It has been a big 12 months for Mark Robinson. After 16 years at Citizen, he became the brand’s UK managing director and he has sealed it by presiding over its best ever year for sales, including a record December, and – he tells us – as of May 2013, the brand was up 5% year-on-year.
It reflects well on this level-headed leader, and you sense that his is a steady hand on the brand rudder. But despite his measured words, he is not one for relaxing the pace. If one thing makes this clear it is his repeated intention that there is always room for improvement.
The coming year, he says, will see the brand develop its ladies range, with Mark giving subtle hints that there is room to exploit that lucrative market further. Likewise he adds that there is room to be “a little more fashionable but still retain the core Citizen DNA”.
That said, expect no revolutions from Mark’s Citizen. “I have an extremely dedicated and passionate team and we all want success. I’ve worked at Citizen for nearly 16 years; combine this with all the experience we have in house and that is pretty powerful knowledge. The old adage if it ain’t broke don’t fix it is very true. But we should never be complacent, as there is always someone who wants to be in your position.”
He talks in real sentences and with an ear for genuine common sense – not something that’s always forthcoming at the corporate level. At the heart of his mission for Citizen is the quest to make it the “easiest brand for our retailers to sell”. And that, of course, is just the sort of sense that has seen it achieve so highly this year.
By the way, if you think he looks pretty dapper then you’re right. Robinson says his ideal alternative career would be in fashion retail, running a menswear store. He’s always been in interested in fashion and says he would spend a fortune on it if he were less disciplined. But 16 years and 12 months into his Citizen life, you suspect Robinson has never been more focused.
Citizen UK managing director Mark Robinson was a CMJ Brand Champion in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.