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Then the growth story was jolted to a halt; the smooth run fast becoming a tale of the past. Reason? Although the brand won great recognition amongst youngsters, the price was found to be a significant dampener as research proved how the target group, which consisted of college students could not yet afford this brand. Added to this was its eccentric act to extend its reach from the early jobbers to executive segment. Result – a decline in annual sales by Rs.23 crore for the year ended 2003. The group needed cushion there, to ease the heartache and bounce back. A consumer research followed, which advocated how mobiles/deodorants and sunglasses were the most popular accessories in the purchase list of youngsters. The next cash cow for Fastrack was born in the form of sunglasses. The product fit the bill perfectly as there was no Indian brand presence in this category and Ray-Ban served a relatively premium segment. So as a brand extension strategy, Fastrack ventured into the sunglasses category and again with its time-honoured strategy of economical pricing, it stole the show from unbranded players in this category.
In 2005, the brand went for another repositioning exercise with a new logo. Supported by a new campaign – ‘How many do you have?’, the brand sales increased by Rs.35 crore during 2007. That was another fresh start. Through massive product proliferation & innovative pricing strategy, Fastrack succeeded in maintaining an average y-o-y growth of 30% and has thus become the fastest growing brand under the Titan umbrella in the past four years. With an annual turnover of Rs.300 crore for FY2008-09 and an annual sales of 1.5 million watches, Fastrack is mulling over plans to clock a turnover of Rs.500 crore by FY2011-12; the brand focus shifting from being just a ‘watch’ brand to an ‘accessory’ brand.
So, what is Fastrack exactly doing to facilitate this shift in brand focus? Starting from brand new launches (like bags, wallets and belts) to venturing into new areas (like sports shoes), Fastrack has big plans. “Our mission is to completely envelope the new Indian youth,” announces a beaming Simeran Bhasin, Marketing Head, Fastrack & New Brands.
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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.
An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).
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