Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Positioning! Positioning! Positioning!

Last week, four full page ads for Rolex, the official sponsor of Wimbledon appeared in the International Hearald Tribune.  Elegance is an attitude,” is the new tag line for Longines watch’s television ad. This is a good time to check out what is going on in the luxury watch industry.

Read On:
In researching this post, I learned watch brands U.S. advertising spending reached an all time high in 2012.  Total spending was approximately $400 million, an increase of 9.3 percent from 2011.  The list included 60 brands that spent more than $1 million.  For the record, Rolex was the biggest spender for the third straight year – U.S. ad spending of $52.1 million.

We all know that media expenditures does not necessarily translate into sales, but in the luxury watch category, brands know that they need to be highly persuasive, thus differentiate themselves from their competition.  Positioning!  Positioning!  Positioning!  Consequently three segments have evolved in luxury watches.  They are as follows:

·    Fashion Brands – Watches that represent an expression of trends and style (e.g., Swatch).

·       Personal Lifestyle Brands – Brands in this segment (e.g., Tissot) connect with their target audience by focusing in on their personal lifestyle interests thus include travel and music in their advertising.

·   Luxury Indulgence – The primary communication for these brands (e.g., Rolex) is quality craftsmanship/exclusivity equals opulent luxury.

As a marketing geek, over the years I have learned the value of a concise positioning statement which consists of three elements: 1.) Target Audience, 2.) Frame of Reference; and 3.) Point of Difference.  To me there is more clutter than ever in every market category, both in the number of products and services that are being offered and the amount of noise thanks to the new collaborative tools of Web 2.0.  Therefore I recommend marketers exercise the discipline to take time out and revisit their positioning statements on a regular basis and get into the heads of their target audience.  

What is the position of your brand? 


  1. Well said..another interesting point about the watch market is that it truly has become a fashion statement...looking at the younger end of Gen X and Gen Y...they find little need to wear a watch. After all, there's a clock on your laptop and your phone...who needs a watch.

    The luxury watch segment may feel the pinch less than its lower priced counterpart, but it does make one wonder if the watch will truly become a museum piece in the not too distant future.

  2. Just a hip pocket pass-along, Jim.
    It's the abstract from the guys who introduced us to positioning eons ago...Trout and Reis.
    We created "BrandLocks" because of it.
    Rolex and bijillions of others can't differentiate slogans from either positioning or brandLocks, resulting in "Huh's" Regards, Don

  3. this is my marketing mantra too. 1.) Target Audience, 2.) Frame of Reference; and 3.) Point of Difference. kudos to restating it