This is the PLC of Titan
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...
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