A six-member group that turned around Titan's jewellery arm, Tanishq, floated a web-based branded jewellery store last year called Oyzterbay.com. A year later, Titan sued the team head Vasant Nangia (formerly chief operating officer, Tanishq jewellery division), supposedly for violating the conditions of his employment contract that stipulated that he would not join a "competitor" for five years.
Today, Nangia stands vindicated. After being absolved of the charges brought against him, he and the Oyzterbay team are working overtime to put together an expansion map for the brand and an aggressive communication plan.
In fact, even while these legal issues were dogging Nangia, the company brass was honing Oyzterbay's positioning strategy. "We have managed to score on a very clear positioning: 'Jewellery for the young'. Studies conducted prior to the launch of the brand revealed that while young working women could wield a choice in building their wardrobe, when it came to jewellery, they had few options," says Johnson Verghese, vice-president, operations, Oyzterbay. According to him, "The option was either junk imitation jewellery or heavy traditional jewellery handed over to them by their parents."
To lay a wider choice before the young and trendy woman, Oyzterbay has priced its ware affordably. "The price band starts at Rs 500 and the average price of the range works out to Rs 2,000 only," says Verghese. "Oyzterbay has also used the proposition of gifting to the hilt," he adds.
Oyzterbay's advertising account is handled by Mumbai-based rmg david, an agency that has made a virtue of being "the smallest worldwide agency". Verghese says, "Our jewellery is very different from what is available; so we were looking at an agency that would not come with any preconceived notions about the category. rmg david is a new agency, which has good people with considerable experience and tremendous insights into the psyche of the youth. It fitted the bill perfectly."
Madhukar Sabnavis, president, rmg david, adds, "We have positioned the brand as the Levis of jewellery - young, affordable and for everyday wear. The TV commercial takes a jab at the generation gap. Old ladies hate this jewellery and so they go after Oyzterbay and those who wear Oyzterbay. In the press ads, we have tried to capture the mood of 'living'. We say heavy jewellery is passť - it is for the old and the dead - while Oyzterbay is for the young and the living."
The media account of Oyztebay, however, is not within rmg david's purview. "rmg is helping us design mailers, product literatures, as well as plan events and sponsorships and other aspects related to brand promotions. Media planning and buying is done by O&M, Mumbai," says Verghese.
The total ad budget for the first year is Rs 6 crore. The TVC has been produced by Highlight Films, a leading ad-film production house in Mumbai. The signature tune of the ad has been scored by Ashutosh Pathak and Dhruv Ghanekar of Bombay Boys fame.
The company has put in place tie-ups with Internet shopping malls of Sify, Rediff and Fabmart and has placed over 60 per cent of the introductory designs on the webstore. "We have put in place a structure that can enable delivery within five days to over 850 locations in India. We are also offering 100 per cent 'money back' guarantee for a period of 30 days from the date of purchase over the Internet. With our own stores and tie-ups with leading e-tailers, we are confident of emerging as a significant player in e-commerce," says Verghese.
On the distribution front, Oyzterbay plans to introduce two exclusive signature stores every month. New cities like Pune, Lucknow, Baroda and Kochi will be added to the Oyzterbay map this year. The company also plans to introduce seconds stores in some metros and mini-metros. This would take the total number of stores to 30 by the end of this financial year. The company is also exploring the possibility of taking the franchisee route and of having shop-in-shops in large multi-brand stores and departmental stores.
With all this in place, the company is targeting sales of over Rs 20 crore (including sales through the net) in the first year of operations.
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