Economic liberalisation and privatisation of Indian industry maybe concepts that are almost a decade old now, but the most significant fallout of these has been the rise of the global Indian who is keen to keep up with international trends and developments.
Simultaneously, with increased disposable incomes, most Indians today are in a better position to fulfill their dreams and aspirations - something their parents and grand parents had struggled to achieve.
Against this backdrop has emerged the brand and fashion conscious Indian who will not compromise on quality. For her, the best is all that matters. And seeing a clear gap here, magazines such as Time 'N Style and Femina Allure (from the Times of India group) have stepped in to fulfill "the aspirations of an evolving market place".
Launched a year ago, the standalone Time 'N Style, which evolved from the broadsheet of the same name, is a quarterly focusing on premium watches, jewellery and allied accessories. The roughly 100-page tome, which touches 116 pages at times, is priced at Rs 100, and has a print run of around 43,000-46,000 copies.
Targeted at the SEC A1, A2 segment, the content skew of watches to jewellery is about 50:50. As Bhaskar Das, director (west), Response, The Times of India, explains, "The outlook of the Indian consumer towards watches is changing. He/she does not consider a watch to be a mere timepiece any more. He/she treats a watch as a fashion accessory and would like to have different watches for different moods and occasions. Consumers, after all, don't buy brands for mere functionality but to express their identity."
At the same time, with the plethora of international watch brands (especially Swiss watch brands) entering India, the need of the hour is to provide information and, more importantly, offer a media vehicle for these high-end products. "Globally, watches and jewellery go hand-in-hand," states Das. "There is a reassurance among Indians today that after-sales service will be provided back home for products purchased abroad. At the same time, the retail market is growing in the country. There is need to enlighten this segment."
Typically, an issue of Time 'N Style is a mix of trade- and consumer-related information with every issue focusing on a brand, giving insights into the history of that brand, a brand evolution story, developments in the watch retail industry, showcase of new models, debates on rules and regulations, tips on how to recognise a genuine brand from a fake one, pointers on how to look after one's time piece et al. Each issue also concentrates on one international exhibition giving it a global flavour. On its part, the jewellery section in the issue focuses on jewellery design.
Reader profile varies from designers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors to watch collectors and people who aspire to own high-profile products. "Trade accounts for approximately 65-70 per cent of our readership while the balance 30-35 per cent comprises the consumer segment," says Das.
The magazine is available at premium bookstalls and newsstands apart from being distributed in the business class of Jet Airways. Many watch and jewellery retail outlets subscribe to the quarterly distributing it free among their leading clientele.
In contrast, standalone Femina Allure, launched in August 2002, is a 'vertical segmentation' of mother brand Femina, focusing on beauty and fragrance. As Das explains, "Femina looks at the woman holistically, while Femina Allure concentrates on a subject that interests her, namely beauty and fragrance."
Priced at Rs 50, the 72-page quarterly magazine focuses on skin care, hair care, colour cosmetics and perfumes. Though niche, the magazine aims to provide "everything a beauty-conscious consumer wants to know". "Women today are willing to spend. However, they are keen to know why they should spend on a particular product or brand. They are extremely conscious about the price-performance ratio of products," explains Das.
With a print run of 36,000 copies, advertisers in both Allure and Time 'N Style are premium in nature with most being custodians of international brands. "We do have plans to increase the frequency of the two magazines. But before that we would like to see the print run of Allure increase to 42,000 copies by the year end while we are looking to convert Time 'N Style into a bi-monthly next year," states Das. © 2003 agencyfaqs!