Today, a wristwatch is considered as much of a status symbol as a device to tell time. The watches and jewellery has not been immune to the economic climate and the whole industry suffered in late 2008 and in 2009 as consumer confidence fell and people became more cautious about their spending.
The overall jewellery and watches market grew by 10% since 2005 to reach £4.8 billion in 2010 and Mintel forecasts 11% growth for the jewellery and watches market over next five years.
2011 is also going to be the year to invest in men’s jewellery. Stephen Webster presented a strong case for men’s jewellery at IJL in September 2010, and assuming male customer only want watches and the odd signet or chain could lead to missing out on a potential wealth of customer. It’s not that male customers don’t want it: they just don’t know they want it.
Men aren’t like women and they’re not used to thinking about what to wear, explain Webster. “But once a man is bejewelled, there’s no looking back. They also don’t wait for special occasions like woman do, and they can go from zero to jewellery enthusiast in no time.”
Market research company Mintel’s September 2010 report Watches and Jewellery Retailing UK found that 20% of male respondent said they like receiving jewellery as a gift, and 12% said that they had purchased all of their own jewellery. So the market is clearly there to be exploited.
Rocketing gold prices and recession have led many consumers to buy silver jewellery instead of gold, with almost one in five people wearing more silver jewellery than gold, rising to nearly three in ten women; particularly young people aged 15 – 24.
The affordability and disposability of many costume jewellery items means that customers are more willing to experiment and try new looks without denting their bank balances
Young men aged under- 35 are more open to paying higher amounts for a watch as they typically do not wear jewellery to express their individuality or consumer spending power.
Some 86% of consumers wear a watch, but nearly 40% only a new one when their old one is broken. Converging the watch’s main function with health benefits would be one way of helping create new reasons for purchase.
Many Brands and companies are constantly reinvigorating their businesses and positioning them for growth. There is a constant need to innovate, reinvigorate, update, recalibrate, or just simply fend off the competition in an effort to better explain ,”why buy me.”
In the market for the brand and product offerings is created by positioning. It reaches a certain type of consumers and delivers benefits that meet the needs of several key target groups and users.
Actual Approach of a company or brand’s positioning in the marketplace depends on how it communicates the benefits and product attributes to consumers and users. As a result positioning of a company and/or product seeks to further distance itself from competitors based on a host of items, but most notably on five key issues: Price, Quality, Product Attributes, Distribution, and Usage Occasions.
In recent times, consumerism has undergone a sea change. Consumers today are well informed about the products, as compared to earlier times. Hence, the market has become customer centric. Recognizing the importance of the customer is business structure; companies have started effecting brand repositioning exercise on regular basis.
In the recent times, a major brand repositioning exercise has been planned by Titian Industries Ltd in order to provide more to its customers. The company has its new position. This study will help to understand the revived positioning strategies of TITAN watches. An analysis of repositioning strategies of Titan also forms of the study.
Firstly it is important to understand the overall wrist watch industry in UK. Secondly to study the brand positioning and re-positioning strategy of Titan wrist watches and to find out whether the loyal consumers of TITAN watches aware of the new positioning strategies of the company and how they perceive them.
To study primary and secondary data have been used. Analysis UK wrist watch industry and brand repositioning strategies of TITAN Company has been analysed and completed on the basis of secondary data. Internet, journals, books and magazines have been used for this purpose.
Project comprises conducting a questionnaire survey.
1.1 Theory and concepts:
“A business has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation” Peter Drucker
To maintain business relevance and market position, it is important to continuously innovate and invent brand image in the market to pace with change and intense competitive pressure in the marketplace.
In this context, brand repositioning and other revitalization strategies have become a business imperative for battling brand erosion. The appeal of brand repositioning is further heightened by the rising costs and high risk associated with launching a new brand. Increase in the cost and high risk related with launching a new brand that is a part of brand reposition.Brand reposition has received very importance in the marketing literature and mostly been treated as a variation of brand positioning.
Reposition can be required as the market changes and new opportunities occur. In order to reach the customer which was never targeted at first can also be targeted with brand reposition. In order to change its image in the market it is important to focus towards brand repositioning, although it is one of the toughest and hardest actions in marketing to reposition a familiar brand.
According to Solomon, position strategy is an essential part in the marketing efforts because companies have to use the elements in the marketing mix to influence the customers understanding the position. There has to be several choices to be, so to as to be in more attractive and relevant position. It is important for the person who is reposition for the reposition to know and understand why reposition is necessary and its need, and if the offer is the one that will change or just the brand name. While repositioning it is important to undertake and understand all the risk factors that is likely to affect it in the market.
A company risks its credibility and reliability more while repositioning its brand in the market and the need for a thorough strategy is very important to avoid any occurrence. Some analyst argues that to successfully reposition a established brand name is almost impossible because repositioning of a brand can make the most loyal customer to switch brand. If the brand is eroded then brand reposition becomes important.
Numerous attempts to reposition brand in the market may fail which is testified by many company for example while soft drink has successfully been able to connect with the youth though they exist for 40 years in the market but at the same Levis, jeans has been losing its market share to newcomers such as The Gap despite numerous campaigns designed to reposition the brand trend.
1.2 Literature Review:
The reposition strategy is defined into three stages that is:
This involves the introduction of a new or a repositioned brand, seeking underline the brand’s value over others, and to broaden the brand position. It is truly hard to change the customer’s perceived attitude towards a brand, and therefore the risk is great that the attempt to repositioning might fail.
After rolling out the strategy, it is time to modify the proposition through update of the personality and through repositioning. There pros and cons with both of this segments and it is great significance that they are truly calculate when deciding the next step in the process. To understand it more deeply
Figure 1: Stages in brand strategy development.
When a company modifies or change something that is already there in the market established in the mind of the customer that is called as repositioning.
Different profession and individuals have different meaning and understanding towards Repositioning. There are few different definitions and greater understanding about this concept:
“Repositioning is a change, principally about triggering the vision, mission and value in a new direction that is more suited f or the brand in the future- Brand manager consultant.
“Principally, reposition concerns changing the consumer’s perception of the brand – PR consultant.
“Repositioning is built upon the change of unique and differentiated associations with the brand in some kind of direction; it is about having a balance between the category party and differentiation when using reposition strategies (Leading Brand strategies)
From these definitions, it is obvious that reposition is about moving something to more attractive and relevant position. Reposition direction is often decided as to what a company wants to achieve. There is also a visible relation between price and quantity aspects. When a company perceives the market as a demand curve, the purpose is to down stretch or upward curve. When moving up and there is a need for reaching the premium segment and expand up wards.
Figure: The principle of reposition.
When striving towards a new position in the market, it is important to understand those consumers are limited. People’s minds select what to remember and it is important to convince the consumers with greater arguments. The market always strive for change which is rapid and therefore repositioning can be necessary to meet these demands, newer and stronger arguments have to be established to convinced them to stay as loyal customers.
As repositioning is a very complicated matter and therefore there are no detailed theories or models. Aim for repositioning is different for different person, and the only connection between all the different theories is that repositioning is moving something from somewhere towards a greater position at the market.
Corstjens and Doyle (1989) identified three types of repositioning strategies:
Zero repositioning, which is not a repositioning at all since the firm maintains its initial strategy in the face of a changing environment.
Gradual repositioning, where the firm performs incremental, continuous adjustments to its positioning strategy to reflect the evolution of its environment; and
Radical repositioning that corresponds to a discontinuous shift towards a new target market and /or a new competitive advantage.
After learning the repositioning of several brands from the UK market, the following 8 types of repositioning have been identified. These are:
Increasing relevance to the consumer
Increasing occasions for use
Making the brand serious
Bringing in new customers
Making the rand contemporary
Differentiate from other brands
Changed market conditions
A four – phased brand repositioning approach can be followed to achieve the intended benfits-
Phase I. Determining the current status of the brand
Phase II. What does the brand stand for today?
Phase III. Developing the brand positioning platforms
Phase IV. Refining the brand Positioning and Management Presentation
The advantages that can be derived from brand repositioning exercises can be summarized as:
Value over others
The risks associated with such strategies are:
Loss of focus
Neglecting original customers
Losing credibility for the brand
Confusing the brand
Therefore, brand repositioning is more difficult than initially positioning a brand because one must first help the customer “UNLEARN” the current brand positioning
This can be done by:
Carefully crafted communication
New products, packaging
Associations with other brands ( co- branding, co- marketing, ingredient branding, strategic alliances, etc) that reinforce the new brand positioning.
This exercise is so critical to an organization’s success that the organization’s and its marketing/brand management leader should develop it, preferably with the help and facilitation of an outside brand – positioning expert.
To study the current scenario of UK wrist watch industry.
To review the brand positioning strategies of different sub-brands of watches.
To analyze the brand repositioning strategies of watches.
To study consumer awareness and perception about the brand repositioning strategies of watches.
This study will help to understand the gap in its communication strategy regarding brand repositioning exercises and the further measures to be taken for effective marketing communications.
The study is confined to London area only
There is possibility of sampling errors in the study
The responses of the consumers may not be genuine
Questionnaire may not be comprehensive
2.3 Sources of Data Collection:
The relevant data was collected from both primary sources and secondary sources. The starting point of my information gathering has been the secondary sources such as internet, books, and journals and so on.
Firstly, brand positioning and repositioning strategies of Titan, secondary sources such as internet, insurance magazines, and journals and so on. Then I conducted a consumer awareness survey on brand repositioning strategies undertaken by Titan watches in recent times.
To conduct sampling of 50 loyal consumers of Titan and in the age group of 20 – 30 years for this study. Since Titan has taken up brand repositioning strategies since January 2011, consumers who have seen the previous and new campaigns have been targeted.
2.5 Primary data:
Data was collected through an interview schedule, consisting of both open ended and closed ended questions. It consisted of the parameters like reasons consumers’ brand preference, recollection of earlier tagline and advertisement, brand ambassador of Titan awareness of new tagline and campaign featuring sportsmen and actors from International body and so on. The data was collected through e-mails, telephone contacts and one to one personal interviews.
UK Watch industry:
Market report examines the UK jewellery and watches market, total sales of jewellery and watches in the UK fluctuated between 2004 and 2008, and fell by 2.8% in the latter year to finish the review period at £4.33 billion.
The declining sales in 2008 can be largely attributed to the global economic downturn and UK recession, which have had a negative impact on nearly all industries.
Initially, the luxury end of the market was relatively unaffected by the downturn, but by the end of 2008 and 2009, it had begun to take effect.
The jewellery and Watches market has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Although the industry has always been fragmented with a wide range of suppliers and retailers, developments in online retailing have contributed to it becoming increasingly transparent for information on pricing and availability. This has been a positive trend, especially for many smaller brands that previously were not able to deal directly with consumers. Some larger retailers, as well as a few independents, have also developed transactional sites to deal with this demand.
With around a third of the UK population owning a piece of precious jewellery and nearly in ten owning a watch, products have a high rate of consumer penetration.
The downturn in the UK economy is unlikely to show reversal in 2009, and this will continue to affect all areas of consumer spending.
It seems the concepts of a wrist watch have become that of a status symbol rather than a practical chronometer. According to a survey that suggest one in seven people in the UK has no need for watch, apart from as a fashion accessory.
Gadgets such as iPods, laptops and mobile phone, represent threat to the watch industry, survey conducted by Mintel.
Even in the age of iPhones, people spend huge amount of money on a quality time piece, with high-end brands such as Rolex and Tag Heuer adorning blinged up wrist of rappers, bankers and fashionistas alike.
SWOT ANALYSIS OF THE UK WATCH INDUSTRY:
Watch industry is growing industry which faster rate
As the population is rising, the watch market is also expanding
Customers are not very price sensitive as far as quality watch is concerned
There is not much advertising done by watch industry
No innovation in products
There are few number of exclusive showrooms that reduces the consumer’s accessibility to the product
There are few marketers, who are concentrated only upon a particular niche segment (Tag Heuer )
There is more need of fashionable luxury watch and fine luxury watch brands that can be targeted in UK, as customers are more like trendsetter and fashionable.
UK especially London is a metropolitan city which makes it more attractive for the new company.
Youth are more brand conscious than their predecessors. That leads to the expansion of the market for branded watches.
There are many foreign players entering in the race
Too many players will dilute the market and the profit margin.
Mobile phones acting as substitutes of the watches.
The Indian watch industry began in the year 1961 with the commissioning of the watch division of Titan. The first watch model manufactured by HMT was the Janata model in the year 1962. HMT was the leader in the watch market till the Tata’s formed Titan watches in association with Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation in the year 1987. They took a major strategy decision, which later changed the face of the Indian watch market to manufacture only quartz watches. Liberalisation in 1992 and removal of quantitative restrictions due to WTO has opened the doors for many the Indian market viz. Tissot, Swatch, Omega, Rado, TAGHeuer. The import duties on watches are falling which makes the Indian market look attractive for the global majors like Casio, Swatch and Citizen.
Titan is the largest watch company in India and the sixth largest in the world. Titan manufactures over 7 million watches per annum and has a customer base over 65 million.
An industry was established in 1984 as a joint venture between the Tata Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation. The company brought the shift in the Indian watch market, offering quartz technology with International styling, manufactured in a state-of-the art factory at Hosur, Tamil Nadu. Leveraging its understanding of different segments in the watch market, the company launched a second independent watch brand Sonata, as a value brand to those seeking buy functionally styled watches at affordable prices. In addition it focused on the youth with its third brand – fastrack.
In two decades the company has built an impressive watch business to become India’s largest manufacturer and the world’s sixth manufacturer of watches. This has mainly been achieved by developing a formidable distribution network. The company has amongst the world’s largest retail chain of exclusive retail showrooms for watches called ‘The world of Titan spread over 100 towns’.
It also has multi brand outlets named ‘Time Zone’, service centers and dealer outlets. Globally Titan has a presence in over 30 countries through its marketing subsidiaries.
The company has watch assembly plants at Dehradun (UP) and Baddi ( Himachal Pradesh) and a plant manufacturing electronic circuit boards in Goa.
The majority stake in the company is held by the promoters, with Tidco having 28 percent of the shares and Tata Group companies owning 25 percent of the shares. Public holding in the company is around 28 per cent. The rest of the stake is held by foreign institutions, non resident Indians, mutual funds and other institutions.
It has also premium fashion watches by acquiring a license for global brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss, while. It has also in its portfolio its first Swiss Made watch brand – Xylys.
1995, the company diversified into jewellery under the brand – Tanishq to capitalize on fragmented market operating with no brands in urban cities. In 2005, the launched its second Jewellery brand, GoldPlus, for capitalizing on the opportunity in small towns and rural India.
The company has now diversified into fashion Eyewear by launching Fastrack Eye-Gear sunglasses, as well as Prescription Eyewear.
TITAN WATCHES: BRAND POSITIONING STRATEGIES
Since its introduction, Titan has been positioned as a premium brand, providing high quality products. Titan is struggling to have a strong brand image in UK market due to its numerous sub-brands that caters to different segments in India. It follows different positioning strategies; these strategies can also be analyzed as given below:
When the company launched its products, it was the first to bring quartz watches to Indian market. The company successfully leveraged this to penetrate the market. Raga, Classique and Regalia come under this strategy. Classique positioned as elegant corporate wear that leaves a quiet, but definite impression and fusion of function and sophistication. Regalia ranger represents the elegant-wear. Raga has been differentiate and positioned as exclusive watch. The Raga and Silver Raga collection is elegant, delicate and feminine with each piece truly unique.
Titan caters to several user groups – children (the Dash), sportspersons and adventurers. The fastrack range is seen as being contemporary, reliable and sturdy. The advertising, packaging and merchandising of this range is young, cool and vibrant.
Titan seeks to differentiate its offering on the basis of superior style and attractiveness which is offered by fastrack Digital range.
With the entry of several foreign watchmakers into the market, Titan had to encounter the threat. Most the entrants are catering to the upper end of the market – Omega, Cartier etc.
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” (less than Swiss watches and higher than Japanese), attractively styled and of good quality.
TITAN WATCHES: BRAND RE-POSITIONING STRATEGIES FOR GLOBALISATION
Titan has managed to get fair market in Middle East and Africa but its failure in Europe was a downturn for the Company as the return was not as good as investment made for the expansion. Titan has decided to revamp its flagship watch brand in Europe mainly in UK. Titan wants to reposition it more youthful and relevant to the changing times.
Titan has entered the International markets in 1989 through the export of watch movements. Titan’s first global footprint was placed in the UAE – the largest market in the Middle East then it moved towards Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia and few markets in Africa. Though it faced strong competition, it reached the sales of 100,000 watches within a year of its launch. It started to move globally and moves towards Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal.
After its extensive survey, it concluded that it needs good reason to stock the brand. Titan needs to re-position its brand image in the UK market. And so Titan decided to against soft option of driving its globalization through private label exports. It would launch its product under its own brand with market positioning Therefore Titan found a massive advertising campaign to create brand awareness. It also participated in the fair which showcases the world’s biggest watch brand in the world.
The suggestions to improve consumer awareness about brand repositioning strategy of Titan are as follows:
To increase its visibility, Titan Company can sponsor events similar to fashion shows which all latest designs launched are displayed. This is important as it has a great effect on different segments of the customers in different ways.
It is important to have Tie up with radio channels and television to broadcast and telecast its advertisement about various sales promotion from time to time.
R&D needs more investment as customer expectations are changing rapidly. It should focus more on introducing more varieties and luxury items in the market at regular interval.
Introduce exclusive collection for working women which is more contemporary and complements any fashion styles.
Tie up with international watch brands to make the product stronger in the market.
To use internet to spread awareness among consumer about the brand.
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