In early 80’s, it was identified by the Tata Group that the watch industry is a huge potential consumer market for the group to enter. A Tata veteran, Xerxes Desai who was the MD of Tata Press was chosen to head this initiative. Titan was conceived in Tata Press in 1984- a joint venture between Tata & the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation. Like most consumer markets in India during the pre-liberalization era, the watch industry was way behind the rest of the world. The technology at that time was reliable, but outdated. Tata Group entered the watch market with Quartz technology and the brand Titan.
Brand identity-Kapferers Model
Physique is an exterior tangible facet conveying brand qualities, form, physical specificities and colour. Physique is the starting point of branding.
TITAN: Elegant corporate wear, Life-style watches
Personality is an internal intangible facet which forms the character, brand personality and soul which are relevant for brands.
TITAN: A complement to dress than just a time showing machine
Relationship is an exterior facet with tangible and intangible areas, and defines the behaviour that indentifies the brand – the way the brand connects to its customers.
TITAN: Watches as a practical luxury with a function other than beauty
Culture is an internal intangible facet to integrate the brand into the organization which is essential in differentiating brands.
TITAN: Indian, traditional and premium quality
Reflection is an external intangible facet reflecting the customer as he or she wishes to be seen as a result of using a brand.
TITAN: Lives life to the fullest, multi-faceted, revives aspirations
Self-Image is an internal intangible facet reflecting the customer attitude towards the brand. These inner thoughts connect personal inner relationship with the brand.
TITAN: Be whatever you want to be and extract more from life
Stage in the PLC
Extension of Maturity phase through REPOSITIONING
Titan’s winning story began in the year 1984 when there was a joint venture between the Tata Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation. Introducing Titan quartz watches which donned an international appearance, Titan Industries completely transformed the Indian watch industry. After the launch of “Sonata”, a value-for-money brand which offered functionally styled watches at reasonable prices, Titan Industries aimed to reach the youth of the nation with its third trendy and chic brand “Fastrack”. Till date, Titan has sold 100mn watches worldwide and it produces 12mn watches per annum.
Steps taken by brand at each stage
At Product Level
Stage I: Introduction
Titan offers a broad variety of choices to numerous segments across taste, gender, age and economic status. in the early days, Titan used this approach path as the cornerstone of its leadership strategy. Their former range had discrete offerings for specific requirements:
Gold plated cases having fine leather straps were Formal watches launched specially for the executive
Gold plated cases having ornamental bracelets were Dress watches launched for those who prefer jewellery
All steel watches with functionality were the Rugged watches for those whose usage demanded more durability
Stage II: Growth
Launched Aqura In 1989, the trendy range for the youth
Raga in 1992, the ethnic range for the sophisticated Indian woman
Insignia in 1993, typical and international appearing high-end watches, for those who seek exclusivity
Launched psi 2000 in 1994, the rugged, sporty and masculine watches with serious sports features for those who seek adventure.
Dash in 1996, the bright and colourful collection for kids
Launched Sonata in 1997, the affordable, good quality range for the budget-conscious
Stage III: Maturity
Titan came out with Fastrack in 1998, the cool, fashionable and funky range for the young
Nebula in 1999, the solid gold and diamond-studded range of luxury watches for affluent people
Steel in 2001, the smart and contemporary collection for the young 21st century executive
In 2006, launched its premium watch brand Xylys
Also in 2008, Titan came out with unique collections like the Octane, Diva, WWF and Zoop
At Communication Level
Stage I: Introduction
Titan decided to invest to a great extent into exhibiting all its innovations to the prospective consumers using advertising. From the very first day, the “catalogue” advertising of Titan was used and it turned out to be its hallmark as it was applied regularly and was very effective in merchandising new models. These catalogue ads were also very helpful to the customers in shopping off the newspaper page, almost deciding which model they were interested in picking up. Retailers also got used to viewing customers who would walk into shops with newspaper cuttings, specifically asking for the models depicted there. The same approach is continued till this day, with almost the same effect.
The most persisting part of the Titan advertising has been its music track. It was a segment from Mozart’s 25th Symphony which was chosen for its class and western vibes and has become Indian Advertising’s most unforgettable track. It started in 1987 in its pure classical versions with only one violin playing the melody and over the years, this piece of music has been delivered in innumerable innovative versions.
Stage II: Growth
In the early 90’s, Titan focused on building up the “Gifting” market. Watches had always been favourite things to gift and Titan benefited from that. A set of 3 films were developed in 1991 around 3 relationships, where the gifting of a Titan climaxed in a touching personal moment and strengthened the bond between the protagonists. All these films were very big hits and they created a separate genre of advertising films lasting around 8 years. During these years, a series of films involving a variety of characters such as a father, a daughter, a teacher, a boyfriend etc.; with local flavour were created and released. These helped in building a huge gift segment for Titan and also became Titan’s Theme Campaign.
Another flourishing customer-facing aspect about Titan has been its stores. In a pioneering attempt which drastically altered the industry standards, the World of Titan was born. Located in the newer parts of a city, the showrooms immediately stood out on the street and ended up in attracting a lot of walk-ins. One could get a better idea about the collection through a contextual presentation and could make up his mind which collection was right for his requirement.
Stage III: Maturity
Titan Industries decided to revamp its flagship watch brand with the purpose of making it more youthful and relevant to the changing times. The brand underwent a major repositioning exercise in 2005, when Hindi film actor Aamir Khan was appointed brand ambassador and it was followed by the tagline “What’s Your Style?” campaign. It tried to increase watch consumption per person, by suggesting the use of different watches for different occasions.
In 2008, Titan moved from style statements to personality statements. With the explosion of options in a person’s life, their core consumer was changing. Titan has evolved and adopted the tagline “Be More”. It denotes the aspirations of consumers to make more of their lives and be whatever they want to be.
Majority of the watch customers tend to prefer Titan because of the appealing designs and supreme quality of Titan watches. However, there is a misconception in the minds of the consumers about the prices of Titan products as they find them to be pretty expensive. Titan is now trying to get hold of newer customer segments and are attempting to target all the adults in SEC A and SEC B. Titan is also considering advanced retail strategies and is projecting to launch modern product collections.
Titan is the 5th largest branded watch producer in the world with four major brands in the market namely Titan, Sonata, Fastrack and Xylys, all having several sub-brands and collections. Titan Industries commenced operations with groundbreaking offerings, i.e. Quartz watches which altered the look of the Indian watch industry. Ideas which were ahead of their times at Titan Industries led to substantial accomplishments such as Single Point Solutions to each and every Original Equipment Manufacturer customer.
Titan watches are available at exclusive World of Titan outlets, Fastrack outlets, multi brand dealers, Multi brand outlet “Helios” and multi brand stores. Taking the forecast of brand fatigue earnestly, the brand recreated itself with the flawlessly styled Euro watches collection.
In the near future, Titan can introduce an exclusive assemblage for Executive men and women which is contemporary and goes well with both the traditional as well as western wear. Also, the brand needs to spread more awareness about the availability of its lesser-priced watches in lower segments of the society as most of the consumers feel that Titan brand is synonymous with premium watches.
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