Monday, 8 April 2013

Segmentation strategies of Titan watches: Story of Fastrack


Profs. Arun Kumar and N. Meenakshi write...

Authors can be contacted at ak2605@gmail.com, n.meenakshi.n@gmail.com


Market segmentation in the watch industry is gathering speed. India’s leading watchmaker, Titan is sprucing up the emotional connect it has with customers by giving aggressive brand identities to various products in its portfolio. Its advertisement campaign for FasTrack - ‘Are You On It?’ - carries the first vignettes of branding for this aspirational product range targeted at the youth. The storyboard centers around a Formula-1 racer who gets out of the party groove in time to join Narain Karthikeyan, India’s most celebrated figure on the racing tracks, for a training session in the evening. Karthikeyan’s presence in the commercial is incidental given the context. But, India’s top racing driver is the brand ambassador for the Tatas, who hold a majority stake in Titan Industries Ltd.

After 15 years of signature campaigns centering around Titan, which built a formidable house brand, the winds of change are blowing. The product labels within the Titan umbrella are slowly gaining distinct identities in an obvious attempt to accommodate the changed demographic compulsions and market dynamics. Titan has a set of product labels catering to different market segments, which can script their own brand stories. Currently, the Titan umbrella has well-established product categories such as Edge, Steel, Dash, Nebula, Classique, Royal, Regalia and, of course, FasTrack.

There is a reason why the brand story has been scripted for FasTrack. Titan, which is 15-years-old as a brand, has moved up the age spectrum. Many Titan customers have now become parents. Their children respect Titan, but they do not buy the brand. Titan is aware of the trap and is strategizing to attract new customers in the market. It is on a contemporarising  mission. So, FasTrack is being positioned to bring the new and young Indian customer into the company fold. This would provide an opportunity to convert them into “classic Titan customers” in the long run. FasTrack is the fashionable face of Titan. And it is now building an identity for itself unlike Classique or Royal. The company has identified the youth segment - youth by age and youth by attitude - aged between 18 and 30 years, as the core audience of FasTrack. These customers are bold, individualistic, non-conformist and fashionable. It marks FasTrack’s growth from being a product category to a sub-brand of Titan.

FasTrack first hit the market as ‘Cool Watches’ from Titan. It came with a frosted steel look and was targeted at customers in the age bracket of 22-30 years. In later years, FasTrack’s focus shifted further down the age spectrum, to those between 15 years and in their early 20s. This resulted in the Digital Collection (communicated as ‘Too Sexy For Your Wrist’) that included big, bold and techno-kind of watches. Later, it came out with the Fashion Collection, mainly aimed at wooing more female customers. The latest ‘Are You On It?’ campaign is an effort to showcase the subtle changes in FasTrack.

Fashion, which is contemporary, and couched in ‘the desire to live life to the hilt’, is touted as the main thrust of FasTrack’s branding initiative. The company looked  at the different attributes of fashion - sexy, individualistic, irreverent - but finally decided to build on the ‘work hard, play hard’ platform. It reflects the balanced attitude of the youth today.

The company has backed the campaign by creating a range of aspirational products targeted at this group. To the company, new fashion centers around shapes such as  rounds, ovals and squares; colors in terms of leather straps, dials and textures; and material such as metal, leather, hybrids, silicon or synthetic. For instance, FasTrack’s latest offering has quite a few square models in an array of colors, and the materials used include new age supplies such as silicon and synthetics. If FasTrack is on a customer, it must form an impression and make others ask about it. In terms of product attributes, FasTrack is identified as bold, bright, elegant and as something that stands out. In its new avatar, FasTrack will reach out to the customers differently from the way Titan does it.
Its media plan covers television music channels, select magazines and a significant online presence. On the retailing front, it hopes to be present in youth hangouts, which include the leading music shops, and also in some Internet cafes. This is apart from leveraging Titan’s extensive retail network covering about 92 cities and urban centers in the country.

The company says it has spotted a distinct opportunity as most products in the fashion segment carry a price tag between Rs 3,500 and Rs 7,500. This is not within the first-time reach of many. Titan is expected to pitch hard in the price bracket ranging between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,500. It also enables the target - young customers, mostly in the SEC A and SEC B segments, to mull new purchases to keep pace with changing fashion. The ownership levels are higher among young Indians, especially in SEC A & A1 segments, and many already own more than one watch at any point in time.

Sales have picked up and FasTrack is growing on the branded curve. Meanwhile, Titan may allow more product categories under its umbrella brand to acquire a more decisive role as sub-brands. Nebula, a gold watch in the luxury segment, may follow suit. FasTrack is a pointer that Titan is ready to correct its branding strategies and follow market dynamics.

5 comments:

  1. Why Titan need to make sub-brand as we can see that FasTrack positioning doesn't contain the Titan name.
    FasTrack have their own brand image in the target market and it feels that titan doesn't want to add their name with it. we never see the "FasTrack as Titan collection"
    on FasTrack youtube page we can see that "Titan" name is not present even the advertisement copy doesn't carry the "Titan" name.
    Question is, Titan doesn't want to degrade band equity in their present luxury segment by launching low price FasTrack product line as their own collection so lunch as new sub brand called "FasTrack".

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are such as given marvelous speech about Titan and Fastrack watches. Actually at begin fast track watches are very superb, now nowadays its moving into worst condition, low quality and life time is very low. Its a worlds most worst watch.


    fastrack watches for women

    ReplyDelete


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