Titan Industries Limited is the world's fifth-largest wristwatch manufacturer and India's leading producer of watches under the Titan, Fastrack, Sonata, Nebula, Raga, Regalia, Octane and Xylys brand names. When a joint venture with Timex came to an end, Titan found themselves without a range of watches for the youth, a growing segment with significant disposable incomes. To serve that segment, they launched a range of “cool” casual watches under the Fastrack from Titan sub-brand in 1998. Sunglasses were also launched but under the Accessories division of the company. In 2003, a decision was taken to combine the watches and sunglasses and spin it off under a new group called “Fastrack and New Brands”. Post this spin-off, Fastrack was launched as a standalone brand with the vision of becoming the most iconic and exciting fashion brand for youth. The overarching strategy was to bring affordable fashion to the youth and bridging the gap between the unorganized market and international brands. The product strategy was to extend the brand rapidly into other accessories such as belts, wallets, bags and wristbands. The brand personality was to be irreverent and comfortable with impropriety. Their communications reflected the brand attitude with edgy advertising. The distribution model adopted was to have their own branded stores. The brand grew from a mere INR30 crores in 2003 to INR770 crores in 2013. As the brand grew largely from moving into adjacent product categories, Fastrack managers were always looking for the next product category to enter and dominate. In 2013-2014, the product category seriously being looked at was two-wheeler helmets – a category dominated largely by the unorganized sector with low quality. The challenge was to take a product category that existed mainly due to safety regulations and turn it into a personal, fashion accessory. Was it a large enough market to penetrate and dominate? Would they be able to change consumer perception of helmets being a necessary evil to being a fashion accessory proudly displayed? Can they change consumer purchase behavior to go shopping for helmets instead ofjust buying the cheapest, comfortable helmet? Would the brand extension into helmets strengthen or dilute brand equity? These were the questions that faced Ronnie Talati, the Chief Marketing Officer.
Expected learning outcomes
Understand how to go about creating a brand strategy when re-launching it as a standalone brand without the support of the corporate umbrella brand; analyze different product markets to enter and how to arrive at a go/no-go decision; comprehend the challenges of extending the brand into different and sometimes unrelated product categories.
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This case study is published in partnership with Prin. L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, India (www.welingkar.org).
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