This is a project report on consumer awreness regarding brand repositioning strategies of Titan watches.
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Project on Marketing Strategy of Titan Watches
ANALYSIS OF TITAN WATCHES
ANALYSIS OF TITAN WATCHES
Todays competitive world every small and large organization focused on online brand building. Companies are using brand management strategy in todays digital age are increasingly very firstly using through internet. Most organizations use of website
As part of Integrated Marketing Communications course, we did a project with objective of Creating an Advertising plan by studying about the History of Titan Watches.
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Building a powerful brand requires determining the tangible characteristics of the offerings that carry the brand name and the benefits the customers accrue from those benefits and the psych…Full description
Titan’s Brand Building & Brand Reorganisation Strategy
BACKGROUND Overview of the Indian Watch Market: The watch market in India recorded an approximate volume turnover of 23 million units (1998-99). It is growing at 9% per annum. The organized sector contributes to half the volume turnover of the industry and rest by the unorganized sector. Tough competition is anticipated between the low priced variants introduced by the organized sector and the unorganized sector. Watch consumption in India is 20 units per thousand persons. The top 23 cities account for 80% of the watches sold in India, which therefore leaves a lot of scope for penetration in the “rural towns”. Three players dominate the organized sector, HMT (34% market share), Titan (39%) and Timex (23%). Besides HMT, Titan and Timex several companies like Westar, Shivaki, Maxima, Bifora and SITCO made a bid for the Indian watch market. Liberalization has brought with it a host of brands for the Indian market, viz. Piguet, Cartier, Christian Dior, Omega, Raymond Weil, Rolex, and Tissot. Segmentation of Indian Watch industry (Based on price) Ø Mass (Rs.350-600), Ø Popular (Rs.600-900), Ø Premium (Rs.900-1500), Ø Super-premium (Rs.1500-8000) Ø Connoisseur segments (above Rs.8000) Mass Market (Rs 350 - 600): This segment represents the low end users and the rural market. Basic characteristic of this market is low margin and high volume. HMT brands in this price range: Lalit, Chetan , Chetak, Rajat, Kedar, Ravi, Kohinoor and shakti Titan is with: Basics, Aqura, and Sonata Popular Watches (Rs.600-900): This segment is slightly above the mass market segment. Somya and Tennax from HMT targets college going men and women who see themselves as
fashionable people. A similar offering, Timex's Mariner addresses the same profile as HMT’s Sowmya but a slightly older age group. It is difficult to categorize Titan's Royale, Regalia and Classique as premium or popular. Though they have a premium image they are available at prices less than Rs.1000. Premium Watches (Rs.900-1500): Vista from Timex and Chandan, and Sangam from HMT falls in this segment. Royal , Regalia etc of Titan can also be considerd under this range. Super Premium Watches (Rs.1500-8000): Titan’s Insignia, Slimline, and Bandhan; HMT's Elegance range, and Misuni; Timex's Indiglo and Datalink are main brand offered in this market segment. Connoiseur's Watches (Above Rs.800): Titan's Tanishq and HMT's Gem range fall into this category. So do most of the Swiss watches like Omega, Piaget, Longines, etc. These are bought more as status symbols and jewelry rather than watches.
Segmentation based on user category: Ø Women's Watches: Fashion and style are most visible feature of this segment Ø Men's Watches: HMT's Roman is probably the only watch that addresses the men's segment. Market research indicated that HMT wasseen as a masculine brand while Titan was seen as a feminine brand. In keeping with its masculine image HMT introduced the Roman range. Ø.Youth Watches: Age group between 15 and 20 is treated as youth segment. Ruggedness and durability at low price is basic feature of this segment. Ø Kid's Watches: Target group is children aged between 7 and 10. Mainly digital watches fall in this category. Grey market is most dominant player of this segment. HMT’s Zap TIMEX’s Gimmix and Titan’s Dash are branded watches offered in category. Ø Sports Watches: Stress of this segment is on trendy designs for casual wear with advanced features for the techno-savvy consumer.
TITAN INDUSTRIES About The Company Titan, a joint venture between Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) and the renowned Indian business group Tatas, entered the watch market in 1984. Titan changed the watch market in India completely by making quartz watch the centerpiece of its strategy. Titan Company is the unquestioned leader in Indian Watch Industry. Titan is one of the most powerful brands in the Indian market, scoring very high on brand awareness, brand image and brand preference. Over the twelve year period of its existence as a manufacturer, Titan has added considerably both to capacity and to capability. It has a highly integrated plant, making virtually all the parts that go into a watch. Titan is today the sixth-largest "manufacturer-brand" in the world, after Casio, Citizen, Seiko, Swatch and Timex of America. (Source: www.indiainfoline.com). Since its inception, Titan decided that it would be the shaper of the watch industry and not an adapter. They created competitive advantage through differentiation. They first concentrated on technological leadership. The Tatas took two decisions they will manufacture only quartz (analog and digital) and not mechanicals, and they would set up state-of-the-art plant to manufacture watches in a wide variety of designs and prices. HMT and local players had always looked at the functional utility of the watch. Titan was first in India to introduce the style concept. They projected the watch as a fashion accessory. They clearly identified that their main competitor was not HMT, but the gray market. A firm differentiates itself from its competitors if it can be unique at something that is valuable to the buyer beyond simply offering low price. Differentiation allows a firm to command a premium price, to sell more of its products at the same price, or to gain equivalent benefits such as greater buyer loyalty. Differentiation leads to a superior performance if the price premium achieved exceeds any added costs of being unique.
At Titan, the products were developed in such a way so as to enhance quality and features to increase buyer value. This was the perfect example of differentiation through technological leadership and product technological change. In the initial years Titan chose to concentrate on the higher end of the market which was responsive to the style element of the watch. Also this segment of the market was relatively price inelastic. This was done so as to build the brand image of Titan as manufacturer of good quality stylish watches. Over the years the Titan brand and its signature tune Mozzart’s Fifth Symphony has become one of the most recognised in Indian consumer durable goods segment. Company has shifted its growth strategy from adding to equipment and manpower to one of obtaining increased production through innovative ideas and greater operating efficiency by adopting global best practices. It has come up with two priorities Ø The first priority has been to resolutely drive down unit costs through product and process modifications and aggressive sourcing. Ø The second priority has been to boost asset productivity - producing more with less: less of men, materials, machines and time - and thereby securing the twin benefits of higher output and lower costs. Company sold 4.76 million watches in the domestic market as against 3.97 million in the previous year. Growth came mainly from improved market penetration and from the newly introduced Sonata brand (now Under TATA name), which now includes over 400 models at prices which start from Rs350. Company has recently developed a new focus on several market segments with large potential: women, youth, children, sportsmen, the budget-conscious and, of course, the big spenders. A systematic programme of launching these has already commenced and highlights of the year included the relaunch of Fastrack and Raga. The current year has seen the launch of the children's range, Dash.
A new, attractively priced, solid gold line, Nebula, is also being rolled out. The Company now has 112 exclusive Titan Showrooms called 'The World of Titan' across 69 towns and a chain of 101 Time Zone outlets covering 59 towns in addition to being present in over 5545 dealer outlets in 1470 towns across the country.
Sales and Marketing Titan launched totally a new product, quartz analog watch was an entirely new product for India in 1987. Titan’s marketing strategy was initially built around 5 features: Ø A product of international quality; Ø Indian designs; Ø Competitive prices; Ø An intensive advertising and promotion campaign; and Ø Specialized retail shops to control the presentation, since the general quality of watch merchandising in India was low. This ambitious marketing program was intended to position Titan watches as high-quality, fashionable timepieces, available in clean and comfortable surroundings, priced higher than other watches then on the market but not beyond the reach of millions of potential purchasers. It was not a program, therefore, that would place Titan watches in direct competition with, say, mechanical watches from HMT. The marketing program would introduce to India the type of promotional effort familiar in most developed countries. In order to be successful, however, all facets of the program had to come together: attractive designs, high-quality products, sufficient inventories, a logistical support system and, a well-timed promotional campaign. Accomplishing these multiple tasks in a timely way was a monumental undertaking for a new, untested company.
Product Portfolio of Titan Sonata from Titan (Now sold under TATA) aims at the mass market and advertises itself as "a Titan watch at low price". Sonata sold an estimated 0.8 million pieces (1998-99) within four years of its launch. It is probably the largest selling sub brand from Titan. Titan entered the watch market as a premium watch but competition from the unorganized sector and low priced options from HMT forced Titan to introduce Sonata. Sonata was so successful that it cannibalized the brand from the extension’s low price connotation. Titan's Exacta, a rugged steel watch starts at the low end of the price spectrum but offers high price versions as well. It is reportedly selling 1.0 million pieces per year because of the constant upgradation in its models. It is difficult to categorize Titan's Royale, Regalia and Classique as premium or popular. Though they have a premium image they are available at prices less than Rs.1000. Regalia (estimated sales - 0.2 million units) is at the higher end with dress watches for special occasions. The Royale range (estimated sales - 0.6 million watches) caters to the gift segment. There is also Royale Crown in the upper end of the Royale range. Classique is an office wears accessory that is gold-plated and leather strapped (estimated sales - 1 million units). Classique watches are targeted at the older, male segment of the market, and profess timeless elegance through a combination of fine leather straps, clean classic dials and sleek cases, thus making it, " A perfect fit for formal wear." Classique is the embodiment of everything that is everlasting yet contemporary. These watches tend to be generic in their simplicity, and find no real competitors, except HMT. These watches are priced between Rs 550 to Rs 3000. Though there are very high priced watches in the above three ranges it is the relatively low-priced ones that sell. They all target the upper middle class men and women in their thirties. Royale, Classique and Regalia are the watches that gave Titan the popularity and the prestige it enjoys. The Spectra range in this price band is a well-designed bimetal watch ("stylishness of gold and ruggedness of steel"). It sold just 70,000 units in 199798. Titan Industries launched (September, 2001) its range of watches in steel, targeted at urban men and women in the age group of 25-35 years. The Titan Steel collection has a range of bracelet and leather strap watches for both men
and women priced between Rs 1,250 and Rs 6,000. The range will be retailed through World of Titan, Time Zone and other retail outlets. The launch of the steel watches, available in 90 designs, will be followed by an aggressive marketing campaign. Titan's Tanishq range initially targeted the European market with limited success. In India also Tanishq faced resistance because Indian women do not treat watches as jewelry. The company is exploring the possibility of filling up the gap in the super premium segment. At present only Swiss brands have a presence in this niche. TIL, however, has its Nebula range for both men and women priced between Rs 6,000 and Rs 32,000. The new range is expected to higher price than the Nebula range. In fact the company's focus would be on niche segments to grow the market. By planning to launch a brand in the super premium category, Titan perhaps hopes to be present across all categories. Titan's Raga is an interesting product concept that offered to give dials that match with designs on saris. This promise was unrealistic and Raga flopped (estimated sales - 20,000 units). Raga is now being launched in more mellow colors and its positioning changed. Raga silver watch range also did not fare well because Indian dials. Titan Industries launched its Fastrack range of watches for women (For Men It is already present). The ladies watches are available in different finishes frosted, polished and satin and come in varied geometric shapes with trendy leather straps and classy metal bracelets. The watches retail from Rs 995 to Rs 1,950 and are attractively priced. The watches which have been designed at Titan's creative studio is the outcome of research that has highlighted the need for a watch that is fashionable, bold, unconventional and designed to accessories western wear. A collection of watches with contemporary styles those are young and distinctive. Designs that go from the relaxed and informal to the definitely sporty. The woman's collection presents the all-new international 'Frosted' look, which is trendy and chic. The Fastrack collection has elements like cool mesh straps and features that include backlight and dual time. Also presenting a range of fashion digitals in contemporary wrist hugging cases with oversized displays and features that include countdown timers, chronographs, lap timers, hourly chime, alarm and Hi-light glow.
Dash is Titan’s reply to Gimmix and Zap. Dash is available in 3 new collections for kids - Popeye, Digital and Lumibrite. Titan is the sole licensee of Popeye in India and this range is priced between Rs 350 and Rs 395. Giving Popeye of the spinach-eating fame the additional responsibility of keeping time, the Popeye brand of watches come in 6 different designs. The Digital range in a collection of 10 digital watches has features like El-light compass and Velcro straps for the sporty and is priced between Rs 425 and Rs 495. And Lumibrite, is a glow watch that comes at Rs 325. The company has also brought out a collection of five watches for the girls, priced at Rs 295.
PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Titan entered the watch market as a premium watch. But the unorganized sector and low priced options from HMT gave Titan serious competition. The unorganized sector grew very fast — almost 55% of the demand in the total market size of 20 million watches was being met by the unorganised sector. With the import duty reduced to 25% (earlier 50%) and with the import license for watch movement being easy to obtain, many smalltime players cropped up. These small players offered competition to Titan on the price front. Thus Titan launched low priced segment Sonata. Sonata was so successful that it cannibalized the sales of all Titan watches across the board. Titan consequently is wary of Sonata diluting its premium image. Even if we consider sonata as separate from Titan then it was second to titan in terms of turnover, leaving behind Timex and HMT. Therefore Titan planed to drop its name and leave the brand as Sonata under TATA thereby distancing the parent brand from the extension’s low price association. Another problem for Titan can be reflected in terms of VP marketing’s concern: "For us, the main concern was: Does the sum of all our communication for Raga, Classique and Regalia add up to Titan? We felt it didn't besides; building each of
them as separate brands is a very expensive proposition. So, instead of a multi brand strategy here, we're going to unveil a single-brand one. Titan has been facing a dilemma that whether it should market these brands as independent sub-brands or not, but it because of the high costs carried on with status quo but with more emphasis on segments. It is also putting in place a strategy to tap the rural market rigorously. Titan is currently in test market in rural Andhra Pradesh. While has the product and the brand for this market in the form of 'Sonata', and reach in terms of distribution, but in terms of Titan they don't have the communication. Mistake companies generally make in approaching the rural market is to see as one large lump, while in reality the market is very segmented and distinct. Titan has been the first one to build upon style, but in terms of marketing if we consider Classique or any other brand it was not targeting any particular segment initially with a focus, whether it was the youngsters or the Children. Thus there was a need to foray into these already present segments.
Secondary Information & Critical Analysis Titan is more a marketer than a manufacturer. The strategy has theoretical backing in the context that products reach parity and people gain enough money to satisfy more than their basic needs, the most prized assets start shifting from manufacturing
relationship section of the chain. This puts the emphasis on need identifying, product designing and brand communication skills, with which there's greater scope to stand apart. Titan has already made some admirable breakthroughs in this brand-building area. As a brand, Titan sought ownership of the 'style' portion of the target consumer's mind which was fine at the upper-end, but lacked direction towards huge price-sensitive segment. Also the Mid-priced zone had been less exciting HMT and Maxima have been crawling along, while Timex was recovering. But as all branded players have discovered, the real action is at the voluminous lower end – where the unorganized-sector and grey-market players have been having a blast. The answer from Titan came was Sonata.
Titan third-quarter net jumps 28% to Rs 1.9 cr Titan Industries Ltd has posted an increased sales turnover during the third quarter of the fiscal by 40 per cent from Rs 105.85 crore to Rs 147.97 crore in the current year while the company's profit after tax has gone up by 28 per cent from Rs 1.37 crore to Rs 1.96 crore During the nine month period, Titan's watch sales rose from 31.38 lakh pieces to 36.90 lakh units marking a growth of 18 per cent, led by brands like Regalia, Raga, Fastrack, Sonata (plastic) and its newly launched Dash labels. (News Item in Financial Express)
The retail network in this segment proved to be a formidable barrier to competition. Its strength here has helped Sonata, a relatively low-priced brand (starting from about Rs 350apiece); achieve annual sales of almost 3 million units within just four years of launch. Indeed, it was because of this success that Titan needed to churn out 300,000 units more than the capacity. But this we think was a tactical mistake made by the company. There was a dire need for Titan to launch a watch brand for the lower segment. Now, Titan had a very strong direct relationship with watch market than any other TATA Company, thus it initially positioned it as a Titan sub-brand. This can be further strengthened by the arguments given by one of the 22 immutable laws of Ries. Which says that the association with the company name and product is a very important factor in brand building. If instead of Titan Sonata had been under TELCO then the association with heavy machinery would have been awkward to consumers. TATA TITAN SONATA The price differential between the two ranges -- Sonata and Titan -- was not very significant. If Sonata was priced at Rs 845, a similar-looking Titan would be priced at Rs 1,200. What's more, the look of the two watches was not very different either. They sold through the same distribution outlets. As a result, very often, a value-conscious Titan buyer would end up settling for a Sonata. Cannibalization between Titan and Sonata rose from 15-20% in the first year to almost 30% by the end of the second year. Titan's initial reaction was to
cap Sonata's volumes at 2 million watches so that it did not cut into the mother brand's volumes. But that meant that Sonata was unable to stem the onslaught of the unorganised competition. Now in a change of tactic Titan has decided to take the grey market head on. Says vice-president, sales and marketing, Bijou Kurien: "Earlier, the pricing and positioning of Sonata vis-a-vis the grey market was tentative." As a part of the new strategy, Sonata, with an ad budget of Rs 5 crore which is double than last year’s is being positioned as an aspirational watch for the grey market consumer. In 1998-99 if we consider Sonata as different from Titan then this 2-year-old brand managed to clock sales of nearly 2.4 million units, marginally less than numero uno Titan. To prevent cannibalization and drive distribution penetration, Titan is creating a dedicated distribution infrastructure for Sonata. Now Sonata will be sold as under the banner of TATA. For instance, earlier the same distributor salesman would go to sell both Titan and Sonata to a retailer. Now that system has been changed. Two different salesmen go on different days to the same retailer to sell Titan and Sonata as separate brands. That way, instead of competing with each other for space, Titan and Sonata can hope to grab market share away from other brands. Already, Sonata has also added 500 outlets in the last one year, thereby pushing up the total coverage to 6,000 outlets. Sonata's next big opportunity is to open up new markets. The company now plans to set up about 10 Sonata showrooms —exclusive franchised outlets—this fiscal. The strategy, however, will be to go into smaller towns, such as Bhopal, where it is opening its first Sonata showroom.. Within these towns, Sonata showrooms will be located in ‘watch localities’ rather than ‘hot and happening places’. ‘‘We now have to get into smaller towns and make it an economic proposition,’’ Mr Kurien said. Further, to tackle the competition—primarily from the unorganised sector— Sonata will be penetrated into the rural market. Currently, Titan and Sonata are available only in around 1,400 towns and they have no presence in smaller villages. Having sold 2 million units last year, which is expected to touch 3 million units this year, Sonata will lead Titan's drive into the rural market. Sonata is clear evidence of Titan's new brand strategy. It now wants to be a full pyramid player addressing every segment in the market.
Titan by foraying into Fastrack and Dash has made it apparent its strategy of identifying the segments, sizing the market, and finding ways of penetrating it. From the earlier strategy of catch all the strategy now is to focus on the different segments more sharply. Having created the desire now Titan wants it to translate it into demand. Close on the heels of watch brands for children and the youth, Titan Industries will launch an exclusive line for college girls. According to Xerxes Desai, vice chairman and managing director, Titan Industries, main gap in the portfolio was the target segment containing girls. To plug this gap, Titan has developed a new line positioned at girls between the ages of 16 and 24. So far, Titan had treated this segment as part of its youth brand ‘FasTrack’ without producing products specifically for it. The girls line may be priced within the FasTrack price band: Rs 850-Rs 1500. The debate is whether to launch this new line under the ‘FasTrack’ umbrella or as a new brand altogether. So while keeping to the FasTrack brand field and imagery, Titan may launch a “different look” one that would be more feminine and colourful in comparison to the men’s line which is more instrumental, sporty and macho. Once the product is with a ‘fashion’ tag, then the realisation of its fickleness and thereby, constant change is the only way to survive. Titan Industries, which forayed into fashion watches in 1998 with Fastrack, has recognised the greater need for upgradation in this segment more than any other, and will come out with a new collection for men and women by the yearend. Fastrack, though positioned for the 15-25 years age group, has a lot of older customers in its net as well. In the Titan portfolio, Fastrack contributes to 4 per cent in value and the company has decided to establish it as an independent brand because of its high penetration potential. Titan earlier launched into several sub-brands, but it cared little to communicate their meaning to consumers. Now Titan is changing the position with Titan as umbrella link brand with clear differentiation of the sub-brands. Coming up with Fastrack Titan is using smart new designs (for men and women) to counter Swatch and Esprit, which have won the admiration of the style – conscious Indian youngster. There is a fine example of this strategy in form of advertising campaign for DASH As a marketing experiment at the showrooms, Titan decided to have the Dash display at the height of 3.5 feet to make it more accessible to
the child. It also kept colorful stools for the children to stand on to have a better look at the watches. Inspired by nightlife and urban lifestyle, a multimedia campaign will herald the launch of this dramatic product-line. This includes television commercial, print ads, billboards, in-store display material and webbased promotions.
THE TATA BUSINESS EXCELLENCE MODEL (TBEM): Titan Industries has signed up to implement the compliance plan laid out by the TBEM.Beginning July 2000, it will be evaluated on 7 parameters that constitute the TBEM: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, process management, human resources focus, and business results. The goal is to reach a score of 600 in next five years. Titan currently stands second in the Tata group, with a score of 450, after Tata Steel. The objectives of TBEM are: Ø To provide a framework for the group to become competitive. Ø To work as a competition to ensure participation. Ø To acquire competitiveness using quality as the route. Ø To monitor the progress through ratings. Ø To become a transformational tool for every company. The TBEM drives excellence across functions in the following manner: 1. The Leadership criterion checks how senior leaders create leadership system based on Group values. With the able leader in form of Mr. Xerxes Desai at the helm of affairs, Titan has become a dynamic, vibrant and pro-active organization. 2. The Customer and Market Focus checks how the company determines customer groups, key Customer needs, and complaint-management issues. Titan has always been a customer centric organisation and always has focused on satisfying the customer demands. 3. The Strategic Planning criterion examines how the company develops strategic objectives, Action plans, and resource-allocation. Since its inception, Titan has been the shaper of the watch industry. It has identified the future trends well in advance and taken appropriate steps in the right direction to emerge as the leader in the industry. 4. The Information and Analysis criteria check whether the organisation has key metrics in place To measure and analyse performance. Being market-driven, Titan has its information systems in place and has its hand on the pulse of the watch market.
5. The Human Resources Focus checks the appraisal system, the work environment, and the Training and development of the employees. 6.
Process management examines the product design, production
and delivery process, and Supply chain management. Titan has pioneered the style concept in the watch industry and is the undoubted leader in design.
Strategy Evaluation Titan banks on Cutting edge technology that has helped Titan create value-formoney price and the result is extraordinary marketing presence in about 40 countries, with a network of some 3,500 retailers abroad and high volume of domestic presence. Till date Titan is able to single-mindedly convey a point of differentiation that strikes the consumer then whether it is in terms of price (Sonata) or extraordinary beauty (Slim “Edge” watches). But the point is that whether the strategies which Titan is following will take Titan to a position of global uniqueness: a brand which brings information and ideas together from around the world, to fulfill human needs in novel ways and still go on for profitable growth. But maybe what's required is a campaign with executional variety a TV campaign that uses attention-getting devices to drive home the message. This would require greater creative risk. But then, if the stakes are reaching gigantic proportions it's time to get one's eyes in. Titan has segmented the market on the basis of the following variables: Ø Demographic: The segmentation here is done on the basis of social class i.e. working class, middle income group etc. since marketing is potentially and intimately connected with the “ability to pay” this segmentation is meaningful in analysing buying patterns of a particular class.Age, children, young, adults, Social class: upper, middle and lower come in this category. Ø Psycho graphic: In Psychographic segmentation buyers are divided into different groups on the basis of lifestyle and personalities. People within the same demographic group can exhibit very different Psychographic profiles. Lifestyle : professionals, affluent Personality: adventurous, “cool”, traditional Ø Behavioral: Benefits: functional, attractive, reliable, Occasions: gifts, special occasions Ø Geographical: Region: Europe, Middle-east Complementing this segmentation Titan is pursuing a 3-pronged strategy Ø Create a separate brand for the lower end of the segment. Ø Create new (sub) brands for unaddressed segments, like kids.
Ø Re-aim existing sub-brands (Raga, Classique and Regalia etc) to attract specific customer segments, like businessmen, women etc. Initially Mozart’s symphony number 25 (Titan’s signature tune) imprinted the brand in the minds of consumers, its utility faded as Titan introduced more (and cheaper) watches. As more customers - belonging to very different socioeconomic categories - entered Titan’s fold, the brand turned mass market. The chauffeur and the owner, both had Titan on their wrists. This was the major re-emphasise of the sub-brands. Titan’s first attempt at emphasizing its sub-brands didn’t yield the desired results. Instead of targeting different customer segments with different sub-brands (as is being done now), the watchmaker focused on product differentiation as the selling platform With product differentiation being replaced by segment-based focus, Titan’s subbrands building has got bright chances of creating an identity of their own.
Positioning Strategies Since its introduction, Titan has been positioned as a premium brand, providing high quality products. With its numerous sub-brands catering to different segments, the challenge that Titan faces is to create a strong brand image. It follows different positioning strategies, these strategies can also be analysed in the present context of Sonata, Fastrack, dash and Raga, Classique and Regalia as ; Ø Attribute positioning: When the company launched its products, it was the first to bring quartz watches to the Indian market. The company successfully leveraged this to penetrate the market and gain a market share. Raga Classique and Regalia come under this strategy. Classique has been positioned as elegant corporate wear that leaves a quiet, but definite impression and fusion of function and sophistication. Power dressing now has a new weapon! Regalia as Magic in gold and unique futuristic material, finely crafted sleek cases and patterned dials with special appliqué flowing into intricately designed bracelets. A unique combination of an all-gold and bicolour look, the 'Regalia' range represents the essence of dress-wear. Raga has been differentiated and positioned as Exclusive watches for women. The Raga and Silver Raga collection is elegant, delicate and feminine
with each piece being truly unique. An exciting collection that includes decorative motifs, 'kadas', studded bracelets and a first of its kind three-in-one watch. The designs are inspired by traditional Indian as well as contemporary motifs and are expressed in ropes, 'kadas' and ornamental bracelets. Crafted exclusively for the sophisticated woman, who wears silver jewellery with elan, the Silver Raga makes a perfect accessory that completes a woman's wardrobe. Ø User positioning: Titan caters to several user groups- children (the Dash), sportspersons and adventurers (PSI4000 and Fastrack range). The Fastrack range is seen as being contemporary, sturdy and reliable. The advertising, packaging and merchandising of this range is young, vibrant and ‘cool’ (the ad line says “Cool watches by Titan”) Ø Benefit positioning: The Fastrack Digital range offers the customer a functional watch that is also attractive. The digital watch has a “techno-geek” image, but Titan seeks to differentiate its offering on the basis of superior style and attractiveness. Ø Competitor positioning: With the entry of several foreign watchmakers into the market, Titan had to counter the threat. Most of the entrants are catering to the upper end of the market- Omega, Tissot, Cartier etc. Titan already had the Tanishq brand in this segment. However, it has tried to reposition this brand by increasing the price range to encourage more customers. Ø Quality or price positioning: In the overseas market, especially in Europe where it is competing with Swiss and Japanese watches, it is positioning itself as ‘value- for- money’: reasonably priced (less than Swiss watches and higher than Japanese), attractively styled and of good quality. In India Market Sonata is a perfect example of Price positioning, titan came up with this segment when it was facing heavy competition from lower end segment.
Laws of Branding and Titan In order to truly gauge the extent to which Titan has built itself into a nationally recognized brand, we need only refer to marketing guru Al Ries’ definition of the word, which is “a brand is a proper noun that can be used in place of a common word”. In the Indian context Titan can be taken as for the watches. This is what marks the difference between a mere name of a product, and a brand. Perhaps one of the most highly regarded works on brand building is the now classic ‘22 Immutable Laws of Branding’ by the father and daughter team of Al and Laura Ries. Using these laws we can see the Titans Brand building strategies. •
The Law of Contraction: A brand becomes stronger when its focus is
narrowed. This does not imply carrying a limited product line, but rather limiting and focusing a brand on only one type of core product, which in Titan’s case happens to be watches. Titan, though possessed of a wide product line, has stuck to its focus. It hasn’t launched other types of products and stuck them with the Titan name, which would have only gone on to cannibalize the value of the core brand. As a result of this, Titan has developed for itself an image of being “timekeeping experts” in the minds of the consumers. Although no it is going for the brand extension (wallets, writing instruments, luggage etc.) but still the core focus is Watch Industry. •
The Law of Advertising: Once born, a brand needs to actively advertise in
order to stay healthy and maintain market share. If done right, advertising is more of an investment than an expense. Titan has implemented this by always maintaining a high degree of visibility when it comes to it’s advertising. In addition, it possesses one of the most recognizable ad-jingles in the history of Indian advertising. • The Law of the Word: As we have seen in the STAS and Long term advertising effects, any brand should strive to retain words in the mind of the consumer. Titan in Indian watch market seems to have done this. • The Law of Quality: Though quality is essential to the survival and growth of any brand, the fact remains that brands are not built by quality alone. The perception of the brand is as, if not more significant than mere quality. It is here that Titan “scores”. As mentioned previously Titan more or less owns the word
“quality” in the minds of the consumers, thereby implying that it is perceived as a quality product. Thus, it’s actual quality, as well as it’s perception of being a quality product combine to work towards building the strength of the Titan brand. • The Law of the Name: In the long run, a brand is nothing more than a name. The difference between products is thus not so much between the products, as it is between their names, or perceptions of the names. Seeing as how its name is perhaps the most important element of a brand, we feel that this point warrants a slightly more in-depth discussion. First of all, the name ‘Titan’ itself comes from Greek mythology, and symbolizes greatness, grandeur and power. It is easy to pronounce, as well as to remember. Even Titan sounds more classy and sophisticated than Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT). • The Law of the Company: Brands are brands, and companies are companies. There is a difference. Titan is owned by the Tata Group, who though highly regarded in Indian industry are associated more with heavy industries such as steel and truck building, than with watch making. Chances are that no one would buy a Tata watch (it’s name invoking the same, if not greater reaction than an HMT). People would, however buy a Titan. Conditions Necessary for segmentation Vs Titan Substantiality: This refers to the size of segmented markets. Segments should be large enough to permit viable market effort directed towards them. Titan has fully satisfied this condition as its models i.e. Psi 2000, regalia (premium segment), Classique (office wear), Fastrack (Youth) etc are all large & profitable enough to direct marketing effort towards them. Accessibility: Could be attained through the existing channel of distribution. The segments must permit the firm to direct successfully different marketing effort towards the segments. The existing channels of distribution for Titan like exclusive showrooms and shop dealers can support titans various segments. Representability: Segments should be large and profitable enough to be considered as a separate market. Such segments must be representative in nature and must have individuality of their own. For example this condition is fulfilled in the kids segment, which is cornered by “Dash” Measurable: The size, purchasing power, and characteristics of the segments have to be measurable. This has been clearly satisfied by titan through its pricing and branding policy. While foraying into the Youngsters and Kids segment titan
was sure that this segment is already present there and just the need was to differentiate and position itself.
Managerial Opinion In our view the disassociation of the Sonata brand from the parent Titan and its further association with TATA was a well long term planned strategy, as the association of Sonata built in quite strong with Titan and Titan in Indian context is synonymous with Watches thus a strong association of Sonata with the watches segment developed. But as we have seen that the sonata has been cannibalizing the Titan sub-brands, whether this strategy is able to bring back the style image of Titan back. This all exercise leads to the conclusion that Titan is on a path of Fortification
by means of building image through launch of new product categories of watches for various segments, after the initial introductory and elaboration phase.
In 1984 onwards with Launch of Classique, Sonata the launch of Titan