“Tanishq ran two successful campaigns in this quarter, the ‘affordable Tanishq’ and a new ‘wedding’ campaign. Both these campaigns were well appreciated and helped in addition of new customers,” informs your (healthy) earnings statement for Q3 (Oct-Dec 2014). What is the role of advertising in the category? Is it fair to say that the primary function is to expand the base of buyers for branded jewellery?
We are not an impulse category. A campaign is necessary to build desire and consideration for a product. A necklace being advertised in this category stays in the consideration of the consumer; you just do not go out and buy it as soon as you see it. The consumer remembers the product visually and later this may convert into the consumer coming into the brand world. I think that is the role of advertising in this category and purely what it should be.
Also, if there is a great offer or a great scheme, that’s when a call-for-action kind of a campaign is required. Say, for Diwali, advertising plays a role where you have to almost nudge the customer straight on the sentiment. Once we told them to go buy diamonds for Diwali which traditionally is when one buys gold. We’ve always tried to lead the customer on such occasions.
Fifty to 80 per cent of jewellery buying would be for a wedding. That is a huge purchase occasion. The role that a brand can play to cater to this occasion should also be treated as a function of advertising.
There are different types of jewellery needs and jewellery buying moments in the life of an Indian woman. There are wedding needs, wanting to buy diamond jewellery and Tanishq as a thought and market leader should be leading the change where people are transitioning from gold to diamond. We do discounts only on diamonds and never on plain gold as people need that little nudge to get into the diamond category. Then you can have a working woman whose jewellery requirements are completely different and that’s why we have Mia. There are multiple occasions, needs and kinds of women to be catered to and that’s the role of advertising to find out how the brand can be relevant.
A lot of the work that we do is to reflect what is happening in the society today or how we would like the society to be. So when we show a husband and wife, it is on an equal footing or almost, the woman leading the relationship. We show a natural and open moment between a father and daughter or even remarriage, all mimicking what is happening in the society today. That’s what Tanishq is trying to do with its advertising, leading and showcasing the progressive mindset that is relevant to today’s generation in a category that is jewellery.
The remarriage TVC generated many a conversation. Was that intentional in terms of Tanishq wanting to start a conversation along those lines or was that just a reflection of your target demographic?
With everything that we do, we want to start a conversation. It was only the degree of conversation that was a little louder with that particular TVC. But if you look at the Mia commercials done during almost the same period, they also created a conversation in their relevant world. All our ads manage to create a conversation in their own world.
We’re not a passive brand talking about ourselves. We are a brand that is communicating with its TG and therefore our TG responds back to our communication.
How do you measure the success of your ad campaigns, given that you cannot wait till the sales figures are in? (Or can you?)
Sales is definitely a measure. The sales reflections on festive and occasion-based buying come in almost immediately. We know that in the next certain months how much traction we are expecting. We have a customer sentiment study through which we get to know how many people we’ve reached, how many people considered the brand, engaged with the brand, how many engaged with our communication (wherever it can be measured). We also have a lot of customers who write to us on digital platforms and that is where we receive the verdict on our communication within, say, 48 hours.
For Mia, we also look at engagement on digital, which is where the working woman is and spending a lot of her time. The target audience for Mia has only been growing over the last few years. Overall, there is an immediate impact of our campaigns in addition to a lag effect given that different campaigns are supported by different marketing plans.
How much of your consumers/ purchases are repeats?
Around 50 to 52 per cent would be repeat customers. This would also depend on purchase season. For example, wedding is not part of the repeat purchase pattern but a Diwali, or a diamond purchase is. We also have to remember that sentiment plays a huge role in jewellery buying. Two years ago, we saw that people were holding back and that was when they weren’t focusing on buying jewellery. In fact, sentiment and some other external factors played a bigger role than advertising did two years ago.
How has Tanishq evolved in terms of its consumer base? What is the ratio of men buying for instance? Is this growing?
We as a brand have successfully entered Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities – from catering to the metro woman to a housewife in a smaller town.
What we’ve managed to capture in our communication is a universal insight about families and mindsets. If you look at the ad with the father-daughter duo and how the conversation opens, we can see the father calling out to his daughter as a friend. That’s the progressiveness of relationships. Our communications have seen sisters purchasing together, son gifting his mother, a husband gifting his wife, a daughter gifting her mother, so it would be a little unfair to assume that men are the buyers. So, I don’t think the portrayal of a relationship in terms of the gender is what we are going for – we are going for the sentiment behind it and the evolving family mindsets.
The scenario is changing, we do see women coming alone to make a purchase but about 60 to 67 per cent of the women shop with their husbands.
The working woman comes in to make a purchase alone to celebrate her birthday or a promotion and or raise whereas we see married women with their husbands buying during their birthdays or on occasions such as Karva Chauth.
What would be the psychographic and socio-economic profile of the core TG?
Customers can be broadly classified under two major categories, the ‘value seeking customer’ and the ‘adornment mindset’. Tanishq appeals to the adornment mindset where it is really about the beauty of the product and purchase becomes about adornment rather than investment.
In metros, the demographic would be SEC A, A1 and in some cases SEC B as well.
Diamonds have been promoted for a few years now. How much do they contribute to sales? How is this growing and is there a set of early adopters for diamonds?
We had the ‘Pehla heera’ campaign which was for people to buy into the concept of purchasing a diamond, which saw a lot of people coming onboard. Around 30 per cent of our sales come from diamonds and it is a category that’s growing with 15 to 20 per cent y-o-y growth.
What does Tanishq’s advertising and marketing budget look like (even as a percentage of sales)? What role does digital/social play today?
We don’t announce our marketing budget but digital for us is mostly about engagement than selling. It is a platform that helps us understand our TG better. In the next few years, one would be able to see our presence (e-commerce portal) increase and improve. We also feel that, for jewellery, the consumer right now is just browsing on the digital space and buying still happens in the offline world. If it’s about buying a gold coin or a chain, that can be done online but for the rest the consumer still wishes to have the complete experience of going to the showroom to buy jewellery as it is an expensive purchase.
Was there a conscious effort to move from a ‘bridal jewellery’ destination to a more versatile, multiple occasion-based brand?
You must not forget that in the last 10 years we’ve grown as a country. Earlier, our parents or their elders only used to buy jewellery when there was a wedding. Now that has changed as people have indulges, double incomes, various celebratory occasions, and lifestyle and mindsets have evolved. We’re not moving away from catering to wedding demands but expanding our base to various other occasions.
Is the South, the home region for Tanishq, a tougher market to crack when it comes to branded jewellery? What has Tanishq’s experience been across India?
South is more of an investment-oriented market. They look at gold as transactional, family-owned, investment; they exchange gold far more openly than a North Indian. It’s more of a commodity in South India.
Tanishq is loved in the North and the West the most because of the purchase in these regions being driven by the adornment mindset. What cuts across nationally though is the feeling of trust, reliability, transparency and purity associated with Tanishq.
What sort of response do offerings such as Gold Harvest Schemes enjoy?
Do they cater to a different TG from the core that you cater to?
These schemes are about giving people access into the brand world. Women love such schemes as it guarantees a piece of jewellery by the end of the year from their savings every month. It a liberating option for a lot of women. For this scheme, you will find both the value-driven and adornment seeking customer interested.
How much do purchases get impacted by prices and news reports?
There are mandatory buying occasions like weddings where people buy – they have to. The only ones who hold back are the ones who were planning to make an indulgent purchase. It’s unpredictable as sometimes when a spike in gold rates is announced, we see a sudden rush of people and the same happens when the prices fall. So any dramatic price change happens in the category, people respond.
Is there a seasonality for purchase still? Does wedding season still reign supreme? Is this lesser for someone with a more varied portfolio and TG like Tanishq?
The dichotomy of the Indian mind is that we are progressive as well as traditional. So, seasonality is important for us. Diwali, Akshay Tritiya, weddings are important for us because we get a large percentage of our sales during such occasions. These are the times when the mood, sentiment and occasion of buying is high and with being India’s leading jeweller, we benefit from the trend.
We also see our fair share of progressive buying through diamonds and Mia which are our other facets of the umbrella brand. So are trying to push the agenda of diamond purchase and wearing fine jewellery to work, because as a leader if you just keep participating in the mandatory, then what is your role? You need to make change happen and create occasions to buy.