Timex eyes big push, especially via online

Timex eyes big push, especially via online

Mumbai: Gearing up for the festive season, Timex Watches Ltd plans to introduce 100 styles under its Timex brand, including the Timex i-Control watch that can help manage i-Pods, and also launch the Marc Ecko brand. Its brands in India include GUESS, Nautica, FCUK and Esprit watches.

Saying its marketing approach will be quite different this year, Timex plans to reduce ad spends on traditional media, such as television, print and radio that accounted for 80% of its ad spending last year, to 50% this year.

“Ideally, we would like to bring spends on traditional media down to 30% in the near future and focus on new mediums, such as the Internet and mobile, as well as marketing efforts at the point-of-purchase," said Salil Sadanandan, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Timex.

Timex has tried online campaigns for its Racer Chronograph. “The idea was to have an online car racing game where our target audience could log on, register their team online and enter the race," said Sadanandan. “This strategy worked very well for us... we registered 2,000 teams within the first week of the promotion." Still, Timex needs to expand its line-up and boost brand awareness to compete against market leader Titan Industries Ltd, said Girish Solanki, a research analyst at Angel Broking Ltd.

According to Timex, the Indian market is estimated at around 30 million units annually, or Rs2,500 crore in terms of revenue. Of this, the organized watch market is around 12.5 million units and Rs1,300 crore. Timex says it has a 22% share of the organized market by value, which it hopes to push to 30% by the end-2009.

Timex is also increasing its presence in modern retail and expanding its own chain of stand-alone stores, called the Timex Time Factory, where watches within the Rs1,000-25,000 range are sold.

The company is looking at expanding that chain from 46 stores to 120 stores by the end of 2008. However, the launch of Timex luxury brands, such as Vincent Berard, has been put on hold because of lack of suitable luxury retail outlets that can sell such brands.

Timex is also considering entering into the branded jewellery business some time next year. “Of the Rs75,000 crore jewellery industry in India, only 1% is organized," said Sadanandan. “So, there is huge opportunity. As of now, the company is looking at the possibilities and if we do make a foray there, it would be in the contemporary, branded jewellery," he added.