Pooja Ahuja Nagpal
May 08, 2013

‘Advertising is helping make eyewear a more branded category’

Q&A with Vandana Bhalla, head marketing, eyewear division, Titan Industries

‘Advertising is helping make eyewear a more branded category’


Campaign India caught up with Vandana Bhalla, head marketing, eyewear division, Titan Industries, to discuss the Titan Eye Plus’ ad campaigns, embracing style with ‘Trendz’ in addition to playing the value card, increasing relevance of digital and future plans.
You recently launched a campaign for affordable eyewear. Could you throw some light on the rationale behind the campaign and its impact?
We started the journey in the second quarter of 2012-‘13 with our new Trendz collection that is very attractively priced, as we wanted to make the brand more accessible to the value conscious customer in SEC A and B segments. That campaign did extremely well for us and we saw new customers coming to our stores. So we carried it forward in the last quarter for the Trendz 2013 collection. It is an extension of the same thought. The earlier campaign had the story of the father-daughter duo with the daughter being more urban and she drags him into the store. The story was how his price perception gets negated. In the second campaign,  the TVC plays around the attraction between a man and a woman in the age group of 35 to 40 years. The man is hesitant to enter the store thinking it will be very expensive but he ends up finding attractive eyewear at great prices. Both the campaigns have done extremely well for us and have helped attract a new customer segment.  We have seen very healthy growth in terms of walk-ins and buyer base with an overall increase in buyer base of close to about 50 per cent.
Trendz was launched in mid-2012 as a range of stylish and trendy spectacle frames. Can you explain the shift in positioning to accommodate style in addition to value?
The TG for the brand is men and women from SEC A and B who are not only value conscious but also fashion conscious. They are looking for an eyewear store where they can get expertise along with stylish products. At the basic level, this category is about functionality as people enter the store because they have a power problem and they need correction. With Titan having entered this category, we have realised that people are becoming very style conscious and they are seeking products which will enhance their looks. Keeping this in mind, we are going for a lot of new eyewear shades and styles especially in the sun glasses category that is heavily style-based. We keep a tab of international trends and visit the international fair that happens in Europe to spot trends. There is a lot of action happening in the eyewear industry right now in terms of styles, new materials being used, eye protection with UV coating, etc. The (eyewear) consumer has become style conscious. Style has a play across age bands from a six year old to a sixty year-old. People want to look young and feel beautiful, for which stylish accessories play a huge role.    
Could you comment on the organised and unorganised sector in the eyewear market? How do you plan to compete with the unorganised corner stores?
We have seen huge traction for Titan Eye Plus. We have 220 stores in about 75 to 80 cities across urban and upcountry markets. People are taking to branded products very easily. The shift from unorganised to organised is happening very fast. Amongst the national players there is an increase in advertising. In fact, before Titan Eye Plus entered the market, there was much lesser activity. Earlier, customers were used to going to their family optician and would make purchases there but now with branded play becoming important in all categories, people have expectations of better services which is being met by national players. At Titan Eye Plus, there is a trained optometrist and trained staff who can offer advice. People really appreciate these qualities of the brand. 
Further, the advertising in this industry is making people overall brand conscious and helping to make this a more branded category. It is helping to make this a more branded category. The share of the organised market is increasing with the footprint of the national brands expanding as people are ready to pay a slightly higher price for the quality and service.
How much is the marketing budget? What is the media mix? How important is digital?
I cannot share numbers but I can say that we are one of the top spenders in this industry. Eighty per cent of our marketing budget is earmarked for ATL activities of which television is the main spend. TV is a high reach medium and works very well to reach out to a large number of our consumers across the 75 cities and towns across the country. TV helps not only to reach out but to create a high impact.  On an average, for every campaign we spend Rs 5 crores. Apart from that we conduct a lot of below the line (BTL) activities.
We are also increasingly relying on the digital media. Summer is the main time for consumption of sunglasses so we have put together a sunglass carnival at our stores which we are mainly promoting through the digital medium. We are not using any other media like print, TV or outdoor. On an average, we spend more than a Rs 1 crore a year on digital as it is working extremely well for us. We are experimenting more and more in this space as digital as a medium is evolving with the emergence of smartphones. Earlier, digital was a support media for TV, print and radio, but now it can be considered lead media. It really works to drive walk-ins.
What is the road ahead for Titan Eye Plus?
By the end of financial year 2013-‘14, we plan to increase the number of stores to around 300.
Campaign India

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