As part of WatchPro’s March issue focus on licensed watch brands, MGS Distribution’s commercial director Steve Brydon talks through the design process, finding new brands and the need for a truly contemporary licensed watch brand.
WatchPro: Tell us about your licensed watch brands – which brands do you work with?
Steve Brydon: We operate Hugo Boss Black and Orange collections, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Juicy Couture and will be launching Ferrari later this year. We have been the distribution partner for Boss for 15 years since its inception and added the other brands five years ago.
WP: Licensed watch brands appear to be growing in strength in the UK market – why do you think this is?
SB: The consumer is very much more brand aware than they ever have been. Often the mother brands from which the watches are licensed are at the forefront of not only fashion but of marketing trends and as such the awareness of these companies is very high. They have the advantage of having multiple product lines and so multiple streams of marketing budget and can therefore generate huge brand awareness and impact around a single name
WP: How do you work with the brands to design, build and market your licensed collections?
SB: We have regular meetings with brands themselves both at local [UK] level and at head office level. We can then guide them in particular styles that our market requires.
WP: Is it up to MGS or the licensed brand to promote the watches?
SB: We are responsible for promoting the watches in the territories we cover. We can often access the multi-million pound sponsorships that the mother brand takes part in to do this.
WP: How are the collections marketed to consumers in the UK?
SB: We use a combination of traditional and online advertising. We will select the media that we believe is most appropriate for the individual brand whether this be TV magazine or on line.
WP: Are there any brands that you have your eye on with a view to building a timepiece range?
SB: Finding a truly global brand such as Ferrari that are not already offering licensed problems is rare. There are however one or two that I would love to work with. I am not going to say which as we may already be in discussion with them [laughs].
WP: Which area of licensed branding do you think is untapped when it comes to timepiece design?
SB: I believe that a truly contemporary, über-modern look is missing from our industry at the moment. So many brands go down the traditional, heritage look. I think we are crying out for a change to this and would love to find a brand to do this with.