The launch of the INOX collection in 2014 was a watershed moment for Victorinox UK and its marketing manager Suzanne McMillen. Nowhere in the world was the sell-through as strong as in Britain, confirming this country’s status as a leading market for Swiss watchmakers.
It also bolstered Victorinox’s credentials as a watch brand in the UK rather than simply a lifestyle brand.
Being one of the world’s biggest markets does not make it one of the easiest to dominate. “The UK market is inundated with high fashion and luxury timepiece brands,” Suzanne says.
“The mid-market has been increasingly hard to conquer, but I feel that we have now reached our goal in terms of positioning, and this has been almost certainly down to great product. Positioning our timepieces as a lifestyle brand has only helped to acquire a fan base that is not only relevant for Victorinox, but indeed for Victorinox Swiss Army watches,” she adds.
Grabbing attention and market share in such a crowded sector requires an arsenal of sales and marketing skills. Suzanne believes in a 360 marketing approach that has included in-store events, print advertising and social media.
Suzanne loves the London scene, and you’ll frequently find her at favourite restaurant Odette’s on Primrose Hill. It’s a bit of a celebrity hangout but, according to Suzanne, “has a great village vibe”.