Micro-Class in Magnetic Branding: Shell

Ashutosh Wakankar Magnetic Brands

Why Do We Go the Extra Mile for Shell?

Till the late 90s, rolling into a petrol pump to fuel up was a barely tolerable experience. The grimy, chaotic stations were usually manned by anti-social looking elements, and adulteration of fuel and sleight of hand was rampant.

When Petroleum Branding came to India

Things took a turn for the better in 2001, when BPCL introduced the concept of petroleum branding with its Pure for Sure (PFS) programme. Under it, 80 of nearly 5000 of their pumps committed to a set of measures that made adulteration virtually impossible. Within a year, this number had grown to over 2000 (Read more about it here.)

All major players soon followed BPCL’s lead and introduced their own PFS equivalents. While this upped the quality standard of the entire industry, it also brought with it uniformity in experience that failed to differentiate between a BPCL pump, or an IOC pump or even a HP one.

The Shell Story

Enter Shell. The international petroleum brand’s quality and service has helped it gather loyal brand advocates, largely through a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Right from the car dealer to friends and family, the brand is recommended for the quality of its fuel, the mileage it offers and for its relentless pursuit of ethical excellence in all aspects of operations.

The brand manages to differentiate itself in a commodity product by setting the benchmark in the retail experience.

Being an MNC, customers expect international standards and the brand does not disappoint. Through its spacious, well-lit pumps and other touchpoints, the brand creates a magnetic pull that continues to draw customers, even today.

The Path to Magnetic is through the Mundane

Several regular, soft touches work in Shell’s favour. Starting with its outlets which are well designed, spacious and radiant, and its equipment is hi-tech and well kept, a sense of order is also apparent upon entering a Shell petrol pump.

This sense of order is further underlined by:
• The precision with which their attendants guide the flow of cars
• The warm ‘namaste’ with which they greet you
• The rigor and professionalism with which they clean the windshields for free
• Their refusal to accept payment for checking the air pressure in tyres
• Their strict adherence to safety standards, including banning the use of mobile phones on their premises.

All these and more have you walking away believing you have done the right thing by your car.

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