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.
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.