It’s a challenge to stay relevant and exciting: Suparna Mitra, Titan

Suparna Mitra, Chief Marketing Officer, Titan Watches & Accessories is betting big on the premium segment, smart bands, and customized watches to drive growth

e4m by Simran Sabherwal
Updated: Apr 17, 2019 8:08 AM
Suparna Mitra CMO Titan

Serving consumers across segments while maintaining the ethos of brand Titan has probably been the hallmark for Titan Watches. While staying relevant at a time when consumption patterns are constantly changing is a challenge, Suparna Mitra, Chief Marketing Officer, Titan Watches & Accessories, Titan Company Limited, is betting big on the premium segment, smart bands, and customized watches to drive growth.

With a gamut of brands in your portfolio, from luxury to mass to youth and even kids, men and women, how do you maintain the core proposition of overall brand Titan in your communications and stay true to the mother brand?

The brand Titan is the largest watch brand in the country and has an immensely large customer footprint. The beauty of the brand is that it caters to all the consumer segments in India be it men, women or children and across price-points ranging from mid-premium, premium to luxury. The brand has a unique emotional connect and identity, which remains intact even in the case of all sub-brands and the collections that come from it. According to me, the whole gamut of brands represents the strength that has made it possible to extend itself across so many diverse consumer segments and offer so many different products and yet have an overall brand identity.

How do you continue to stay relevant to the changing consumption patterns across the diverse TG?

We keep a razor-sharp focus on consumer trends and insights and work on it all the time. We extensively do consumer work, both in the traditional and in the digital and social media space to look at larger trends. We also invest a lot in research, particularly when it comes to design to keep pace with the new trends and the emerging segments and sub-segments. The consumer is changing so rapidly and on so many fronts, so we have to constantly track and in some cases stay ahead and lead the change and incorporate it into our products, offerings, and experiences. That is the crux of the brand.

What is the size of the overall category that you operate in and the share of Titan?

The category is about Rs 7,000 crores and we have a share of 50%.

What are the challenges faced in the watch segment?

The watches segment is undergoing a lot of churn. While it has been an exciting phase of growth, there have also been big trend shifts like the rise in Wearable Devices. We are tracking the changes and it’s quite a challenge in itself to stay relevant and exciting.

Innovation plays a key role in this category…

Innovation, I would say, is an overused word and often becomes a cliché. Everything we do is an innovation of some kind. Brands like ours can’t sell anything that is seen as old and unfashionable as nobody will buy it. Innovation is a survival mantra that just needs to be part and parcel of what we do; it is the way we have to work.

Looking ahead, are you planning on increasing your advertising spends?

Yes, absolutely. There are base inclusions that will be taken care of, but also advertising is a challenge as it is very complex because of the fragmentation of consumer attention and media, as well as the rise of social media and digital. This has made the ecosystem very complex and in such a scenario there are two things we need to do. One is to increase the effectiveness of advertising and communication and how we look at the changing media dynamics. Two, we need to increase our spends on doing a lot more initiatives and actions to keep pace with the changing consumer behavior.

What are you doing on the Digital front, particularly with Fastrack?

Fastrack is a brand that does a lot of digital content and marketing and is constantly reinventing itself and doing new stuff. Right now, we are doing a lot of work on #Ragewithfastrack and have sponsored as well as associated with music events. We are also doing a lot of on-ground activities and engage with college campuses regularly. The #Ragewithfastrack campaign is an overall umbrella that provides a connecting factor between the different events across various colleges and festivals. We also have re-launched the Fastrack.in site which is now e-commerce enabled and that is doing really well. Earlier, Fastrack.in site was all about the brand while we had titan.co.in as the e-commerce platform.

Currently what percentage of sales is coming from online across your brands vis-a-vis your offline stores?

The contribution from e-commerce is around 10%. It is growing rapidly and we expect it to grow strongly in the next few years.

What are the categories that will drive growth?

Definitely premium watches for brand Titan, whereas the smart bands across the board for all the brands be it Titan, Sonata or Fastrack. Differentiated collections and new trends, like customized watches will drive growth.

Going ahead, what can we expect from Titan?

Lots of interesting launches and campaigns especially on the premium side.

 

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