From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby koimaster » April 13th 2018, 8:38am

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article “Is Time Running Out For The Swiss Watch Industry?“, which I read with great interest. The author spoke to LVMH watch division chief Jean-Claude Biver, one of the Swiss watch industry’s most successful and respected marketers, about his approach to the new crisis of millennials not buying Swiss watches, even as the generation moves into its prime income-earning decades. As both a millennial and watch collector, I wanted to share my thoughts on this issue and try to provide constructive feedback to the industry that I love so much.

The signs of this crisis are all around us, but the industry has struggled to cope. To date, the industry has responded to this trend by changing its promotional activities and product mix in an attempt to appeal to millennials. Quoting from the WSJ story, “Over the past few years, LVMH’s brands have enlisted Jay-Z and various street artists to design watches, signed models in their early 20s as ‘brand ambassadors’, bought ads in the virtual world of videogames and developed the Swiss industry’s first smartwatch.”

Vacheron Constantin, a mainstay of the upper echelons of watchmaking, both in terms of craftsmanship and pricing, responded to this trend at this year’s SIHH in Geneva by launching a new entry-level model, the FiftySix, priced near the $10,000 mark and equipped with a face-lifted movement from sister brand Cartier. This watch was launched in conjunction with an Instagram ad campaign heavily-ridiculed on social media, which featured what the brand actually called “urban individuals” in the “High Watchmaking Gentlemen’s Club”, all of whom are purported to be influencers.

However, it is my experience that millennials are wary of these types of cheap ploys to attract attention. We grew up with the idea that new technology quickly becomes obsolete, and that passing fads are not only passing, but engineered by marketers to increase consumption of short-lived products. For this reason, the concept of a luxury technology gadget will never be more than a gimmick. Likewise, a $10,000 mechanical watch does not offer more value as the result of an association with a television show or a celebrity. On the contrary, these efforts decrease the perceived value of items that are otherwise marketed as timeless luxuries.

So the key takeaway is this: millennials want to love watches because they can transcend the increasingly rapid pace of change that permeates their lives. By tying their watches to the zeitgeist, Swiss watchmakers are destroying a key element of the value proposition they are offering their customers, thereby accentuating the crisis they face.

So what can brands do to attract millennial buyers?

The Swiss watch industry should approach the millennial consumer the same way it approached the quartz watch consumer in the late 1980s and early 1990s: with a renewed focus on its core strengths. Rather than cutting short the longevity of its products with celebrity endorsements and co-branding, and hollowing out the value of their watches with low-cost movements, brands should instead focus on their strengths and strive to offer a product and promotional mix that appeals to the millennial consumer. Specifically, I have four recommendations.


http://watchesbysjx.com/2018/03/an-open ... nnial.html
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby conjurer » April 13th 2018, 8:52am

Millennial + zeitgeist =

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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby foghorn » April 13th 2018, 8:55am

I read the title and decided not to click. This mornings agida from reading about the 15 year old buying the Rolex is just starting to go away.
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby JAS1125 » April 13th 2018, 9:06am

foghorn wrote:I read the title and decided not to click. This mornings agida from reading about the 15 year old buying the Rolex is just starting to go away.


Good move....you and Mr. Conjurer are correct. Screw the Millennials

and beside, why would anyone take industry advice from Justin Biber?
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby Falstaff » April 13th 2018, 9:58am

Bunch of Tide pod chewing, pork-pie hatted, smartphone addicted whining wee-wees.
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby koimaster » April 13th 2018, 10:13am

Falstaff wrote:Bunch of Tide pod chewing, pork-pie hatted, smartphone addicted whining wee-wees.


I had to struggle the other evening at a restaurant in Portland after a hipster sat near us. He had a military cut on the sides, short hair on top and a mankid bun. WTF! If you are going to wear a pony tail than sport a real one. And they have no manners either. Remind me of upscale wannabe white trash.
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Now forever and ever after."
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby nimbleboy » April 13th 2018, 10:28am

Didn't we see this before? Anyway, I didn't think it was so bad. He points out that Millennials will pay $12 for a well-made cocktail, and if they are shown the value in a well-made watch, they'll be more inclined to pay for it as well.

"Stop reducing value. Stop trying to sell an obsolete lifestyle. Start educating. Start being true to your brand. Start connecting on a human level."
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby Falstaff » April 13th 2018, 11:45am

koimaster wrote:
Falstaff wrote:Bunch of Tide pod chewing, pork-pie hatted, smartphone addicted whining wee-wees.


I had to struggle the other evening at a restaurant in Portland after a hipster sat near us. He had a military cut on the sides, short hair on top and a mankid bun. WTF! If you are going to wear a pony tail than sport a real one. And they have no manners either. Remind me of upscale wannabe white trash.


Go figure - at some point this guy had to look in a mirror and think "Damn, I'm handsome with this haircut".
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby TemerityB » April 13th 2018, 11:31pm

God, how people overthink this whole thing, as least for the U.S. market!

Hey Swiss (and Seiko, for that matter): Put your advertising budgets into appropriate TV shows and social media and scrap the fucking ads in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that real people never see, and stop gearing every fucking thing you do to an image of people and things that don't for the most part even exist (celebrity auto racers, scones and champagne on a London countryside, Gwyneth Fucking Paltrow and Cara Delevingne) and instead concentrate on stuff that does exist (people who work hard for a living and want quality products, casual dining, Tom Hanks and Dwayne Johnson). Oh, and explain how a fucking watch works once in a while - it's as cool as an app and you ony need one if you buy the right one.
Since many people weren't in lockstep with his beloved cheese box shit watch brand, The Cruise King ran off blowing snot bubbles, far away from his once-beloved forum. Here, eat this mudpie, Paw Paw. It tastes like a Hershey bar. Go ahead, dig in.
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby bedlam » April 14th 2018, 12:16am

TemerityB wrote:God, how people overthink this whole thing, as least for the U.S. market!

Yeah. They managed to understand that aspirational stuff sold product but didn't know when to stop.
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Re: From a Frustrated Millennial to the Swiss

Postby bobbee » April 14th 2018, 1:50am

I'm over here living in the past, and that's where I'll stay.
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