2004 will be the first year of full-fledged operations for Sonata, the economy watch brand from Titan. Despite being in its infancy, the brand is expected to contribute nearly one-third of the total Titan revenue. With the vast economy sector as its playground, Sonata is hoping for a sustained year on year growth of 22%.
When Titan split its watch business into two units, Sonata was created to concentrate wholly on the growing economy sector. Differentiating the two brands, C Srinivasan, Business Head, Sonata says, “While Sonata is a large value brand, Titan is a value brand.” While this division results in some overlapping, Srinivasan believes that the split has lead to significant growth in both brands. “In such a situation, there will be some element of cannibalization. However, it is our job to keep this at the minimum,” he says.
Though expanding its product portfolio to include other price categories is a possibility, it is not in the master plan. Srinivasan says, “Though there is always a possibility for expanding our operations, our idea is to move more into the economy market. This is the sector with the biggest growth and this is where we want to create a hold.”
While Sonata has positioned itself as a modern, long-lasting and affordable watch, it operates in a slightly higher price than that of its competitors. According to Srinivasan, this is no cause for worry. “Consumers today are ready to raise their budgets slightly if they can avail a product with a greater value proposition. Sonata caters to that trend,” he opines. As the bulk of its audience is comprised of first time owners and budgeted watch replacers, the company has worked on a strong ad-marketing strategy to expand its market share. With an allocated Rs. 10 crore ad budget, Sonata is concentrating on a combination of television and print ads. Alongside this is a strong below the line involvement through promotion vans. “We want to make ourselves accessible to our consumers. We have managed to reach even towns with a 10,000 population,” inform Srinivasan. The brand has plans to tie-up with companies who specialize in rural marketing to further strengthen its presence.
Sonata is expecting to contribute nearly one-third of Titan’s total revenue. While it currently holds 15% of the estimated Rs. 20-million economy watch market, it is hoping for a consistent growth of around 22% year on year.