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How Swiss Watches Stay Competitive in the Digital Age
When smartphones entered global markets, many analysts predicted that traditional watchmakers were doomed. The phones did affect the watch market, but watchmakers continued making fine timepieces without significant production losses. When Apple and its competitors began making watches, however, the losses were more severe.
Rather than trying to produce smartwatches to compete, most Swiss watchmakers focused on maintaining high quality standards and promoting the value of owning a timepiece. Although smartwatches have several capabilities besides keeping time, Swiss watches are promoted as a work of art that’s handcrafted.
Ultimately, watch industry analysts contend that knock-off brands have hurt the Swiss watchmakers more than digital watches. To combat the flood of fake Swiss watches entering the market, watchmakers rely on advanced authentication software that quickly identifies a watch’s origins.
Targeting Younger Consumers
Since younger consumers are more likely to purchase smartwatches, Swiss companies have adapted their marketing efforts to target a more youthful consumer. Sales of mid-range watches (under $1,000) have decreased due to similarly priced digital watches gaining acceptance around the world. To rectify this, companies like Victorinox watches are using social media marketing to reach a younger generation and promote the value of owning a Swiss timepiece.
Marketing experts remind consumers that a traditional Swiss watch can function for decades and be handed down to subsequent generations. In comparison, digital watches have a shorter lifespan and will not work when the software is outdated.
Another method used by the Swiss to combat the onslaught of smartwatch competition is celebrity marketing. Swiss companies use celebrity endorsements and product placement in films to show the beauty of their timepieces. After viewing James Bond wearing Omega, several moviegoers became fans of Swiss watches and rushed to online retailers like My Gift Stop to purchase their favorite Swiss brands. Films have played a significant role in marketing Swiss watches and have helped expose new consumers to traditional timepieces.
Digital watches and devices have challenged the market dominance of premium Swiss watches, but with effective marketing and exceptional quality standards, Swiss companies have continued to prosper and grow.
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