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Analysing Titan Marketing Strategies

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Titan, a Tata group company entered the watch market in 1987. Since then it has developed into one of the most recognized brands in India. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by A&M, Titan emerged as the top brand in the consumer durable segment.HMT, the undisputed leader of the wristwatch market before Titan’s entry completely neglected the quartz watch segment. Titan successfully filled this gap. Its wide range of designs, high profile advertising and distribution network helped it gain a substantial market share in a short span of time. The Titan brand was essentially positioned as a premium brand. As a result the lower segment was left uncovered. After it entered into a joint venture with Timex, it made inroads into this segment too. Internationally, Timex is seen as a mid-priced quality watchmaker. Its association with Titan in India led to wrong segment targeting. Here, the middle and higher income groups were buying its watches. In 1998, this association came to an end erasing Titan’s presence in the lower segment. Since then, it has launched the Sonata range of watches that is in direct competition with the Timex range (Anderson, 1999, 40).

These watches are priced between Rs 800 to Rs 7500. If Titan misses an opportunity to attack itself, it can often recover simply by copying the competitive move. They projected the watch as a fashion accessory. 2) “Strong competitive moves should always be blocked” Most companies have only one chance to win, but leaders like Titan have two. 4000 Lower segment: The Sonata and Exacta range caters to this segment. However this strategy can be applied mainly to the lower range or digital range of Titan’s watches, as the concept of ‘class’ remains constant over a period of time. In other words, Titan should strengthen its position by introducing new products that make obsolete its existing ones. The different market segments that it targets include: Upper premium segment: This range includes Tanishq and a new brand (soon to be launched) , Phillipe Charriol. All watches are highly water resistant, ranging from 50m to 100m. Specialty segments: These are special segments that tend to overlap with the others, because they are not mainly differentiated on the basis of price (Rindfleish, 1997, 54).

Discussion and Analysis

In order to Understand the Indian customer’s psyche, Titan has been reaching its present position of strength. The company today has a model for every price segment and every market, urban and rural, regional and international. Within the Titan mother brand are Nebula, which comes draped in 18-carat gold; the exclusive Insignia; PSI, for those turned on by technology; and Raga, which has been considered exclusively for women. Titan’s focus has always been on India. Research reveals some interesting facts and figures about this diverse market.

The Indian market is estimated at 25 million watches a year, with 50 per cent being sold by the organized sector. Titan is the runaway market leader, with domestic sales of 6 million watches a year. There are 190 million watch-owning Indians; between them they own about 210 million watches. Urban India accounts for 120 million of these watches and 90 millions are on rural wrists. More men than women own watches in India, and more working women than housewives own watches. It is the rural segment within this diverse market that Titan is now looking to tap. “The key to success is getting into the rural market on a larger scale. The company’s Sonata range is targeted at rural customers, and is part of a strategy where the alignment of price and reliability are crucial. The rage costs between Rs.495 and Rs.1,200 has showrooms exclusively for it, and is sold mainly in small-town India (Kelly, 2006, 144).

Titan brought in quartz technology, displacing the mechanically driven HMT, till then number one, into second place and smaller towns. It brought a sense of style and designs, till then available only in the West, or in Japan, to its range. Even today, with so many foreign brands gaining visibility, as well as a buoyant grey market, the strongest selling point of Titan is that it is available and affordable. (Roth, 2007, 122) It provides for all segments, from the low-end Sonata for a first-time user, Fast-Track for the trendy young, Dash for kids, and the higher-priced Regalia and Nebula with its latest offerings being steel Collection (Rs.1,500 to Rs.6,700) and the world watch, and by the year-end it has ambitious plans to augment its existing ranges. But Titan’s flurry of expansion and extension, and its four-year- several-crore R&D, which has resulted in the Edge, shows that there is no room for complacency. Though the `most profitable watch company’ in the country (net profit in the last financial year Rs.23 crore, with six million watches sold), claims that it doesn’t fear foreign competitors, there’s no doubt that the high ad-spends of the Swatch group have taken some of the sheen off the biggest domestic players (Roth, 2007, 122).

“Reparability, and visibility”, is where Titan scores. Even though a Swatch’s likelihood of needing repairs is minimal, it would have to be dissembled even for as small a thing as a change of battery. Titan’s products have come down from being a rich man’s watch to that of everybody’s watch with TITAN still being something for somebody and not everything for everybody.

The Target Market

A collection of watches will contemporary styles that 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 EL back-light and dual time. (Roth, 2007, 122) 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 (Roth, 2007, 122).

Exacta

perfect combination of dateless styling and design simplicity, Exacta is the all-steel look in Titan. Everyday watches for those who value fundamental principles of durability, reliability and affordability.

Spectra

A truly unique collection of watches that combines the sturdiness of steel with the richness of gold. International in styling the `Spectra’ collection is designed for those who look beyond the ordinary.

Royal

A stunning collection of alluring gold-plated cases matched with exquisite gold-plated straps, the `Royale’ collection has designs that suit everyday wear.

Raga

Exclusive watches for women. The Raga and Silver Raga collection is elegant, delicate and feminine with each piece being truly unique. An existing 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 √©lan, the Silver Raga makes a perfect accessory that completes a woman’s wardrobe.

Bandhan

Watches for him and her. The pair watches of the `Bandhan’ range are Titan’s tribute to the everlasting quality of a bond between a man and woman The Bandhan Collection is available in both leather straps and gold bracelets and its presented in uniquely designed packaging (Kelly, 2006, 144).

Edge

The Titan EDGE is the Slimmest Watch in the Universe; a mere 3.5 millimeter thick, the watch is practically invisible. Delicately crafted with precision, it has an incredibly Slim Movement of 1.15 millimetes. Furthermore, the Titan Edge is Water Resistant to a depth of 30 meters, an attribute rarely ever seen in slim watches. Titan’s Edge comes with an elemental One-Piece case made from Non-Allergic Stainless Steel, and a Sapphire Crystal that market it Scratch Resistant.

Competitive Analysis

Titan’s portfolio comprises of products from Rs.295 – Rs.45000. Many competitors do not go beyond a certain range or do not come down below a certain range. For E.G. To start of with the lower segment maxima quartz, HMT, IMFQ (Chinese watches), Titan offers its Sonata brand which comprises of about 47-50% of the titan sales (Figures according to showroom owners), backed by the guarantee of TATA-India’s biggest business house which people have faith in. The guarantee, the Research and development, value for money, new innovative designs, wide dealer network, the committed service team, discounts and offers is some of the things which means a lot a price sensitive market, the lower segment in which Titan carves itself the path to being the market leader (Kelly, 2006, 144).

Moving on a little above top what is the future of the watch industry and is the fastest growing segment today Swatch which is known for it name in watches owns a segment in the range of aboutRs.3500-10000. More so ever these watches are more of the sporty type with steel being their trademark of it’s the entire range of formal watches but both the sporty and the formal are difficult to find under one name In view to these companies Titan offers its world watch, The steel collection, the fast track, the edge, the bandhan, the world watch (a part of it). The titan portfolio in these ranges boast of steel watches, the formal wear, the slimmest watch in the world, a gold plated watch, the tendy youth watches, and the World Watch – International Styling Indian Prices. Competition is head on with such companies which are gaining importance in today’s society. These companies have a Niche market for themselves and pertain to a particular segment but Titan it’s more flexible in pricing offering more value for money. Moving on further up the pricing ranges we come to a market which is not price sensitive but wants an exclusive product and who do not mind paying the price. Rado which is known for its expensive diamond watches, have a niche for the top cream of the society. Titan manages to cater to these segments with the Nebula, the Edge, the Insignia, the World watch, distinguishing itself for example as the slimmest watch in the world giving oneself the identity no one can offer, pure gold watches and combined with Tanishq which apparently has gained a status of its own jewellery with watches. This unique concept plays well for titan to offer a wide range of products with the Indian touch and providing the customer a well designed international store, these products offer satisfaction and a sense of well being (based on research details), couples watches, the gifting technique, wide dealer network , selling on emotions, the use of festivals and occasions, combining new products with the old ones which one no one in the watch market can boast of are some of the techniques none in the upper market can do (Kelly, 2006, 144).

Thus broadly speaking TITAN has 60% of the watch market in India Today because companies existing have a niche market where as TITAN gives the flexibility to the customer to choose a watch more or less than his budget giving him the same guarantee, the name TATA, a wide dealer network, an international store, and more so ever value for money. Following is the list of competitors:

Rado

Casio

Seiko

Esprit

Citizen

Swatch

Cartier

Giordano

Longiness

Maxima quartz

Imfq-indian made foreign quartz

Fashion houses – Dkny, Gucci, Adidas, Nike, Bvlgary

Segmentation Strategy

After carrying out an in-depth market study, Titan identified three distinct market segments for its watches. The segments were arrived at using benefit and income level as the bases. The first consisted of the high income/ elite consumers who were buying a watch as a fashion accessory not as a mere instrument showing time. They were also willing to buy a watch on impulse. The price tag did not matter to this segment (Kelly, 2006, 144).

The next segment consisted of consumers who preferred some fashion in their watches but to them price did matter. While they had the capacity to pay the price required for a good watch, they would not purchase a watch without comparing various offers in the market. The third segment consisted of the lower-income consumers who saw a watch mainly as a time-keeping device and bought mainly on the basis of price. For the first segment, Titan offered Aurum and Royale in the gold/ jewellery watch range. They were stylish dress watches in all gold and precious metals. The prices between Rs.20,000 & 1 lakh.

For the middle segment, Titan offered the Exacta range in stainless steel, aimed at withstanding the rigors of daily life. There were 100 different models in the range. The price range was Rs.500-700. Titan also offered the RAGA range for women in this segment. And, for the third segment, Titan first offered the TIMEX watches and later, when the arrangement with Timex was terminated, the SONATA range. The price range was Rs.350-500. It was offered in 200 different models. Titan also offered the “Dash!” range for children. In-depth segmentation helped Titan launch segment-specific product.

Titan’s Product Pyramid

Titan’s portfolio of products spanning 3 distinct price-bands that can be defined, in general, as Popular, Mid, and Premium. At the bottom, the emphasis is on volumes-not margins. At the top, the emphasis is on profits and image not volumes. Obviously, profits are concentrated at the top of the pyramid, but the base acts as both an entry-barrier and a caretaker of the company’s fixed costs. This pyramid guided the strategy of Titan. Titan was first focused only on the premium segment of the watch market. As per the above-mentioned strategy Titan moved in to the mass market for watches. To broaden the mass base, Titan created new segments and increasingly focusing on segments individually. In the past few years Titan has launched at a number of initiatives focused on specific segments (Kelly, 2006, 144).

Models in Product Line

Today titan offers the best and the biggest range to choose from offering from the scratch to the highest level in watches. With offering such a variety of models. Titan provides variety to the customer and still is able to segment itself creating not a niche but its ability to segment takes it a step further in terms of its product offerings. If offers about 14 different names with about 1000 plus different varieties with a watch for literally everyone.

Differentiation

The Titan goods are developed in such a way so as to improve quality and features to enhance customer value. This is a ideal instance of differentiation through technological leadership and product technological change. Titan creates competitive advantage through differentiation. The first concentration is on technological leadership. They decided to manufacture only quartz and not mechanicals, and they would set up the state-of-art plant to manufacture watches in a wide variety of designs and prices. These products designed with the view of monopoly go a long way to outshine titan to its competitors (Wilson, 1995, 345).

Core Competency

The TITAN core competency is on many fronts with Quality being the top runner in the list. This is the area where a Titan beats players hollow. This is for the lower segment watches like HMT and Maxima. People when they buy a Titan they know it’s a piece of quality and backed up by the Tata’s and the company’s strong presence in India rather now the world the watch is one which creates absolutely no doubt at all for its quality.

In the Higher priced segments Titan is famous for pioneering innovations with innovations being in the field of Technology, Style, Uniqueness, and having a market for every one to offer from steel to gold to diamonds. The titan Edge a unique creation in the world only owned by Titan, The Bandhan “The Pair” the concept first started by Titan in Indian, The Nebula “Solid Gold Watches” and a list of many more (Wilson, 1995, 345).

Recommendations for Improving Marketing Strategy

The recommendation for improving marketing strategy helps you to quickly improve your marketing performance and return on investment, while reducing overall marketing costs. These recommendations deliver improved marketing performance are mentioned below:

Identify your key market drivers.

Learn new marketing strategies for customer growth.

Develop value based branding strategies.

Develop your unique value proposition for competitive advantage.

Differentiate your marketing from the competition

Implement missing marketing best practices.

Identify new under serviced market gaps.

Reduce marketing costs without sacrificing performance.

Define the best metrics to monitor your performance.


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