The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 6

GOLF
PARTICIPATION

What do Swiss watches and golf
have in common?
Both products facing a Millennial challenge
By Jim Koppenhaver

I

'm always on the lookout for general industry trends which
other delivery systems and a broader set of functionality/
either parallel golf or have successfully navigated challengneeds (i.e. in your phone, as a device that also delivers
ing macro trends and/or demographic shifts in the consumer
your emails and as something that monitors your life and
base. The hospitality industry is often instructive and, courtesy
provides immediate feedback).
of Steve Lesnik and a conversation years ago, the movie business
On the first dimension, he realized that he faced a do-or-die
(theaters, not necessarily the studios) is also an interesting case decision on his core product: Either segment the market and
study. Reading the Wall Street Journal recently, I found another start producing lower quality/lower priced mechanical watches
one of particular interest relevant to our Millennial challenge: (to compete with the quartz segment introduced and expanded
Swiss watches. The full article and interview with an executive at by the Chinese competitors like Seiko) or double-down on the
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (that's a mouthful) can quality aspect to protect the core franchise (Baby Boomer/Silent
be found here but you'll likely need a WSJ digital subscription Generations and the Asian-European luxury buyer markets). He
to view it:
chose the latter but also decided to devote R&D and
In it, the 68 year old executive both laments and
new product introductions to figuring out how to
outlines how he's attempting to either blunt or
appeal to the non-core buyer on dimensions 2 and
defy the sociographic forces which don't favor the
3 above.
Swiss watch industry at the intersection of legacy
On the 2nd dimension, to increase relevancy he
values (precision, prestige and a 4-figure investtested the concept of star endorsement, partnering
ment) and the Millennial worldview. One of
with rapper Jay Z in designing and introducing
his chilling statements right out of the gate
the Shawn Carter by Hublot (tells you how
which could apply equally to golf is, "It's the
out-of-touch I am, I didn't realize that Shawn
first time we have young people not buyCarter = Jay Z...). Priced at $18K and $33K
ing watches." The good news is that Swiss
(black or yellow gold), they quickly sold out
watch-makers are fighting a war on three
the first allocation of 350. While not franIn it, the
fronts; cheap competitive products, a fall
chise-altering in volume or something that
68 year old executive
off of international vanity purchases
could be easily or quickly scaled, it esboth laments and outlines
(mostly Asian) and irrelevance to
tablished the potential of connecting
how he's attempting to either
Gen Next while golf is only facing
with the younger generation withblunt or defy the sociographic
the latter issue. Interestingly, in the
out significantly altering his core
forces which don't favor the
article Mr. Biver, the LVMH diviproduct. In addition, even for
Swiss watch industry at the
sion head for watches, spends most
those not purchasing the limitedintersection of legacy values
of his comments and creative energy
edition watch, you can be assured
(precision, prestige and a
on how he's addressing the Millennial
that the brand's "Millennial Aware4-figure investment)
challenge, which conveniently suits our
ness Quotient" went up exponentially
and the Millennial
purpose.
as a result of the PR and advertising and
worldview.
He begins the tutorial by outlining
being able to bridge the previous gap bethe general challenges of selling "time"
tween "Hublot" and "cool."
to Millennials and from which his general
Mr. Biver, however, appears to be placstrategy has evolved:
ing his biggest bet for Gen Next on the
* I can't compete by selling time, bethird dimension: reshaping the product to fit
cause time is a basic commodity to Gen
the younger generation's needs, perceptions and
Next and they have it in multiple devices,
lifestyles. He realized that time could either be
nearly ubiquitously.
a part of someone else's "platform" or they'd have
* How do you become relevant to their
to expand the watch to be the basic platform and
world by associating the brand with the inhave time be just an element of this expanded funcfluencers who are shaping that world?
tionality. Enter the TAG Heuer smartwatch initia* Time has now become a component of
tive which came into the market in late 2015, just

6 The Pellucid PersPecTive

April 2018


https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-time-running-out-for-the-swiss-watch-industry-1520867714?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018

TOC
Digital technology a boon for instructors
The age of discrimination
What do Swiss watches and golf have in common?
March golf weather impact: Forgettable month, dismal quarter
Cincinnati operators holding their own
Masters missed a chance to attract new golfers
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - Digital technology a boon for instructors
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - The age of discrimination
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - What do Swiss watches and golf have in common?
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - March golf weather impact: Forgettable month, dismal quarter
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - Cincinnati operators holding their own
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - April 2018 - Masters missed a chance to attract new golfers
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