Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brand Update : Titan does an Eco-Drive with HTSE

Aiming to consolidate the leadership position in the Indian watch industry and to further thrust the brand's attempt to enter the premium watch segment targeting young consumers ,Titan launched a new series of watches branded as HTSE.

HTSE stands for High Tech Self Energised . 

Titan has been trying out various strategies to enter the lucrative luxury  and  premium segment in the Indian watch market. Titan was always associated with the premium segment targeting the middle and upper middle class of the social strata. The Luxury segment of the market is now occupied by the global iconic brands like Cartier, Rado, Omega etc. Titan tried to enter this market with the brand Xylys recently. HTSE is an attempt from the brand to tap the lucrative segment of upwardly mobile young Indian consumer.
HTSE range of watches is characterized by its ability to energize itself using the light from the surroundings. That means the watch does not run on a battery. The brand is targeting the techie youth who would like to flaunt their gizmos ( source  : afaqs). 
The brand is currently running a campaign featuring the brand ambassador - Aamir Khan
Watch the ad here : Titan HTSE
The ads are undoubtedly well made and gives an ultra-cool image for the new range. Aamir Khan perfectly gels with the brand. Aamir and Titan can be termed as a classic example of a perfect celebrity-brand match.

The technology that drives HTSE is not something new. Citizen was a pioneer in bringing this technology to the watches through its Eco-Drive range of watches. Eco-Drive saved the Citizen brand from near-death and gave the brand a tremendous boost in the Indian market. Eco-Drive was positioned as a sophisticated ultra-cool watch and the brand caught the attention of the young Indian consumers who wanted to flaunt their savvy personality. While Titan was perceived as a great brand, it was never considered techy or ultra-modern .Titan felt that such a serious persona will alienate the young consumers who look for exciting , modern brands.  

According to Business Standard ( Link) Titan was working on technology to compete with Eco-Drive.And that effort has been fulfilled in the launch of HTSE. HTSE thus fills in a big positioning gap in the brand. The brand now can boast of being as technically advanced as any other watch brand in the world. 

One of the interesting factor that was noticed was the branding of this range. Titan chose to brand this range using an acronym HTSE. I am not really convinced about the effectiveness of this naming strategy. The brand could have chosen a proper name for the range rather than a dull acronym. It could have used HTSE as an ingredient brand and extended this ingredient brand to support all its other range of watches. So by using HTSE as a sub-brand, the company has limited the technology to a range of watches. So every watch that runs on this technology would come under HTSE range. If it had used HTSE as ingredient brand, that would have been a powerful differentiator and can be leveraged across the various sub-brands of Titan. Eco-Drive is used by Citizen as an ingredient brand and uses this technology to support all the range of watches. 
However as a sub-brand, HTSE has the potential to further Titan's leadership position among the lifestyle segment. This technology will help Titan to reposition itself as a exciting brand rather than the current image of a serious brand.

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