I have taken the case of Tanishq which is one of the most sought after jewellery brand of India and was once struggling hard to maintain its existence in the industry world. What was the story behind the failure followed by the success?
In 1995 Titan Industries, the leading manufacturer of watches launched its range of gold watches and jewellery under the name of Tanishq. During the time of late 1990’s there were a few names in the jewellery industries and most of them were old players following the traditional marketing strategy. Tanishq embarked on a new marketing strategy, but unfortunately the market was not very cordial for the changes and the first few years were devastating for Tanishq. Tanishq launched 18 carat gold jewellery in the market, the design of the jewellery was heavily influenced by European brands the company faced a huge loss in the year 1997-98. Tanishq’s chief operating officer admitted that the concept of Tanishq was far ahead of its time. Though the company had gone through a bad phase initially, but the company was technically right in its approach.
The Company started working on its strategy and earned its first fruit of profit in 1999. The company doubled it sales in the year 1999-00 in comparison to 1998-99 earning. Tanishq earned huge profits from export front as well. Once, a losing player of the jewellery industry Tanishq soon became a victorious warrior of the market with its redefined, well-planned and well-executed market plan.
Earlier involved in watch & clock manufacturing, the company later planned to enter into the jewellery business with the brand name of Tanishq.
When Titan entered into the jewellery making, the Indian jewellery market was highly localized. People prefer to buy gold jewellery for investment purpose not for ornamentation secondly it was an unspeakable trend that people mostly rely on their family jewellers and prefer to buy gold jewelleries from the trusted shops only. One of the biggest challenges that Tanishq faced was the set mind set of the Indian consumer. It was hard to sell sleek and contemporary design to Indian customers who were customized to use traditional gold jewellery. Tanishq deals in the 18-carat gold jewellery and the Indian market considered gold jewellery as a good investment option, for that they prefered to buy pure gold jewellery. Tanishq carried out market research and it revealed several loopholes in the marketing and business strategy of Tanishq.
Vasant Nangia, erstwhile Chief Operating Officer, Tanishq said, “When we launched the Tanishq range, our designs were not appreciated initially as they were believed to be extremely Western. Also, we offered only 18 carat gold.”
Soon Tanishq realized that the master plan needs few changes and they start working on the product proposition and retailing. Earlier Tanishq jewelleries were designed keeping in mind the western market as the company was more focused on the export business built, slowly it realized that to win the Indian customers it has to customize its jewellery design and it introduced an Indian element in its jewellery. They designed jewellery for mainstream Indian gentry and replaced its 18-carat gold ornament with 22 and 24 carat ornament. Tanishq considered the diversity of Indian consumers and it introduced suitable changes in the jewellery designs to satisfy the customers from all over India. The element of ethnicity was added to Tanishq jewellery to make them more appealing to Indian customers. The European influence was replaced with Indian motifs “these designs, though Indian, provided variety to what the people in a particular area were used to seeing.” Tarnish’s team of designers came out with about 3,500 designs and minimum 10% of designs were hanged quarterly.
The company also changed it promotional technique and it began seasonal and localized promotion based on Indian festival and seasons such as special deals during Durga Pooja in West Bengal, discount during Onam in Kerala, offers for north Indians during the season of Diwali. Tanishq gave retail stores freedom to choose designs which they thought they would be able to sell from the store.
The next challenge was proving the purity of the gold, the company introduced karat meters. The Karat meter used X-rays to give an accurate reading of the constitution of gold in the ornament within three minutes, the idea of karat meter did wonders for Tanishq and now the company has everything to offer to its customers and make them happy and satisfied.