Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Lather, Rinse, Repeat - Enter the Carousel

This originally ran back in 2015, and as we are now nearly 30 months down the line (think about that for a moment), it seems even more relevant now than it was when I first pushed it out there.

While I realize that a certain "fortunate son" is assuring us that sales are up, and the Swiss Federation numbers would, in theory, bolster that notion with their export reports of the past two months, the retail realities do not bear this notion out.  Not yet at least.

Brand managers continue to crow about their latest yacht, polo match, or celebrity "chum", so it seems that the lesson still has not sunk in.  Think I'm full of it?

The Grey Market and it's red-headed stepbrother the "Soft Grey" Market continue to offer brand new watches, in many instances directly supplied by the brands themselves, and in some instances even faster than the authorized retail stores can get them.

And with that wonderfully sychophantic press/influencer element out there that (for the right fee) will continue to sing a brand's praises, it is easy to presume that everything is just great!

While I can't think of anyone who does not genuinely want to see things rebound and improve (I mean, we all like money and steady employment, right?), the realities are still the same.

Retail has not returned to the same levels, advertising revenues are down for the majority of print and  digital outlets with some long time employees being let go and not replaced.  In other words, a lot of longtime industry professionals, retail lifers and media employees continue to find themselves surplus to requirements.  

So here we go again -

Brand Managers and CEOs, Enter the "Carousel"...

 This is the time of renewal.

With the slew of smart watches being now literally flung out at an ever increasingly rapid pace just prior to BaselWorld, the biggest question is about usefulness and functionality.  As I said previously, I do think that the solution that Frederique Constant, Alpina and Mondaine have come up with is far and away the best, most practical one available and I think it actually is functional.  

Having said that, a few of us got to thinking "outside the smart watch box", and theorized about what other useful smart watch apps could be created.  

I have often written and railed about the now all-too common practice of what I will refer to as the 3 year plan.  In essence, a CEO, brand manager or rep is hired and if they are lucky, they will last 3 years.  If they are successful they will probably be replaced because they will then be too expensive. If they are not successful they will be let go for obvious reasons.  And it is generally in the second or third year that these folks start getting really nervous, really anxious about their future.  This can be stressful, and your quality of life can really suffer as a result.  It is understandable.  So in an effort to ease the pain, this was a smart watch app that some of us felt was apt.  The Life Clock App.

It is based on the "Life Clock" popularized in Logan's Run.  For you millennials out there, Logan's Run was first a novel but more well known as the movie with Michael York. In this futuristic society, nobody has to work, everything is easy.  You are pretty much free to literally "follow your bliss". 
The main problem with this being that this level of indolence is not really sustainable as a "business model".  Therefore you have to sort of cull the herd to ensure that there will be enough to go around. Essentially, you have until you turn 30, then your "Life Clock" will light up letting you know that your time is up.  When that happens you are summoned to what is known as the Carousel where you and all of the other 30 year old folks in your group will be "surplussed" or more specifically, vaporized.

The belief being that you will then be "renewed".

Which brings us back to the tenuous and all-too-often brief tenures currently being experienced by brand manages and CEOs.  How can we take some of the guesswork out of it?  Well, every problem has a solution - and it seems every solution has an App!

So you download the Life Clock App on your smart watch and sync it with your phone.  Don't worry, it will support both iOS and Android platforms.  Then you start that new position as CEO and hit GO. Your Life Clock App is now synced to your current job and dutifully counting down the years, months, weeks and days until you will need to update your resume and look for that next position. Worried that you might not remember your work anniversary?  Don't be!  The Life Clock App has got you covered!  It will give a red glowing signal as you are approaching your 3 year anniversary.  Then a stern, all knowing voice (my vote would be James Earl Jones) will say:

Enter the Career Builder Site.  This is the time of renewal.

For everyone out there still searching, stay positive, and stay away from the Sandmen!

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