Many feel that the brand’s success is largely a function of being in the right place at the right time. This probably is partially true but it’s not fair to dismiss Hero Honda’s success as a fluke, it did take initiative to achieve its position and convert a concept into a reality. The brand’s ability to stick to its knitting allows it to stay focused on its activities.
In a visit to herohonda.com, one expects to see a site that is as clear and focused as the brand. Unfortunately the site is unimaginative and cold, leaving the site visitor detached and unimpressed.
Dull and unanimated, the home page has nothing to make one want to click through the rest of the site. Snippets of the Hero Honda commercial flash on the home page but the ad itself is unimpressive so there’s no value added through it to the site. The home page is structured and neat, which in this case, conveys cold efficiency.
Most brands have an About Us section that helps introduce the company to the site visitor. Some use it well as an opportunity to inform the viewer; others use it as an opportunity to boast. Hero Honda’s About Us is a yawn. It’s factually accurate but lacks passion. The Mission Statement is as vague and confusing as mission statements are known to be. The Milestones section is a combination of pride and boastfulness, while The Chairman is poorly written. Overall, About Us does much to turn people away from the brand.
After talking about itself, the brand moves on to talk to its investors. Hero Honda is one of the most influential stocks in the Indian stock market and it is keenly followed by many. The Investors section is detailed and thorough and will answer the many queries of investors or wannabe investors.
The products section is matter of fact. Each page is packed with information but does not inspire interest or arouse the desire to buy. It seems fairly easy to rouse enthusiasm for a bike, but the site leaves one cold. The new brand, Karizma, opens into a separate page that takes ages to load, leaving the site visitor fidgeting. The rest of the brand pages open fast but are largely unimpressive.
The Service and Spares sections are routine, doing their job as a staple. The Service section has an arm long service statement that says very little. The only part of interest is the Customer Education segment that has some useful information for customers.
I’ve always wondered why brands feature advertising on their site. Ads are supposed to be intrusive and therefore it would seem that no one would go in search of them unless one is working on a school project or is pitching for the brand’s advertising account. Hero’s section has a bit about its ambassadors (popular Indian cricketers and a film star) so there is a smattering of interesting information, but it adds nothing to the overall impression of the brand.
The In the News section gives the brand yet another chance to boast. There are no articles on how the brand has at times seemed at crossroads or how the motorcycle market is evolving. This section has an impressive stock of favourable clippings that are a trifle overwhelming.
Overall the site is drab and uninspiring. It does not reflect the passion and drive that built the brand. It has the unimaginative and unexciting feel of a motorcycle that chugs steadily without any zing. A vain and boastful site, herohonda.com has missed a big opportunity online to display some pizzazz. Not a hero.