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“Strengthening the appeal of G-Shock for mature buyers”

INTERVIEW WITH SHIGENORI ITOH CEO

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May 2018


“Strengthening the appeal of G-Shock for mature buyers”

G-Shock is 35 years old in 2018. Among the most striking anniversary models that Casio has launched this year are the Red Out, the Gold Tornado, the Big Bang Black and the partnerships with artist Eric Haze, fashion designer NIGO and fashion brands Pigalle and Sankuanz. We interviewed Shigenori Itoh, Casio’s senior executive managing officer and senior general manager of global marketing, who has led worldwide sales operations for all products since 2016.

What are the main goals of your anniversary celebration?

One of them is to reach out to younger generations, as we always create our watches taking into consideration the latest world trends. Like music, sports and fashion, our creations continue to appeal to youth culture. Younger buyers can obtain some of our watches at an affordable price. Also, more and more, they get their information through word of mouth on social media. We have to be present on these platforms.

Beyond the younger generations, one of your goals is also to push forward the Premium G-Shock models. How far along are you with this strategy today, and how do you intend to implement it?

Indeed, for 35 years, G-Shock has always grown in line with the younger generation. But our original fans have also grown up and become adults, just like our brand! Our mission now is to strengthen the appeal of our watches with mature buyers. And also with people who are not yet owners of a G-Shock. We will achieve this by promoting our higher-end product ranges.

Shigenori Itoh
Shigenori Itoh

There has been a strong vintage trend these last few years, with younger generations looking for products from the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s. How do you integrate this trend into your strategy?

Our contribution to the watch market has always been to create timepieces that become “essential” in any given period of our history.

We see differences by geographic area, but it is true that young people are attracted by vintage models. Thus I am already in the process of organising the revival of timepieces in a more contemporary style.

At the same time, we see a lot of smartwatches on the wrists of younger urban populations. What is your strategy relative to the connection with the G-Shock?

Today, most smartwatches are produced by companies active in the smartphone market. Looking at their products, we do not see a clear use or application. We do produce smartwatches at Casio, but these are really focused on outdoor applications, with a real use benefit for the buyer.

CASIO G-SHOCK RED OUT
CASIO G-SHOCK RED OUT

A look into the future… Where do you see the G-Shock in 35 years, in 2053? What will it look like?

G-Shock is the strongest and most famous brand among Casio’s ranges of timepieces. One important policy consists in strengthening the unique identity of the G-Shock brand. Another aims at continually increasing the functionality of our models, in the Casio spirit, which will eventually benefit the whole watch ecosystem. And speaking personally, I hope that we will see a G-Shock used in space in the future!