the time has arrived for Timex to shift gears. It has changed its company name to Timex Group India Ltd. The change in name is not just that; from now on, Timex will have three business units - watches, luxury brands, and luxury jewellery.
Timex has acquired global licences for several luxury brands - Nautica, Versace and Guess, among others - and it plans to roll them out by early 2008. After that, it will unveil its jewellery brand.
Sadanandan says, "The foray into these two spaces was a gradual and an obvious step. Internationally, other players in the similar category have a business model wherein they cater to various target groups." Internationally, the Timex Group has a portfolio of brands that stretches from the mass premium to the luxury and prestige segments.
Timex makes use of new media, experiential marketing and outdoor to communicate its brands because it knows that mass media is futile for its target group. The group might use a similar strategy for its new ventures.
As it rolls out its various units, Timex Group will use separate communication strategies for each unit, rather than a singular corporate campaign. Says Sadanandan, "We are refocusing our business strategy and would like to communicate the fact that we aren't just a single brand player, but have a portfolio of brands to offer. Also, the RoI on mass media is not good."
JWT handles the creative duties for Timex Watches. Timex Group is undecided if it will use JWT for its other businesses as well. Sadanandan says, "It is too early to decide on the agency front. We still are not sure about the core target for the jewellery foray."
Timex Watches entered India almost 15 years ago via a joint venture (JV) with Titan, a Tata brand. In 1998, it exited the JV with Titan and began strengthening its hold in the market. It then entered into a JV with BV Netherlands. Finally, after much perseverance, Timex recorded a profit in India for the first time in 2005. Soon after, it roped in Brett Lee as its brand ambassador.