A modern Indian couple tries to make the most of the festival of lights in Paris with no one but each other for company. As the husband stares at the luminous Eiffel Tower at a distance and clicks pictures from his mobile phone, the wife feels ignored. She asks him just what it is that would make him give her his undivided attention. If she gifted him time, would he spend it with her? As he embraces her, he is surprised to find a Titan watch pressed around his wrist. The ad very subtly conveys the universal message that love is the greatest gift of all times. If this ad had a contemporary touch to it, sister brand Raga had its communications rooted in Indian values whereas Fastrack’s communication was bold and chic.
The crown jewel in the Titan brandwagon is, indeed, the jewellery brand Tanishq. Launched as a premium jewellery brand, Tanishq has traversed many boundaries and reached out to both ends of the consumers in the upper and middle class.
A joint venture between Tata Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), Titan Company Ltd (earlier known as Titan Industries Limited), commenced operations in 1984 under the name Titan Watches Limited. According to analysts, the company’s market share is over 50% and it is the largest watch maker in the country. The company has sold 150 million watches all over the world and manufactures over 15 million watches every year. With a license for premium fashion watches of global brands, Titan brought international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, FCUK, Timberland & Police as well as the Swiss made watch—Xylys into the Indian market. In 1994, Titan diversified into jewellery with Tanishq and more recently into eyewear with Titan Eye+. In 2013, Titan entered the fragrances segment with SKINN. In the later part of the year, it ventured into the helmets category under its brand Fastrack.
Why we believe Titan is one of the best marketers of the year is because of the ability of the brand to cater to various consumer segments through diverse product categories and yet maintaining a clear positioning without any overlaps or confusion about who stands for what.
Rama Bijapurkar agrees as she says that Titan’s brand architecture is very clear and there are roles and rules for sub brands which never get blurred. And that is unusual for “want it all” growth and valuation seeking Indian brands.
Besides maintaining distinct brand identities, Titan products score high on design and their contemporariness even on occasions when the effort is to thrust upon old values and traditions. Says Bijapurkar: “(Titan’s) product designs are contemporary and are aligned perfectly to the essence of each sub brand including Edge, Raga, Nebula, Royale, Fast Track, etc. This is a disciplined brand owner with a good sense of strategy.”
Managing diverse brands isn’t the only virtue Titan holds. Besides good products, designs and brand management, the company has a vast distribution network to make the last mile connect with consumers. With over 1110 retail stores, the Titan Company has a large network spanning across 220 towns. The company has over 400 exclusive ‘World of Titan’ showrooms and over 150 Fastrack stores. It also has a large network of over 740 after-sales-service centres. It has over 160 Tanishq boutiques.
Right pricing is another of Titan’s success. Titan products are priced such that they remain affordable yet aspirational for consumers segments they target. Our panelist Professor Arvind Sahay of IIM Ahmedabad says Titan range scores for its innovative product design, reasonably good prices, great advertising and for increasing the footprint of its stores. Founder and chief executive of Nobby Brand Architects & Strategic Marketing Consultants, Nabankur Gupta, however, feels that there could be a lot more brand activity on Titan. A lot of the brand is still work in progress, he believes.