Most of us are aware of the phrase ‘Product Life Cycle (PLC)’. For the uninitiated, I shall give a very brief description before I begin with the main topic. According to the PLC concept, a product’s life is divided into 4 major stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. In the growth stage, since the category is relatively new, promotion is focused on communicating functional benefits, generally to a small consumer segment. In the growth stage, when a decent number of customers are aware of its existence, the promotional focus stays on functional benefits, albeit the segments targeted increases.
In the maturity stage, the market approaches saturation. Thus, the focus of the promotional campaigns is to increase the consumption through various means. This mostly includes suggesting alternate uses of the product, thereby increasing the scope, and/or increasing consumption per customer. Now let us analyze the promotional campaigns of Titan watches as the watch industry transformed from growth stage to maturity. Of late, the innovation in the wrist watches has mostly been incremental.
Thus, the product, by itself, didn’t require to be explained of its functional benefits, unless a new line with some features like water proof etc were introduced. When Titan entered the Indian wrist watch industry in 1988, the market was in the late growth/ early maturity stage. Titan started by repositioning watch as an accessory, and not just a time keeping device. Thus, Titan transformed watch from a basic functional product to something that can be gifted to near & dear ones. The ad campaign, back then, had two TVCs, each catering to a different segment. One had a ceremonial theme, focusing on emotions, and the voice-over (VO): “Pyaar ke baad sabse pyaara uphaar (next loveliest gift after love itself)”. The other one was targeted at the younger English-speaking segment, with the VO: “Rediscover the joy of giving, with Titan”. Enjoying success with the ceremonial-gift positioning, Titan explored the same category in further detail. Titan launched occasion specific TVCs, and in some cases, occasion specific product lines also, focusing on the wedding, Diwali, Durga Puja, Onam etc.
Thus, Titan was increasing the scope of the watch market by positioning the watch beyond just a time keeping device. After covering the major occasions, it ventured into the daily activities like aerobics, client presentation, alumni reunion etc, and started defining a different watch for each purpose. The TVC clearly flashed, “A watch for each occasion”. This campaign, apart from increasing the number occasions for wearing a watch, increased the market by inviting customers to buy for themselves, as it did not show any gifts being exchanged, which used to be a very regular feature in the earlier campaigns. Once it realized that all the occasions are covered, or in other words, occasion market saturated, Titan switched tracks and the TVCs started asking people to buy/ gift a watch just like that; it need not be a special occasion to gift someone something special.
The VO said, “Kabhi mauke pe, kabhi yun hi(sometimes on an occasion, sometimes, just ilke that)”. After saturating the market based on reasons of occasions and purposes, Titan identified an opportunity in terms of people’s behaviour and psychography. The last campaign tried to incite consumers to “Be more”. In essence, the message was on experimenting based on your mood and thus, to try out different product lines form Titan. Thus, as the market moves along the PLC curve towards the mature stage, competition increases and market starts getting saturated. Consequently, the marketers keep on trying to increase the usage by scope and by consumption per consumer
In 2004-05, when the Rs 20-crore Fastrack changed its target segment, it used to sell 1.5 lakh watches and a few thousand sunglasses. The business unit now has 94 stores in its retail chain, sells three million watches and one million sunglasses, and expects to close the fiscal with a turnover close to Rs 630 crore in 2011.
In 1998, it was Fastrack , the cool, trendy, funky range for the young and young-at-heart. A collection of watches with contemporary styles that was specifically designed for The young and distinctive. Designs ranged 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. Also, it presented a wide 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. Advertisements Bollywood rock star John Abraham was the brand ambassador fo rFastrack . Most of its advertisements were dominated by youth. Some of the popular Fastrack advertisements are discussed below: Yes Sir Ad
➢A teacher was taking attendance,
➢A boy responses his roll by raising his hand
➢Girls get obsessed by looking at the watch worn by that boy Which has the message that this watch on your wrist makes you more stylish? Move On Ad
➢It shows that Girls follow boys wearing Fastrack watch everywhere.
➢And the move is onThis has the same message as in the above. There were several other Ads like
Neon Disc (Glows in dark), X Y collection (For both boys & girls), Fastrack fans etc.
The most interesting thing in all these Ads was the last statement
“HOW MANY YOU HAVE”
which has a hidden strategy i.e. it is influencing buyers to have more than one watch. Most of the people use a single watch at a time but Fastrack influenced people by its Ad to use more than a single watch that may be according to their get up or their style.
From Titan Fastrack where fashionable jeweler was a gift on purchase of any Fastrack watch. This jewellery set of a pendant and earrings is contemporary and unique in form and material, with steel and acrylic being used together for stunning effect. This was launched for Valentine’s Day where the name scheme, The watch being advertised for (Fast track) as it pertains to the youth, jewellery (for the youth), valentine’s day (more so for the youth) and adding to the excitement is a limited edition FASTRACK VALENTINE’S COLLECTION that is being made available in four designs.
Only 300 watches of each design will be on sale across cities during this fortnight. These watches are designed is steel with leather straps in the colors of the season – black, red and silver. The dials are in matched colors with heart patterns, making the collection a true blend of fashion and romance. “Young couples are looking for new ways to discover their relationships and this set of special watches and matching jewellery from Fastrack, gives them just the reason to do so. The promotion was in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Bangalore from Feb 1–14.
The price of the models of Fastrack ranged from Rs.550 to Rs 2,430 and was designed exclusively keeping in mind the Generation X of the subcontinent. Titan’s primary pricing objective is to kill Competition. Being an Indian manufacture and infusing the advantages of the Indian market with the dynamics of the western market the company has carved itself a place difficult to achieve by foreign players.
APPLICATION OF PRICING STRATEGY
The main plank of the watch market is in the less-than-Rs.1, 000 price category. Effectively, about 70 per cent of the sales in the watch industry in India are in this category. None of the foreign brands has a presence in this category .Only cheap Chinese watches are present in this bracket and they compete with the unorganized manufacturers, who are more expensive than them. So, the unorganized sector is getting hit from the bottom by Chinese products and at the top by the organized sector brands, such as Sonata.
Price Discounts and Allowances
Fastrack once a year comes out with a Price discount sale on the MRP of the watches which is based on the stock carried by the company at the year end. Warranties and Service Contracts Fastrack provides warranty or service contract to its watches and this is backed up by the name TATA which is especially needed to convince and march ahead in the lower segment market. Product Line Pricing Tata’s have paid Rs.10 crore for the three-year contract.
For the Tata’s themselves, it meant more than just sponsorship – it signaled the beginning of a new era in the Tata regime. One of the main reasons for the sponsor of this event is “Global event like these provide a great opportunity to corporate to satisfy their marketing objectives and cross-promote their brands”, The differences in the prices of the watches are justified by the features, the style, and the differences which make up each watch. Titan prices all its watches in such a way that it maximizes the total profit on the total mix. The Tata Open The battle ground for this new strategy of synergy started with the Tata Open(India’s biggest tennis tournament) held every year in December – January.