Ranjani Krishnaswamy, General Manager - Marketing, Jewellery Division, Titan Company Limited on future of retail and je...
- In our latest series, we talk to brands about how they have been marketing during these adverse times, the things they have learnt and how they are preparing for the somewhat uncertain future.
- Ranjani Krishnaswamy, General Manager - Marketing, Jewellery Division,
Titan Company Limitedbelieves that the future of retail and jewellery industry is secure.
- She shared with us a few consumer shopping trends that point towards an optimistic growth pattern, Titan Jewellery’s unlocking plan and larger marketing strategy.
With the volatility caused by COVID-led lockdown in the share market, consumers are turning to buy and invest in the yellow metal. Audience from metro cities, Tier I and Tier II are open to planning their long-term investments and are buying
As a result, Titan Jewellery saw 1 million visitors on its website, hinting that the market is slowly picking up its tide. To meet this demand from consumers, Titan decided to open 90% of its stores in India. The jewellery giant also upped its digital game by introducing video calling features, providing live assistance to consumers, facilitating appointment-based purchases and launching digital campaigns to help its consumers adjust to the new normal and address their queries phygitally.
We further caught up with
Q. Tell us a bit about your latest campaign. What is the idea behind it? How difficult was it to execute it considering the restrictions?
As a responsible brand, Tanishq believes that every little act of kindness and support is a blessing earned. This campaign brings to life the concept of blessed gold which is fondly called Dua Ka Sona. The thought of crafting a campaign relevant to the current pandemic is based on empathy as an emotion. We are not just in the business of selling jewellery but we believe in valuing the craft and craftsman equally. It’s only when our Karigars thrive, we as a business will be purposeful and wholesome in its true sense. Through this campaign, we have attempted to showcase how our efforts during this pandemic translated into blessings. Dua Ka Sona 2.0 showcases the ethical, responsible and sustainable business practices employed by the brand since its inception. With an honest attempt to give back to the society, the brand has taken sincere and proactive steps to uplift and support the lives of karigars and help them deal with the effects of covid. Understanding and quickly nurturing the needs of the Karigars and community at large, Tanishq walked the complete mile to help more than 20,000 families in every way possible. From supplying essentials and medicines to the elderly, from providing food to over 15000 karigars and migrants to arranging special financial aid, from virtual up-skilling and vocational training to enable karigars to further polish their skill sets and strict adherence to sanitize and follow safety norms is all a part of the deeper Karigar connect program which have been showcased in the campaign. As a part of the Tata group, the very fabric of goodness is ingrained in our ethos. We further extended kindness in more ways by providing essentials, PPE’s and medicines to covid warriors and communities in need, thus helping the entire value chain involved in standing together in these trying times.
Given the current restrictions, it was challenging to bring together this campaign in a no travel and no shoot scenario. Having said that, we were able to achieve the right balance of emotions and acts of kindness done in the covid context by borrowing some footage from the earlier campaign.
Q. How difficult was the lockdown period for Tanishq? How are your preparations for unlocking going? What are the various precautions you have taken?
The lockdown was tough on all businesses but I think staying positive and keeping a focus on the changing times has helped Tanishq stay optimistic and ahead of the curve. We launched e-Akshaya Tritiya during the lockdown and received a great positive response. We had close to 1+ million visitors/browsers on our website, indicating a lot of customer interest. The ticket size online has jumped 2.5 to 3 times than our usual online average ticket size.
Today almost 90% of our stores are open and Tanishq customers are at the heart of everything we do. To make jewellery shopping experience seamless for our customers we introduced new digital features like video calling, live assistance and appointment based shopping at our stores and at Tanishq.co.in. Customers have the option of getting the products delivered at their doorstep or they can choose to visit the store by booking an appointment and try out the shortlisted products. We rolled out a ‘Gold Standard’ safety ebook that reiterates company’s commitment to safety and well-being of customers and its employees at the store. It covers all staff and customer touch points, entailing numerous safety measures, including contactless shopping and strict social distancing at all times. Now that stores are open, to disinfect jewellery, Tanishq is using UV Type C Chambers, safe for all metals.
Q. What has your marketing strategy been during the lockdown? Did you modify your media mix, with marketing investments getting shifted from one medium to another?
The core, or sole, of the brand hasn’t changed. What obviously changed was the medium. With the changing market and consumer behaviour, largely our focus has been on enhancing our digital platforms and taking the Omni channel route for marketing. The whole strategy has been about intensifying and recognising cohorts, and to be able to talk to them through digital, through our loyalty programs, through our stores, and build a more virtual relationship with them.
Q. The pandemic and the lockdown has brought with it a lot of learning. What would you say have been your major learnings from this experience so far?
The current pandemic and journey that we are going through is teaching us to pause, reflect, connect and move forward with resilience and positivity. But times like these urge us to be more agile, adaptable and turn a crisis into opportunities. Being fitter, faster, and stronger will be the key to managing ourselves, our ecosystem of partners & Karigars & more importantly in our service to our customers.
Q. The kind of communications a brand comes up with during a crisis can either help win consumer trust and endear them to the brand or work completely the other way around. How did you ensure during the last months that you stay connected with your consumers?
All throughout the lockdown, we were in constant touch with our consumers to check on their well-being through empathy calls and help was mobilized with delivery of essentials and medicines to our elderly customers wherever needed! Empathy was the need of the hour and Tanishq jumped headlong into this battle with the intention of helping out wherever and however India and our extended Tanishq family needed help. A significant part of the consumer journey in jewellery has been digitised like – Video calling, Virtual try on, Live chat on our website and book an appointment. These improved our assortment on lower and middle karatage products available on the website as per consumer demand and left no stone unturned to aid our consumers make their purchases online.
Q. We are sure the future of retail and jewellery industry will never be the same. How are you making sure you opt to digital media, online selling policies and physical distancing need to help your consumer?
I don’t think the future looks very bleak. Shopping trends and consumer shopping trends point towards an optimistic growth pattern and it’s a positive growth. We have developed our plan based on the vision of “Fitter Faster Stronger”. Fitter means being agile and adapting to the new normal with flexibility. Faster means the speed of execution to adapt to rapidly changing consumer preferences & behaviours. And stronger means to come together to reach out and help each other to build back the value chain for the jewellery industry.
Digital media is one of our core platforms for consumer engagement and we have built a virtual relationship with the Tanishq community. Engagement campaigns like real golden moments, Mother's day and Jewellery cleaning posts in the last 2 months were highly engaging and gave us higher than targeted engagement percentages. Tech features like live chats and remote selling through video calls are working well for us. Our store attendants showcase the jewellery by wearing it so customers are sure of how it looks before buying it. Physical distancing has also been enabled at stores where we’ve changed layouts so not more than 1-2 customers are inside the store shopping at any given point. Safety will be key for consumers and as India’s leading only national jeweller we have created safe, tech-supported, and digitized dynamic innovative ways of shopping.