Tag Heuer, a leading luxury sports watch, which is part of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) group, will shortly rope in a Bollywood actress to endorse the brand in the Indian market.
The move is aimed at improving its exposure to the women customer in the domestic market. Tag Heuer has an existing contract with Bollywood hero Shahrukh Khan that has worked well for the brand.
"We have mandated an agency which has shortlisted five to six Bollywood stars in this regard," Mr Manishi Sanwal, Brand Manager, Tag Heuer (LVMH), said. The final choice will be made well in time for the festive season and the hectic business period from October to February. Currently, women account for just 2 per cent of Tag Heuer's sales in India, while the gender contributes almost 48 per cent of the brand's sales worldwide.
The move to bring in a Bollywood starlet is prompted by the findings that the brand may have conjured up a strong masculine imagery, thanks to its association with sports and Shahrukh Khan, that may have excluded it from the purchase consideration of women who often patronise luxury goods more than men.
"We would have ideally looked at celebrity sports women to endorse the brand in the country, in the absence of which we have turned to Bollywood," Mr Sanwal said. He added that Tag Heuer gained a lot of ground in India, especially in the North, following its association with Shahrukh Khan. Globally, the brand's imagery and positioning is well connected with sports, and Formula One in particular. The brand plans to appeal more to Indian women with a better product mix and a slew of promotions directly targeted at them. With this, Tag Heuer expects women to account for 15 per cent of its domestic sales in a year.
Tag Heuer has 40 point of sales in the country and the brand expects to add another 15 in the near future. The brand, which commands an average purchase value of Rs 45,000, sells about 5000 units annually and wants to push it to 20,000 units within three years, Mr Sanwal added.