Sequel’s new UK managing director says its Guess Connect smart watch is challenging traditional retailers to increase their awareness of wearable technology.
The company, which will launch a slew of new models ahead of Christmas, says that it is enjoying first-mover advantages when it comes to fashion watches with smart technology built in.
“We were probably the first fashion brand to launch a meaningful [smart watch]. Whatever we do has to be aligned with the Guess brand. We did a full 360 degree review of how to launch it properly, both in-store and online. We did a good job, it was a good launch. We were the second country in the world to launch after Dubai, that was another big tick for us,” said Paul Martin, who became managing director of Guess watches parent company Sequel in March.
Educating retailers has been key to driving sales and customer satisfaction, and the brand has invested heavily in helping its partners get up to speed with demonstrations, in-store displays and training.
“They’ve had a challenge in terms of how do they sell a product which isn’t a traditional watch because simply putting it in a display with nothing around it is never going to work, you have to shout about what it does. And I think a lot of the retailers were confused in terms of ‘okay, who am I selling it to, is it my customer and how do I do it?’”
The company also recognised that it needed robust support in place before launching into retail, and created a comprehensive online system as well as call centre support.
Amazingly, the call centre has been quiet, despite the Guess Connect watches bristling with technology.
“I think in the first three months there were five calls. It was [testament to the product] and I think testament to the work we put in as a team. Everything we did in terms of planning, the microsite with the Q&A and we did a lot of homework on handset compatibility drafting definitive lists.”
For the full interview with Paul Martin, including additional details of the new Guess Connect watches launching this year and the company’s investment in improving logistics and support for retailers, please pick up the August edition of WatchPro, which will also be available as a digital edition online.