In the March 2013 issue of the magazine WatchPro presented an in-depth report on the licensed watch brand market. Here Andrew Warner, manager and director at Identity the Jewellers in Derby, tells us why he believes that a modern approach to communications is helping licensed fashion brands get one over on traditional watch houses.
WatchPro: Which licensed watch brands do you sell at Identity the Jewellers?
Andrew Warner: Boss by Hugo Boss, CK, Diesel, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Juicy Couture and Vivien Westwood as licensed brands.
WP: Licensed watch brands appear to be growing in strength in the UK market. Why do you think this is?
AW: There is a particular market of customers who choose brands over more established or less well known watch names. This may be a direct cause from the way that they were advertised, not only in standard media but also in using modern media trends such as Facebook or Twitter connecting directly with people who desire such a brand.
WP: So a modern approach to communication is giving licensed brands an edge over the older dedicated watch houses?
AW: I feel this maybe the cause behind why fashion brands are making a bigger impact on the modern watch market, where consumers are moving away from the classic luxury Swiss high-end watches and going for more affordable fashion brands that they can associate with.
WP: With so much free marketing tools available, such as social networks, do brands like these still need to go down the traditional route of advertising?
AW: As these are all well known brands, a lot of the companies pay to do national advertising. We also receive in-shop advertising displayed as A0 posters and we also do our own advertising in the likes of GQ for our more unique brands, lately advertising Jorg Gray in the March edition.
WP: Does all this advertising have a direct effect on sales, or is it just about building general brand awareness?
AW: The advertising created by the licensed suppliers had an input on sales over the Christmas period, especially with the Diesel, where the desire for their advertised lines was mirrored within the store and online. Other licensed brands that did well over that period were Michael Kors and Marc by Marc Jacobs where, again, national advertising and a desire for the brands increased sales.