The Tata Group, one of India’s biggest conglomerates, needed to grow from a huge player on the Indian stage into a significant force in world markets. The group’s chairman, Ratan Tata, asked us to create a group brand strategy to help make that happen.
We started by reviewing the businesses that makeup Tata. There were almost 100 of them across many sectors including automotive, steel, hotels and consulting. We recommended which should be named Tata, which should be endorsed as part of the Tata group, and which should have independent brands.
Our aim was to make sure that the core Tata brand had a clear meaning, and that it was associated most strongly with the group’s best-performing or most promising units. Through this strategic work, we helped reshape Tata from a heavy industrial conglomerate into a modern, knowledge-based business.
We then created a new symbol for the group – a T and A that represent precision and the future, which could also be seen as a fountain of knowledge. The symbol was designed to look effective on cars, which was an important growth market.
The new brand identity was launched in 1999, and immediately began to symbolize a new Tata for the twenty-first century. The business has since made a huge mark on the world. It acquired steel-maker Corus in 2007, and Jaguar cars in 2008.
In January 2008, Tata unveiled its most significant new car, the Nano – a small, light, green ‘people’s car’ for India’s mass market, selling for just $2500. Tata is now the largest corporate group in India and has operations in more than 85 countries across six continents. In 2009 the group’s total revenue reached $70 billion, of which 65% comes from outside India.