Friday, May 16, 2014

A Few Minutes with Bruno Jufer

A Few Minutes with Bruno Jufer -

Tempus Fugit - What was your first watch?  Was it a gift?  Is there a story behind it?

Bruno Jufer - Yes it was a gift from my father.  He was a watch maker and he manufactured a watch just for me. It was a no name brand but I still have the watch in my collection.

Tempus Fugit - When you were a boy, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?

Bruno Jufer - I wanted to be a ski instructor. I must say that I was a ski racer when I was younger and as it was my passion I could perfectly imagine skiing as a job.

Tempus Fugit - Where did you go to school, what did you study?

Bruno Jufer - I went to primary school in Grenchen. Then I studied business economics at Bern University.

Tempus Fugit - Your father was a watch maker, had you ever considered any other industry for your future career?

Bruno Jufer - I was very open but my first job as a student was in the watch industry and you know how attracted is the industry once you’re in, you stay!

Tempus Fugit - You started off with Tissot while you were still in university, correct?  What was that like as a starting point to your career?

Bruno Jufer - I started as a trainee and I worked a few months in every department. At that time they were sponsors of the Tour de France and Tour de Suisse cycling races and I was given the responsibility of organizing the Tissot side.

Tempus Fugit - After that you went on to Maurice Lacroix and following that Jacquet Droz.  What were some of the differences between working for an independent brand versus working for one of the SWATCH Group's brands?

Bruno Jufer - Maurice Lacroix was my first job after completing my degree. I started as the Marketing project manager and became the Marketing Director.  Comparing this to working in a big group, it’s always less political to work for an independent brand. You get a more personal contact with the owners.

Tempus Fugit - When we first met at BaselWorld 2011 you had thrown in  your lot with Antoine Martin.  You really seemed to have some momentum going.  What were some of the biggest challenges you faced?

Bruno Jufer - The biggest challenge was to start this new brand from scratch. Nobody knows you and you constantly need to fish for money. The financial situation was a big part of the challenge.

Tempus Fugit - And now on to Eterna - being a "Native Son" of Grenchen, does it feel like more than just a job opportunity?

Burno Jufer - It’s definitely a decision made with the heart.  I have always followed the development of Eterna; there were a lot of ups and downs.  I see big potential for the brand and I am very happy to give my contribution to the rebirth.  Since I started with the brand we have been working on the “brand strategy map”.  We have structured the product portfolio and gave the brand a clear image.  The first signs were shared during Baselworld 2014.  But there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

Tempus Fugit - For many of us here in the US, it seems that Eterna is one of the more misunderstood/under appreciated brands.  How do you plan to solve that?

Bruno Jufer - Today we are no longer present in this market but we will restart in the US very soon. The brand needs a clear and focused positioning in terms of product strategy before re-entering the US. Our aim is to be known also by the younger generations.

Tempus Fugit - What makes Eterna special?

Bruno Jufer - The tradition and the pioneering spirit and over 150 years of history.  Which other brands have such a long tradition?  This is the basis of our future development.  Now we have to implement a more modern approach in everything we are doing with the brand.

Tempus Fugit - I know that it is early on in your tenure, but what is your favorite piece in then ETERNA collection?

Bruno Jufer - It is clearly the new ROYAL KONTIKI.  This collection, based on our model from the early 1970s is a timepiece full of character which we have adapted to todays tastes.  We will continue to develop this family as our iconic collection in the near future.

Courtesy of Eterna

Tempus Fugit - What is wrong with the watch industry right now?

Bruno Jufer - The biggest thing to deal with is to compete with the big groups and with their market and advertising power. It is a crowding-out market. As a small player you have to invent new marketing strategies, be more flexible and more innovative, especially in our communication.

Tempus Fugit - What is right with the watch industry?

Bruno Jufer - It’s a product full of emotion which should inspire you to dream.  Especially a mechanical watch - which is like a good friend on your wrist.

Tempus Fugit - What is Eterna's biggest/best market right now?

Bruno Jufer - Europe

Tempus Fugit - What do you like to do in your spare time?

Bruno Jufer - I am a passionate golf player.  I love to be outdoors.  It gives me the energy I need for my daily business life.  And I am happy to be surrounded with my family and friends and enjoy good food and drink!

Tempus Fugit - If you weren't doing this, what do you think you might be doing?

Bruno Jufer - Difficult question; I am very happy with what I am doing.  I like the watch industry and everything what comes with it. I do not have to think doing something else.

Tempus Fugit - What advice do you have for the next emerging group of brand managers coming up?

Bruno Jufer - Be yourself and communicate honestly with your employees, your colleagues, your clients and your superiors.

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