This is the time to really go back and offer value to the customers: Suparna Mitra
With people still mostly remaining confined to homes, the need to dress up and certainly wear a watch has greatly diminished. More than that, the uncertain economic conditions have made people hold on to their money and curtail purchases, keeping them to the bare essentials.
In a bid to spur demand in the market and encourage consumers to come out and invest in one non-essential to help move the cycle of economy, Titan Company rolled out its #LetsGetIndiaTicking campaign earlier this month. With the intent to build positivity and uplift consumer sentiments, the campaign will be featuring several initiatives at the brand, consumer and ecosystem levels.
In conversation with Adgully, Suparna Mitra, CEO, Watches and Wearables Division, Titan Company Ltd, speaks about the intent behind this campaign and also the importance of setting the wheels of the economy in motion, Titan’s plans for the festive season this year, as well as her vision for the watches and wearables division.
What was the genesis and the idea behind the #LetsGetIndiaTicking campaign?
We are in the consumer lifestyle space and watches, in particular, are a feel-good product. We were thinking about how to get the consumer demand up. Everyone has been talking about how we can go back to the normal stage, but unless the consumer starts consuming and spending more, the chain of economy won’t work. Once the consumers start consuming, the production goes up and then so does employment. The entire wheel of the economy really needs to get started.
We have been thinking about this for a while and tried to brainstorm as to what we can do to curb this problem. We started this out more as a movement than a campaign, which would be like a nudge to the consumer to go out and consume, which will then give a livelihood to many people. Also, it’s not just about the companies, but also the tea vendors and food stalls on the streets. Everybody needs to start earning again.
We thought it was a great idea to give a little nudge and make people realise the responsibility to start consumption again.
Apart from the campaign, what are the other initiatives that you have planned that are backed by this thought?
We are also reaching out to many other companies and asking them to be a part of this movement and many have expressed their interest in joining this movement. With social media today, if we can have a deeper and emotional connect with the people, this change can be driven. On our website, people can also put in their pledges to start the consumer chain. For example, I love flowers and I used to by flowers every week before the lockdown. Now, I’ve started buying flowers again every week from that same vendor, which certainly gives me joy and I’m sure it gives her joy too.
How has the lockdown been for Titan Watches and how have you kept brand engagement alive during this time?
Our store staff are the real brand ambassadors for our brand. This is not only for Titan Watches, but all the other brands under the Titan Company. They really have a deep connection with the customers. They made thousands of, what we call, ‘empathy calls’, where they called the customers just to check on them and find out if they are doing fine during this time or not.
The store staff really know a lot of about the customers’ lives and this initiative really got us a lot of goodwill and positivity.
We also did a lot of work to get the safety protocols in place. We have a lot of SOPs and all necessary equipment like sanitizers and masks for the protocols to be followed. We communicated this to the consumers and we really got a positive response.
We put in a lot of creativity behind our communication with the consumers through our Mother’s Day and Father’s Day campaigns and also for Pride Month. We saw some outstanding work in terms of creativity in reaching out to consumers and communicating with them one on one.
What have your learnings been from these engagement initiatives and how are you looking to leverage them?
One big learning is that we have seen the world change and now everything is happening online, whether it’s purchases by the consumers or their entertainment needs. Since people are at home during this time, they have no need to get ready and wear a watch. We are really digging hard for “why people should buy a watch to begin with?”
One of the insights we got was in gifting. During the lockdown period, many people have realised how special their loved ones are. Families and friends have understood the importance of the love they have for each other.
Many people have had missed milestones like an anniversary or graduation. Everything has come and gone and been online. We’ve taken that as a pillar, especially with Titan Watches, because it has always been about a gifting item.
People can express their love and regards through gifts, and what better gift than a Titan? The whole campaign is called ‘Gift A Titan Smile’, where you gift a Titan and in return you a get smile on the receiver’s face. This is another initiative that we have been carrying out to make people think about a reason to buy.
What are your plans for the festive season this year and what campaigns and initiatives have you planned?
We have a lot planned for the festive season this year and we will see a lot of activity in August-September itself. We’ve had the launch of our Smart Watch called Titan Connected X, along with successful launches from Sonata and Fastrack. We have new launches and collections lined up in October for the festive season. We really believe people will get tired of not spending. The festive season is massive in India and people will definitely celebrate.
Apart from encouraging people to make purchases, are there other initiatives that you have planned to help boost the economy?
Apart from #LetsGetIndiaTicking, we’ve also carried out many digital initiatives. Online has always been a big part of sales and especially now, we are doing a lot of digital marketing and a few omni-channel initiatives like video calling, where the store staff helps the customer select the watch they want and the sale is completed online.
Similarly, we have ‘Endless Ile’ and we also have live chats to help the customer make a purchase or help them make a purchase in the nearest store.
While many customers are comfortable with the digital avenues, there are others who would search online and be more comfortable buying from the store. We have options for every customer according to their needs and comfort.
What’s your vision for Titan Watches as the CEO?
We have a lot of strengths like our stores and various initiatives, products and customer connection. I feel this is the time to really go back and offer value to the customer. Many customers have been affected by the current situation and I feel the value that we offer to the customers with the features and services via our products – it’s time to up that game furthermore.
That will bring in more trust, loyalty and affection for the brand. It will strengthen the bond that we have with the customers and they will really appreciate it.
Innovation will be big for us – both in the products and the services that we offer. The current situation has really made us think and innovate more.