The Branding equivalent of reaching nirvana, potent power symbol, an object of beauty, and a feat of craftsmanship, a sense of achievement, a mechanical marvel and something very James-Bond like about it. The thought of one timepiece possessing all these qualities fascinate me. .While some are celebrating a momentous occasion like graduation or first job the vast majority are just buying it for themselves because they want it!
Rolex it is!!
A fine watch has never been cheap:
Status symbols are one of the more curious quirks of human psychology. Rolex, the official time keeper of Wimbledon and the Australian Open tennis grand slams is respected, admired and known across the globe for its innovations and strong hold in quality. The Rolex watches speak for itself which sets it apart from rest of the crowd and was the first one to develop waterproof watch “Oyster”, first watch to have auto dating facility “Date just” , and also the first water resistant watch for divers “Submariner”.
Three building blocks of modern marketing strategy:
Partitioning a market into a number of distinct sections reflecting distinctive purchasing motives and behavior of customers.
Geographic Segmentation: Rolex is an international brand with over 50%of the market residing in the US, Hong Kong, China, France and Singapore. Rolex has an excellent distribution channel and has been able to position itself in almost every part of the world.The Geo-cluster approach adopted by Rolex creating a more accurate profile of a specific consumer.
E: g:In New York you can find a Rolex store or retailer all over the Upper East Side, where the income rate is the highest in the city.A clear example of Geo-demographic segmentation characterized by potential customers and lifestyle.
Demographic Segmentation: Customer wants are closely linked to variables such as income and age. Rolex segments especially by income as it best determines buying power of the customers.
E: g: Special outlets for premium customers & premium plans for business executives and professionals and offering special collections on special events
Psycho-graphic Segmentation: With the advances in technology which has played a major part in changing people’s psychology, Rolex finds it suitable to segment the market by observing people’s psychology based on lifestyle, personality, beliefs, values etc.
Rolex is targeting high income groups looking for high quality and exclusivity. The typical owner of Rolex is male and above the age of 35, sometimes a celebrity or sports figure. For long Rolex has aligned itself with divers, sailors, race car drivers, and sports enthusiasts.
Single market segmentation or the concentrated strategy:
Pinpoints only on the rich consumers with its prestigious watches, people with purchasing power that are willingness to invest a good amount of money in a luxury accessory but there is a risk of putting all the eggs in one basket—if the segment fails the company’s financial strength will decline rapidly. High-quality image may pose difficulty in terms of moving into product-market segments which have a lower-quality image. Rolex can only do this by offering a product under a different brand name and it did move slightly ‘down-market’ by manufacturing Tudor range of watches.
Getting into the consumer’s mind-Rolex made us perceive the brand as parameter of quality and proves that they are best in the game with two main wings of Rolex strategy: tradition and conservatism.
Rolex is a watch company, but the Rolex Brand is way bigger than just watches. The Rolex Brand – its reputation – stands for elegance, celebrity, and class. It represents an upscale lifestyle and the spirit of achievement. Rolex is Wimbledon. Rolex is The Masters Golf Tournament. Rolex is Le Mans which in turn is translated into the marketing tool.
It has the power to translate its reputation to other products and services just by associating itself with them.
Will Rolex stand the test of time???
With an ageing target market Rolex faces difficulty in becoming the choice of a younger consumer base as majority of them see Rolex as an older status symbol. The brand now needs to build interest, relevance and aspiration among the young generation, in order to drive long-term growth. Associated with the above issue are the competitors such as Omega, which is widely held by younger consumers as trendier. Tudor,Rolex’s little sister was positioned as a more youthful watch, and was endorsed by Tiger Woods. The business is doing the best in trying to re-position itself.
Also it should consider more female ambassadors of high social standing and sponsor female focused sports events as it image campaigns focus mostly on males. It should produce watches for the economic or middle class customers and launch campaigns for new types of customers
All said and done, Rolex is in a league of its own and will always be remembered as one of the world‘s most powerful and valuable brand.