The past year for Bell & Ross in the UK has been about stripping back, focusing on getting the basics right – a simple strategy that Jean Falcon de Longevialle believes will help to further establish the idiosyncratic aviation brand in the UK.
“In the past year we have been building better relationships and a solid base for the future,” says Jean. “The UK is a huge market and we have applied the same strategy as we have in France, our mature market. This will hopefully see Bell & Ross increasing our status on the UK market.”
Building better relationships involves the team regularly visiting the retail staff selling Bell & Ross’s timepieces. Jean believes that regular contact helps to “make our brand alive in the stores” as well as increasing shop floor staff’s knowledge of the brand and its models.
This close contact strategy has gained approval from existing retailers. It will also no doubt benefit new stores the brand has been busy signing up, moving into UK cities where Bell & Ross previously had no presence; something that has been giving the competition a healthy run for its money. As Jean says: “Competition between brands is what keeps the UK watch industry alive.”
Once all the groundwork has been laid, Jean says that it will be time for the brand to fly in the UK in the coming years, mimicking his own personal life somewhat. While his highlight from this year was a grounded trip to the Goodwood Revival to see the best examples of classic cars he has ever seen, the next will be about getting back on track to achieve his personal pilot’s license. Pretty fitting for a man charged with the fortunes of a much-loved aviation brand.