Monday, January 25, 2016

Titan launches a smartwatch. Will it fly?

The legacy watchmaker enters a niche category of smartwatches with Juxt, priced at Rs 15,995. Will its iconic brand presence help it succeed in the category?
Titan, the world's fifth largest traditional watchmaker has just forayed into the smartwatch segment with Juxt. A conventional looking smartwatch engineered by HP, Juxt is priced between Rs 15, 995-Rs 19,995. 

Juxt, which can be synced with Android and iOS devices, provides features such as email and social media notifications, text messages, calendar and appointment reminders, activity tracking and monitoring of fitness goals, and of course, allows incoming calls.

Juxt by Titan
Titan has an uphill task as it competes with some of the biggest technology players already operating in this segment. Samsung offers the maximum number of smartwatches in the country, including Gear S2 and S, Gear S Neo and Gear Fit. The other key players include Motorola (Moto 360), Asus, Sony, TomTom, and Timex. The price range offered by these companies starts from Rs 8,995 and goes up to Rs 25,995. Apple continues to be the most expensive smartwatch with a price tag of Rs 32,990. Giving stiff competition to these companies is a host of smartbands, or fitness wearable bands, such as FitBit, Xiaomi, GOQii, and Micromax which start at the affordable starting price point of Rs 3,000, and go up to Rs 19,990.

Titan Juxt campaign

What sets Titan apart from its competitors is the brand trust it has created over the years and the conventional look that Juxt offers which may succeed in attracting a certain set of consumers. To further promote Juxt, Titan has executed a TV campaign #SmartIsNowStunning, featuring comedian Vir Das, director Kabir Khan, and music composer Pritam Chakraborty.
We reached out to brand gurus and technology experts on how well Juxt is poised to woo consumers and create a space in the intensely competitive smartwatch market in India.

Ramanujam Sridhar, CEO, Brand-Comm
Ramanujam Sridhar
Titan is a market leader by far and the only profitable watch company, but today, it is facing competition from a number of players such as Fossil and Tag Heur. The market has changed immensely ever since its launch in 1987. It is no longer an aspirational watch for the young upwardly mobile consumer. Many young people today are not even wearing watches; they do not see a watch as a utility time keeping device. They tend to check time on various devices (mobile and tab, for instance). Titan, as the market leader, needs to keep innovating and hence must have a presence in the smartwatch segment. I think it has refrained from launching a gadget-looking watch because it would have had less of an opportunity considering Titan is not a technology company. It is a strategic choice. The primary target group for Juxt would be consumers between 25 to 35 years, and the secondary TG would be 35 to 44 years. Juxt, according to me, fills the gap and provides consumers choice in the tech-wearable category. As a company, I think it is positioning Juxt as a watch which has smart features, but is stylish. This launch is an attempt by Titan to stay relevant and contemporary. Whether it will be a success or failure only time will tell.

Nimish Dubey, contributing editor, TechPP
Nimish Dubey
I'm not sure if Titan can succeed in this category because a smartwatch is a geek and not a mainstream product. Owing to the fact that smartwatches have so far been associated with smartphones, the consumer tendency is to trust a brand that deals in such products. Hence, a Sony, Samsung or Motorola have an instant recall value when it comes to smartwatches. Titan's foray in this segment has to be welcomed because with more players the pricing in the segment will become competitive and product mainstream. But, the going will be tough for Titan because currently, I do not see any killer advantage that it is offering vis-a-vis other players. I'm also cynical about whether the campaign will be able to reach out to the right audience. We need to understand that the pairing of the watch with a smartphone via a bluetooth is a task. It needs to be charged again and again. It is not a product that anybody can use. Although the brand campaign's execution and concept is good, I'm not sure whether it will convince the consumer to buy the product.

Harish Bijoor, brand expert and CEO, Harish Bijooor Consults Inc
Harish Bijoor
Titan needs to have a smart avatar because we are talking to a smart generation of consumers. Every aspect of the digital world is going to impact consumers in a big way. Titan cannot be stuck in the warp of time. It has to graduate from analog to digital, and now to smart. The next move could be the IoT (Internet of Things) watch. To my mind, it is a good move. The best part is it doesn't look like a typical smartwatch. Titan has managed a good combination between traditional cosmetics and modern connectivity. The product will appeal to an eclectic mix of consumers. In an era when a Fitbit costs Rs 6,000, and where an iPhone 6 costs Rs 60,000, to keep its price within that range is a fair gamble. Titan has played it properly in terms of pricing. The product cannot look too cheap as well.

Sandeep Budki, managing editor, The Mobile Indian
Sandeep Budki
The smartwatch segment is relatively new in India. The traction for this product is coming from the youth for whom it is more useful as a health monitor, and at the same time, serves as a notification device. Most tech-wearables are in the health space and are priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 7,000. Titan is a traditional brand, hence, it may generate goodwill from older consumers. The TG that Titan Juxt may be looking at is a father of an 18-year old who has been using the brand's watches. From the technology perspective, other players in the smartwatch segment have made significant investment which will be difficult to match. I, therefore, feel that the Titan smartwatch will appeal to someone who falls in the age group of 35-45 years, and who has been a brand loyalist. Such consumers have fond memories of Titan watches which were once a popular gifting option. They might show interest in the product, but it is unlikely that they will buy it because this age group is not open to investing in tech accessories yet.

Manisha Sood, country general manager, Fitbit Inc
Manisha Sood
I would like to congratulate Titan on the launch. It is a welcome move. It shows that Fitbit is in the right direction and we have the first mover advantage worldwide. We understand the psyche of the consumer well. India is a nation with high incidents of diabetes and heart problems. A typical Indian consumer doesn't like to go to a gym and therefore a fitness band is an apt choice for him/her. After the Fitbit launch, we have seen several players entering the tech-wearable space in India. We see it as a welcome move because this just pushes the category to grow further. It leads to increased consumer awareness about the category. As per the latest reports, wearable technology is going to be the fastest growing category with a CAGR of 45 per cent.

No comments: