Watches are more than just a fashion symbol that tells time. With advancements in watchmaking craftsmanship and technology, the designs have become more precise and multifunctional. Smart watches are able to offer insights into health and activity. On the other hand, classic analog watches are always in demand for their sleek look and vintage appeal.
As per the Mordor Intelligence watch market analysis, the market is expected to grow over 100 Billion USD with a CAGR of 13% from 2021 to 2025. This shows the rise in demand for watches and the ability of watch companies to meet consumers’ needs.
With over 100 million watches sold in a year, the expansion of the watch market is inevitable. Buyers can easily buy watches from online and offline stores. Fortunately, watch companies have learned to leverage the internet and marketing techniques to reach new consumers, accomplish their sales goals, and make a name in the industry.
The Importance of Effective Watch Marketing
Every product needs to be marketed to create hype among consumers. This helps the product and brand reach certain target audiences and attract new buyers – people who actually purchase.
Marketing hugely contributes to sales efforts and helps generate more revenues. For instance, $10 spent on marketing will bring a business of $500 to a certain company.
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of effective watch marketing and how brands can stay relevant with the customers.
Reaching the Target Audience
Here’s how brands can reach their target audience:
- As mentioned earlier, sharing product information and ads with the target audience adds to sales.
- With the right information, they get familiar with new designs and are able to make a purchasing decision.
- Interacting with the target audience, like listening to their pain points or reaching out with more information, may convert them to a successful lead.
- A brand may run targeted online watch advertisements in a region with high sales to promote its product even more.
- If a brand has a new design launch or is promoting a vintage collection, it may do so with a well-executed strategy.
- They can use nostalgia, new updated designs catering to men or women, and current trends to stay relevant and top of mind with consumers.
Building a New Market
If a brand is entering a new market in an uncharted location, it may rely on marketing to build its reputation. This is essential for both old and new brands selling all kinds of watch ranges.
The marketing strategy may include:
- Assuring buyers of the quality
- Transparency in sales
- Prior customer testimonials as proof of product quality
After building a new market, the brand can focus on long-term client relations. This will eventually lead to positive word of mouth and clients that will keep coming back to the trustworthy brand. As a treat to new customers, the brands may offer exclusive first-time user discounts or high-end sale access to premium members. These gestures build a positive brand identity in the new market.
With the digital age and everyone on their phones, it makes sense to promote the products on social media. The online presence of a watch brand may be a huge determining factor for sales and success. They may easily link their social media pages with online selling apps and e-commerce websites to maximize sales. Furthermore, presence on social websites will keep the brand connected to the buyers.
The buyers often reach out to the brand’s social handles, expressing appreciation and grievances. The companies may use appreciation messages for further promotion. On the other hand, they may take criticism positively to improve their product, offer, or wider communication.
Creating a Brand Name and Legacy
Effective marketing is a great way to establish a brand name with a catchy ad or phrase that sticks in the hearts of buyers. For instance, Carl F. Bucherer watches have a slogan, “For people who do not go with the times,” and Rolex’s slogan is “A Crown For Every Achievement.”
These brands have built a legacy over the years with the quality of their watches and premium customer services. These strategies help them stand out when compared to other brands..
Current Trends in the Watch Industry
Several trends are taking over the watch industry, and they are here to stay due to increasing demands. These trends have impacted both the luxury and affordable watch industries.
Watch Ambassadors and Online Influencers
Many watch brands are focusing on reaching customers with popular brand ambassadors. Both luxury and affordable watch brands are leveraging the power of influencers.
- Roger Federer is the ambassador of Rolex. Since it’s a luxury brand, it is able to hire one of the most popular sports personalities.
- Daniel Wellington’s new watch brand, which has been popular in social media for quite some time, has an ambassador program for social media online influencers who promote their watches. With different strategies, brands are able to reach more buyers due to ambassador deals or affiliate commissions.
Many buyers are looking for sustainable watches that are made using recycled and eco-friendly materials. These may be made using recycled metal or plaster, bamboo, wood, or rubber. A brand with a sustainable collection can show their concern towards the environment by being carbon footprint conscious. This helps them gain a better social status among those who wish to go green in all their purchase choices.
Some brands are being open about how they source their metals ethically. Moreover, using processed plastic from the ocean may be one way to entice consumers towards sustainable products that are good for the planet.
High Demand for Smartwatches
Smartwatches are another trend post-pandemic as they allow the user to track health and stay connected to other devices on the go.
Both men and women are inclined towards buying smartwatches for health monitoring, keeping up with the trend, and contributing to the smartwatch marketing strategy. They may control their phones via these watches and enjoy other features such as music, checking notifications, and a camera remote.
There are endless features that brands offer to buyers in smartwatches. Apple, Samsung, and OnePlus are big players in the smartwatch industry. Meanwhile, more brands are entering the market with hybrid smart wearables that look less sporty, catering to female buyers.
Affordable Luxury Designs
This is something buyers may delve into when looking for luxurious-looking designs minus the price tag of high-end watches. Some may choose such new brands with custom luxurious designs to fulfill their fashion demands. Affordable luxury brands are also coming with pay-later or rent features to cater to more consumers.
When buying such watches, the customer does not need to break the bank while still looking like a million bucks. Tissot, Timex, Seiko, and Hamilton offer luxury at considerably affordable prices for those looking for reliable watches.
The Challenges of Product Validation in Watch Marketing
Product market validation is key in avoiding any mistakes in designing and not meeting consumer expectations.
Many companies may want to experiment with new designs, and this is where product validation will assist them. With product validation, they can understand the value and demand of a certain product. As a result, they won’t be in a rush to release a product and suffer losses. Let’s dive into such challenges in detail.
Understanding the Target Audience
There’s a huge gap in understanding the target audience while doing product validation for watches.
Even good old surveys can’t ensure accuracy while determining the interest of a target consumer because they are theoretical and biased. A consumer’s behavior during a survey or focus group discussion vs in a real purchasing environment is completely different.
Some people may consider a product to be a nice luxury item, yet may not be ready to pay for it themselves. Product validation prior to the release is by far the closest you can get to reliable data on market interest and purchase-ability.
With product validation, watch brands can avoid expensive production mistakes and ensure success. And the closest you can get to realistic purchasing behavior at the validation stage is with Prelaunch.com, which is a platform made specifically for validating product-market fit and gathering real customer feedback.
Identifying Key Pain Points in the Validation Process
To know the correct opinions during the validation process, you may have to ask hard and challenging questions. When you are bringing a new product to the luxury watch market, you have to consider how it may be perceived. It has to meet consumer’s demands and look promising when compared to the competition out there. Without the data on pain points, you may not be able to strike the correct cord with the product.
Here’s what you may ask:
- Instead of asking direct, simple questions, you will have to include questions that can tell what the consumer may love or hate.
- Ask them to elaborate on their choices and some features they may pay a dime for.
- Include questions that may lead to the product not working and learn the pain points to apply to the next steps of business.
With enough information, you’ll be able to find a remedy for worst-case scenarios and know how to sell luxury watches.
Factors Influencing Consumer Decision-Making
Various factors may affect the decision when buying watches, especially when they are choosing a high-end brand.
- Price: The most significant factor is the price of the watch. Many buyers use online shopping platforms to compare the prices of the same product and get the best deal. It gives them more value for their money. Buyers often look at both affordable and high-end products to compare features. A mid-range design may have some high-end features with an affordable price tag.
- Quality features: If they pick an expensive high-end watch, they may get benefits such as warranty and replacement. Therefore, quality and brand reliability are other factors influencing the purchasing decision. People may shell out more if they know they are investing in a long-lasting piece.
- Brand name: The brand reputation also ensures even the new buyer will be able to trust the brand by looking at other buyers’ experiences. For example, a person may trust Rolex for their luxury watches rather than a new brand that is offering premium Swiss designs. Emotional appeal of the brand and personalization may also work in favor of the brand for sales.
- Features: If the brand offers the same features and reliability, the customer may find it to be a good product for current needs. Features such as GPS, health tracking, and wireless mode may entice a customer to buy a new brand of smart watches.
- Availability: Lastly, they may look for convenience if the product is locally available or is home-delivered. Home delivery and easy return policy may also go a long way in building a brand reputation.
Key Marketing Strategies for Watch Producers
Here are some of the effective marketing strategies for watch companies’ success.
Branding and Positioning in Watch Marketing
It’s a no-brainer that branding and positioning are essential in watch marketing as they add to the unique value and how the consumer perceives your watch. It is a way to communicate what the brand stands for and how it’s different from others.
Some brands focus on premium quality, and they communicate that to the consumers. They are open in what materials they incorporate and the elements that make these watches a luxury item.
Here are some branding examples:
- G-Shock has brand positioning at creativity and collaboration while showing their watches are durable and strong.
- Rolex’s brand position stands for luxury Swiss watches, and their brand position tells them they craft from the finest raw materials. Their watches are made with attention to detail.
- IWC Schaffhausen, a luxury Swiss watch company, makes pilot and aviation watches using titanium. They pay attention to both aesthetics and being responsible towards the planet. Such environment-focused brands communicate using recycled materials or being sustainable.
Product Design and Innovation
Product design and innovation are key steps in learning how to start a luxury watch business. The following points may help in understanding better.
- You must create a unique design that will attract more buyers.
- Innovative ideas, along with product design, can cater to larger audiences.
- Study the gap in the market and design something along those lines. Prelaunch.com can help identify and fill these gaps as well.
For instance, smartwatches end up looking sporty and may need an upgrade. Those who like dainty watches but still wish to get the benefits of smartwatches will be attracted to such designs. The important thing here is to test a few variations to find what caters to the audience you’re trying to reach.
Effective Distribution Channels and Retail Partnerships
One of the best ways to sell a luxury watch is to have reliable distribution channels online and offline.
- Offline stores: The company may focus on opening stores at prime locations and catering to the consumers. Buyers will come and try the watches and will be more inclined to make a purchase.
- Online stores: Another way is to create a website or an application that caters to a personalized shopping experience. Use a hybrid app to reach more customers on different devices. You may also partner with shopping giants such as eBay and Amazon. They have the capability to connect you to more shoppers, leading to more sales.
Digital Marketing and Social Media in Reaching the Target Audience
We are all aware of the power of social media as everyone is using their phones and laptops all the time. With these evolved marketing methods, a company can use online ads in image or video formats to reach the targeted audience.
Earlier, the brands used print media or hoardings at stores to promote themselves. Now, they can combine it with digital marketing and social media platforms.
They can study the market and use the right keywords and content to be relevant online.
For example: TAG Heuer ads for watches included partnerships with events such as football, Formula 1 team Vodafone, and McLaren Mercedes. They became a huge sensation on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, attracting more buyers.
TAG Heuer was able to leverage both online and offline marketing to ensure their presence everywhere. They use aesthetic images online to connect with audiences on events such as the Spring Festival, Christmas, or New Lunar Year. This shows their ability to predict the regional demands depending on the festivals.
Future Trends and Challenges
Here are future and emerging in watch marketing.Some are similar to previous years, while some are based on environmental needs:
Large dials and gemstones: In 2023, there was a rise in larger dials and the use of precious gemstones to alleviate the look of the watch. We still see this trend is meant to stay as many people adore drawing focus to their watches as a part of style.
Vintage designs: Another trend is bringing back vintage designs with a modern function that looks similar but is better in performance.
Sustainable materials: Overall, many people are also focusing on buying sustainable or carbon footprint-conscious brands. Therefore, watch brands such as Solios, Fossil, Oris, and TRIWA are already catering to such consumers.
For instance, Fossil has released solar-powered watches. Oris and TRIWA are eliminating ocean plastic and using it for watch manufacturing. One challenge that we see with environment-friendly brands is greenwashing. So, it may require some research to know if a brand is sustainable by greenwashing the consumers to build a brand identity.
Technological Advancements and Changing Consumer Preferences
Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are taking over marketing in general. Many brands are coming up with larger-than-life augmented reality ads to attract consumers, creating hype around the product.
The changing consumer needs and expectations may be another challenge for watchmakers. One moment, buyers may be obsessed with a product, leading to high sales. But when the hype is reduced, the same product may not perform well.
Effective watch marketing can benefit pre-existing brands as well as new entries. The current market for watches is focused on more than just time-telling accessories. As the demand for hybrid watches with smart features and luxurious appeal increases, the brands need to keep up in design as well as marketing those designs.
Marketing strategies such as using social platforms, influencers, brand collaborations, and innovative designs have so far been fruitful for various watch manufacturers. Even simple luxury watch ads on Instagram or Facebook are able to stir emotions of excitement for the new and nostalgia for the vintage designs in the buyers.
Companies can serve young and older generations with such products and brand marketing strategies. For new watch brands, using Prelaunch.com product validation for assurance before manufacturing can be the ultimate game-changer.