaged in a conflict that has affected its share and its reputation by a huge margin.
- Frequently changing advertisement agencies- No two advertisement agencies are alike and when a company changes its agency, a lot of things get lost in translation in the process. Onida brand has suffered significantly because of this issue as well. Different agencies created different Onida devils that confused the customer.
What Could They Have Done Differently?
Onida was undoubtedly one of the market leaders in CRT (Cathode Ray Tubes) televisions along with BPL and a few other companies. However, it failed to stay technologically relevant. When the CRT technology was slowly being pushed aside by LCD and LED innovations, Onida should have invested heavily in the R&D of the same. The company lacked foresight which is one of the ultimate necessities in a space that is dominated by volatile technology. Onida could have also leveraged the fact that it was an Indian company in the Indian market more effectively (which is a vital marketing strategy for companies like Patanjali) which would have allowed for greater sales figures.
It is not too late for Onida to prove that it can still effectively target and position itself as a leading provider of television.
- Effective targeting- With a rise in disposable income, Onida can not only target the Tier 1 metro cities but also the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. It can choose to focus on the hostel, hotel, and restaurant segment as it is a huge segment that has almost limitless possibilities in terms of sales and brand-boosting.
- Effective segmenting- Onida should segment its target consumers effectively. It can use segmentation on the lines of income, age, lifestyle, geography (rural and urban), and psychographics (attitude towards the brand) to name a few.
- Effective positioning- Onida should stick to one advertising agency that understands Onida’s value proposition system and strives to project the same onto the minds of the customers.
- Celebrity Endorsement- Celebrity endorsement is all the buzz these days. What Onida can do is to find someone whose public perception is in line with the values of the company.
- Social Media Marketing- The age of digital is now. Onida can leverage its brand by using social media to its fullest capabilities. It can tie up with social influencers and YouTube stars to promote its products to the young adults of the country. As India is a young country, Onida has a huge potential consumer base in front of it.
- Sales and Distribution channels- A robust SKU (stock keeping unit) along with automated inventory control and management is the need of the hour. Although it is implementing automation in its manufacturing plants and getting rid of a redundant workforce, Onida needs to work a lot harder if it wants to regain its old glory.
- Rural markets- Onida can leverage its nostalgic brand positioning from its early days and reach out to senior citizens living in various tiered cities and the adjoining rural areas. Its ‘Igo’ branch of television has a major chunk of its revenue from rural areas. A strong distribution network along with good stockists will help Onida cater to the rising demand.
Onida is still struggling to take the reins of the market into its hand, but it can very well become its old self if it effectively follows the above steps.
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