Business Today

The rhino's last charge

Tyre maker Ceat unveils a new logo in a bid to get back on track.

Print Edition: June 1, 2008

Leading tyre manufacturer Ceat, the flagship company of RPG Enterprises, plans to take a brand new road into the future. For starters, it has discarded its iconic Rhino logo and has unveiled a new logo that it hopes will connect with today’s youth.

Says Arnab Banerjee, Vice President for sales and marketing, Ceat: “We did an exhaustive brand equity study and observed that even though the Ceat brand was still salient in the metros, the brand relevance for people under the age group of 25 was declining. That was the starting point for the new branding strategy.” That the company isn’t exactly outperforming might have also triggered the brand overhaul—turnover for 2007-08 was up by a little under 9 per cent over the previous year, and Ceat lags at #4 position in the Rs 19,000-crore domestic tyre market with a share of about 13 per cent.

Banerjee argues that the Rhino logo was born two decades ago when the primary requirement of clients was tyre toughness to negotiate bad roads. “But as roads improve across the country, client requirements are shifting from load and toughness to speed,” explains Banerjee. Ceat mandated design firm Ray & Kesavan to craft the new logo, and plans to spend about Rs 10 crore on its new branding campaign in the first year.

Ceat also plans to invest about Rs 1,000 crore in two greenfield facilities. One of these units, which will take in Rs 600 crore, will be a dedicated radial truck and car facility. The other will make specialty tyres (for road excavators and road builders).

Banerjee expects these two categories to contribute about 35 per cent of Ceat’s revenues, up from about 10 per cent, currently.

T.V. Mahalingam

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