Sunday, May 19, 2013

When a Brand Goes South - the Emperor is Naked

So I've had a few weeks to think about it, and I am still baffled by the approach a few brands took.  Some brands decided not to show this year, other brands said that they weren't showing, but then "popped-up" without really bothering to tell anyone.  Brands that made huge announcements, but in fact turned out to be little more than "Potemkin Villages"
In one instance, a brand that I always looked forward to covering set-up in a tiny little shoe-box booth in Hall 2, staffed with one person, and a steady stream of pissed-off distributors and retail partners lined up to give them a reality check.

So while everyone was talking about who had the most impressive stands, watches, etc. I think as watch fans, it might behoove us to consider that the landscape is about to change VERY RAPIDLY.

To some extent, the big boys will always be around, but when we consider the strength of a brand, we also have to consider the strength of the PEOPLE behind that brand.  This covers more than just personality and charm.  Financial strength, and fiscal common sense go hand in hand.  I for one have seen the rapid decline of three brands that had a real chance to do something in the coming years, but now seem to have completely lost the plot.

We tend to get excited about a watch, a celebrity endorser, or a dynamic CEO, but that is not exactly a sustainable business model.  So to that end this year was the first in my recent memory where it became abundantly clear that in many instances, the Emperor was not wearing new clothes, but was in fact naked.

So in the coming months, I for one am hoping that perhaps there will be some "reality checks".  Brands that are promising will need to start delivering.

1 comment:

  1. The biggest no-show this year? For me, it was Eterna. I've been told it was the money issue but I felt deserted nonetheless.