WHAT ARE THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER BRANDS IN SWITZERLAND?
A lot is written about the performance of Swiss luxury watches in markets such as China and the US but what about their performance at home? How do Swiss luxury watch brands fare with their local compatriots? The WorldWatchReport™ 2013 takes an in-depth look at the performance of Swiss luxury watch brands on their home turf.
With so many luxury watch brands originating from Switzerland, the “local” advantage is virtually eliminated. Whilst this does not greatly affect the order of the rankings, it does play a role in the weighting luxury watch brands receive (more evenly distributed). Brands with higher ranks have less market share here than they would globally, thus allowing the lesser-known brands to still get a significant portion of searches. Case in point, Rolex takes another first place ranking in the Swiss market in this year’s WorldWatchReport™, though it does so with just 13.59% share of searches - amongst the lowest for a first ranked brand in the report, compared with Italy, for example, where Rolex also leads but with a 31.25% market share. Omega ranks second with 9.82% - also a fairly low market share compared to the one it generally occupies in other markets such as China (21.28%).
IWC ranks an impressive third, an exceptional performance for any Haute Horlogerie brand; especially considering it outranks all of the Watch and Jewelry, Couture and High Range category brands. In fact, couture brands only begin to appear on this list in the 19th position, occupied by Hermès.
CATEGORY SEARCH BREAKDOWN FOR THE SWISS MARKET
Switzerland, being home to most of the brands in the WorldWatchReport™, naturally demonstrates strong awareness of the industry and its major players. It is therefore no surprise to see categories with more niche brands get their due here, as Haute Horlogerie and High Range categories enjoy market shares well above average, Women’s and Jewelry and Couture brands also lose out on market share to the categories above, at least when compared to the global context. Unsurprisingly it is in these categories that we find the most brands not of Swiss origin. This is not to say that these brands are unpopular, as Cartier still holds important market share, but their share is chipped away by more niche, less well-known brands who find their home here.
MOST SEARCHED FOR MODELS & COLLECTIONS
Though Rolex leads the brand ranking, Omega claims the top two spots in the watch model rankings thanks to the Seamaster and Speedmaster. IWC’s strong brand awareness is reflected here with 3 models making the top 30 rankings, with its best model, the Portuguese, ranking an important eighth. Of note is Rolex’s Deepsea model’s strong performance this year (up eight spots since last year). Cartier Tank, Longines Master, Omega Aqua Terra and Seamaster Planet Ocean all make an appearance in the Top 30 for the first time since 2012. Overall, the rankings in general are represented by a good number of different brands, once again reflecting the market’s strong knowledge of a large number of brands.
LUXURY WATCH CLIENT BEHAVIOR
While the number of brand-only searches could be considered high for a market that should provide a much wider variety of searches, it does not impede on the weighting of model-specific searches. Over 15% of searches include the specific name of a watch model, above the global average, demonstrating a deep knowledge of the industry from the Swiss clientele. Finally, consumers in this market are concerned with price, very much in line with global rankings. With the presence of so many luxury watch brands in their midst, technical aspects are being researched online by Swiss consumers at an important rate, as we see the Complication and Movement intention count for over 2% of all searches, well above intentions such as Style, Replica and Pre-owned. The Style intention being the 2nd most used parameter in markets such as China.
Mobile searches are under the global average in Switzerland but grew by +2 PPT since last year, now accounting for a total of 16.44% of total searches.
TOP 10 LUXURY WATCH BRANDS ON FACEBOOK IN SWITZERLAND
Finally, what about the performance of Swiss luxury watch brands on Facebook? Couture brands are logically leading the way on Facebook as they leverage their strong, international fashion base. Upon investigation of brands outside that category, brands are present from the Watch & Jewelry category, the majority of which have jewelry background. “Facebook is a reality, but not for every type of communication, being best suited to the much more fashion conscious content that brands such as Bulgari and Cartier have to deliver.” Commenting on the absence of certain iconic brands on Facebook, James Gurney, Editor-in-Chief of QP, adds: “Patek Philippe for example, does not use brand ambassadors in the way that Omega, TAG Heuer or Cartier do – Facebook works for throw-away news and Patek does not want that.”
If looking at brands offering purely luxury watch models only, most impressive results are for Baume & Mercier, TAG Heuer and IWC. “Particular credit should go to IWC for its comprehensive approach to Facebook content. Unfortunately, the majority of brands seem to think volume on social media platforms is the key at the moment,” concludes Gurney.
Source: Europa Star December - January 2013/14 Magazine Issue