Every business needs to update its marketing strategy with the changing times. The same applies to Haute Horlogerie. The romanticism of owning a handcrafted high-end timekeeping device embodying centuries-old craftsmanship does not hold good for today’s consumers.
The prestigious watch houses have realized a hard fact – consumers are not convinced with the idea that the pieces are worth dying for just because the manufacturers claim it. The products, interesting and fascinating as they are, are still incapable of arousing the interest of the uber-rich. Their wardrobes are already bursting with such products.
The rich and the classy crave for something new, something unique.
To keep the sales in an upswing, watch houses need to cater to this desire; they need to put into practice novel marketing strategies for the new-age consumers. And they are not very far away.
The advertising and marketing strategies of the watch houses have shifted focus; from their emphasis on the brilliance of their products they have moved their attention to the consumer experience they provide. This change was especially evident at the recently concluded Baselworld 2013.
Luxury watch brands are creating exclusive experiences for consumers. Here’s how they are doing it.
A Concept Store – Watch Boutiques are a Thing of the Past
The place of shopping is as important as the shopping experience. Watch boutiques catering to high-end consumers offer a unique experience for consumers. But they are nothing new. The concept store, on the other hand, is more likely to attract picky shoppers.
Innovative design and attractive layout of a signature store grabs attention with ease. When combined with a singular shopping experience, it works as a great draw for the watch connoisseurs of modern times. A good example is the Tourneau Concept Store.
The inventive digital watch tray at the store can help consumers make a selection right from their home. They can check the actual pieces at the store. Or else, they can make the selection at the store, get the details emailed to them and give it a thought at home.
Going Green – Eco-Friendly Luxuriousness is the New In-Thing
Whether it is incorporating photo-voltaic cells in home design or selecting faux fur haute couture items, going green is ‘in’. Haute Horlogerie is embracing the idea with open arms. Well, it sells really well.
This is perhaps most evident in the selection of the materials. The small Indonesian brand Lucius & Ki uses the ancient wood carving tradition to craft unique high-end pieces. And it sources the beautiful wood from the Sumatran rainforest only from a certified supplier.
The Hermes pavilion exhibited its close association with nature at Baselworld 2013 – another example of the going green concept that impresses today’s concerned consumers. The plants and shrubs that adorned the woven pavilion were a sight to remember.
Personalized Service – There is Nothing like Too Much Attention
Marketing is all about the customer, and not about the brand. Therefore, the consumer needs to be the focus of the marketing strategies for them to work. Consumer interest has grown by 3.3% in 2013 because of this understanding.
Swarovski created the perfect experience for visitors to their pavilion at Baselworld this year. The shimmering crystal-encrusted circular stand had a superb plush lounge where visitors were treated with mini cupcakes and champagne.
Attention is always a strong point that the luxury watch brands can cash on. A little personal touch adds a lot of value for consumers. This prompts the watch houses to arrange tours inside their workshop to ensure appreciation for the fine art of watch-making.
Signed Memorabilia – A Favorite Personality Always Remains a Favorite
A diamond is precious because of its rarity. It would have hardly held any value if it was as easily available as the pebble. A limited edition expensive watch is valuable for the same reason. When a collection includes 500 watches, it can create a value of its own.
It is easy to imagine what a priceless piece the Marie Antoinette piece from Breguet would be when it is one-of a kind in the world. The same can be said about signed limited edition pieces. They are valuable because of their rarity.
Take for example, the Hublot Snow Leopard Maria Höfl-Riesch Big Bang. Signed by the world renowned skier, Maria Höfl-Riesch, there are only 50 pieces of this in the market. It is sure to be a success because of its association and its limited availability.
Automotive-Inspired – Super Glitzy Fiesta for the Car Freaks
Another marketing strategy that has been, and will be, popular in the world of watches is the association with supercars. The big watch brands are cashing in on the popularity of the superb species of automotives with this simple, yet effective, strategy.
The chief watch houses that cater to the car freaks are Breitling, Tonino Lamborghini and Hublot. The collaboration between the watch and car brands has resulted in collectibles valued by both sections of consumers.
Trying to attract the attention of a particular group is a tried and tested marketing strategy. The luxury watch brands are just taking it to a new level with the editions aimed for divers and pilots, sailors and racers.