Friday, July 7, 2017

The Transfer Window Opens -

At Eterna And Corum -

Courtesy of Courm
After weeks of speculation, the City Champ version of The Bachelor has ended, and Jérôme Biard has emerged from the final Rose Ceremony holding the final rose.

Whether or not it is a good idea to make a singular appointment to have oversight of two brands is debatable.  But considering that Eterna has lost more staff than Marie Osmond has lost pounds over multiple Nutrisystem campaigns, it seems that Eterna is the needier of the two corporate children for adult supervision.  

Eterna has been a poster child for corporate dysfunction going back longer than I've been writing this blog.  And while there have been some less-than-spectacular leaders at the helm of the flagship in Grenchen, there have also been a few that were hindered from doing as well as they were capable because of the corporate culture that has pervaded Eterna for more than 10 years.  Ownership has changed hands a few times.  Previous CEOs have come and gone.  What has remained consistent?  A pervasively negative internal "company vibe". 

If my math is right, this is the 8th leader of Eterna since 2011.  For many of us, we have equated a promotion to running Eterna with a duck being promoted to a l'orange.  

And as mentioned before, it is profoundly convenient for the xenophobes currently bemoaning Eterna's poor performance to claim that it's all down to the current ownership.  'Cause, you know, they were clearly not born lily white and Swiss.  


Courtesy of the Urban Dictionary:

Dialect, chiefly scots. A bumbling fool or one who is intellectually challanged.
(plural : numpties)
"they numpties couldnae organise a pissup in a brewery."
In reference to MSPs( members of scottish parliment)
by Gerry K. April 26, 2005

Can Eterna be fixed?  Sure!  But the owners need to realize that the change is not just needed at the top, but bottom up.  Eterna had an amazing PR team for awhile.  Starting in 2014 to now after that person left, it has been run by a largely indifferent group suffering from a major case of millennialitis.  

Some suggestions?

Eterna currently has three valuable assets:

1.  The KonTiki - focus on doing that and doing that well.  Get rid of some of the clutter.

2.  Movements - but maybe try to actually get them out to the brands and microbrands who have committed to buying them rather than leaving them dangling.

3.  A magnificent facility - odd idea, but perhaps lease some of the space of the facility out to an assembler in exchange for a reduced price paid to said assembler.  Otherwise?  Start doing casing and assembly again.  Arrange tours of the facility.  Create a "assemble your own watch" day where people from the general public can come in and take a one or two day program that teaches them the basics, and under supervision they can assemble their own watch.  It's a great corporate activity that companies as well as individuals would be anxious to take advantage of.  Promotes the brand and puts Eterna watches on new "brand ambassadors"

Lastly?  Create an official online store and stop feeding the grey market.  I sincerely wish Mr. Biard good luck and God's speed in his new appointment.  A lot of us really want to see Eterna succeed.  I personally am ready for some actual good news and a little less hyperbole thinly veiled as reassurance.  Let Eterna be all it can be, but perhaps the brain trust at City Champ and the folks at Eterna need to stop trying to be what they are not now, and never have been.

After everything is said and done, you can pump millions of dollars into a brand, but that will never guarantee results.  You have to punch your weight.  Let's hope that this is an approach that Eterna is finally ready to accept and embrace. 

Here is the release as received from City Champ this AM:

Jérôme Biard appointed Director of European Timepiece Division
7th July 2017 - Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Jérôme Biard as Director of the Watch Division on the European Board of Directors of Citychamp Watch & Jewellery. 

Mr. Jérôme Biard will take over the management of Corum and Eterna on 1st of September; Which includes the implementation of the overall strategy initiated by the Board of Directors and the general management of the operations of the two brands.

A veteran in the watch industry with more than 25 years’ experience, including 16 years at Richemont in sales and marketing for Vacheron Constantin and Cartier. In 2005, he assumed the role of International Sales Director for Girard-Perregaux and in 2009 was appointed CEO of LPI (Weitnauer Group) - a luxury watch & lifestyle distribution company for the Russian market, as well as Turkey and Brazil, including the creation of a retail division by capitalizing on his vast business development experience. Mr. Biard’s extensive experience in the watch industry will be an asset to the Group’s profitability and diversification. 

Mr. Jacques-Alain Vuille is pleased to continue to share with Mr. Jérôme Biard the experience he has gained during his 37 years in the company.

1 comment: