This paper will discuss the positioning and success of Hublot watches in achieving the luxury watch worldwide. In order to make a good analysis, a lot of information has been gathered through the official website as well as the advertisement on TV. These information is also combined with the knowledge of marketing mix and positioning acquired earlier in the course. The main concepts mentioned have been sourced from Brassington F. And Pettitt S.(2007). Discussion will focus on the usage of the four element of marketing mix—product, price, place and promotion.
Hublot is a Swiss enterprise founded in 1980 by Maksim Kuts creating luxury watches. The company currently operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of France’s LVMH. Hublot is the pioneer of the distinctive fusion style which combines the gold watch body and natural rubber strap together. It currently makes the most expensive watch in the world, the “$5 million”.
Hublot has a quite interesting logo, which is a combination of the longitudinal equality sign and an arc high on the right side but low on the left side. It represents the initial H of “Hublot”, and it is concise and distinct meanwhile. Compared with Tag Heuer and Zenith, which are founded in 1860 and 1865, respectively, Hublot is a young generation among the luxury watch industry. One of the most important factor of its success should be the “Art of Fusion”. It took 3 years of research to create the strap which connected to the watch body. The contact of natural rubber and skin is just like regeneration. The two parts of the strap can be adjusted to an appropriate moment when purchasing, which will be very comfortable to fit the customer’s wrist, thus bringing an incomparable experience of each purchaser. This design is quite different from other watches and as a result achieving the luxury watches among the “old generation”. Besides, customers can view the complete process of watchmaking include viewing the movements and complications of Hublot in details, discovering the different components of their prestige watches, discovering all the crafts that go into making Hublot’s high-end watches and discovering all the materials at the heart of the “Art of Fusion”, which prove the excellent quality to every customers in many aspects.
As a worldwide luxury watch brand, the box of a Hublot watch is usually black with its logo on the top of it in white. Black expresses a feeling of reliability and strength symbolizing a honorable social status whilst white delivers a bright and clear sensation which make the purchaser feel not only classic but also dynamic. In addition, Hublot carries out an unique service of “HUBLOTISTA”, which is an identification and protection system of the box and an exclusive private club as well. In 2009, Hublot set a precedent of having every watch equipped with a “Hublotista” chip and a reader. When the customer selects a wrist watch in store, the dealer will first insert their cards to confirm its franchisees identity and then connect the chip to the system, thus starting the international certification in front of a customer. The unique service undoubtedly brings out the feeling of being an VIP of each customer and as a result attracting more potential purchaser to enjoy such kind of experience. Hublot gives the world a very good performance either in the brand logo and the quality, as well as the packaging. However, in order to take more market share, there is much more to be considered.
Focused competitors dominate their target segments by fending off broad-coverage competitors who have to compromise to serve the segment, and outperforming rivals with the same focus.(George S. Day, 1994) For a young brand who want to open the market, correct positioning is very important. In 2004, Jean-Claude Beaver assumed duties as CEO, becoming a board member and minority shareholder in Hublot Watches. He knows clearly that in order to develop new markets, Hublot must steer clear the old luxury watches which have hundred years of history. The target market of Hublot aims to the young entrepreneurs at the age of 25~45. Compared with other luxury watches consumers, those entrepreneurs are younger, and they prefer the sense of future plans. At the same time, they are the generations of the “Internet”. Take the USA and China for example, most Internet users are 20~40 years old. The are more likely to accept the creative products rather than the historical classic ones, and they are believed to be influenced by the information on the Internet much easier. In terms of Internet and media, Beaver created Hublot TV in June, 2006, which becomes the first one to create an online television channel of luxury brands in history.
The television will broadcast all kinds of news of the brand and spread around the world. Furthermore, Hublot also take advantage of the usage of communication web. Up to now, Hublot have more than 370 thousand fans on Facebook, and keep the rapid growth. Young entrepreneurs are energetic, dynamic and vigorous. Swiss watch brands have always been keen on sponsor sporting events. Rolex and Wimbledon have a cooperation up to 42 years, their spokesperson varies from classical musicians to tennis super star. Omega has been the official timekeeper in the Olympic Games 22 times, and held the quite famous Lake Golf Competition. In this section, Hublot broke the tradition again. In 2005, it began the cooperation with Manchester United and European Cup, and in 2006 acted as the first Swiss team partner which provided limited edition watches. In 2010 Hublot became the official timekeeper of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and they have also been involved in a tie-up with the Financial Times, sponsoring the newspaper’s iPad app. Before this , no wrist watch brand has ever cooperated with FIFA, though it is an exciting and fiery competition terrain just like the summer Olympic. It is evident that the World Cup gave Hublot a wonderful stage to performance, people who have watched the matches would not forget the six letters ” Hublot” .
Every time when a stoppage time or the substitution time came, the logo appeared on the time card held high up in the hand of the fourth judgment. In the 64 matches in South Africa, each match had at least twice, up to 8 times stoppage time, even those who were not interested in luxury watch would remember the famous brand. Sport is full of passion, strength, precision as well as the pursuit of excellence and achieve the final success, just like the young entrepreneurs. More importantly, these are the common parts of the brand Hublot and its customers of the target market. Just like Beaver said “ Not a sport can cover such a large audience like soccer so perfectly ” . Among the hundreds of millions of viewers, there is not only the luxury consumers who stand on the top of Pyramid, but also the potential consumers who are located in the central Pyramid currently, more importantly, those kids who love soccer are easily affected and they may also become a luxury watch consumer in the future. In this way, Hublot is not only a watch , and not only a luxury watch which showcases the social status and excellent competence, it is also the symbol of the pursuit of excellence and the spirit of being passionate and dynamic. These concepts meet the consumers’ demand perfectly, and they will accept the idea of purchasing such a meaningful watch to themselves who seek the same goal very easily.
In addition, Hublot held the “ million dollar shot ” charity activities with Manchester United in Hangzhou in 2009 in which four super star gathered to make a donation of $250,000 to charitable education by every shot. Eventually, all the money were given to the education foundation for the poor students. For the students, they would always remember the brand and might become a customer of Hublot one day, and for the other customers, this activity delivers the message that Hubloy is an active and kind brand which cares not only the business performance but also the people who need help in the society. Hublot watches establish a very positive image to the whole society, thus founding a stable relationship with the original customers and attract more potential customers. A special and accurate positioning enables Hublot to cultivate the loyalty of consumers and become part of the lifestyle rather than just being a luxury watch. Just like the slogan of Hublot “ The Art of Fusion is watchmaking” , “ We Do Not Repeat Tradition, but We Take Tradition to the Future ”.
Hublot watches first march into the market by its unique technology of the fusion of rare metal material and natural rubber, which is like an art. Then develop a market space from the old generation watches by remaining the classic part as well as reinforcing the dynamic part. Hublot will not become a traditional luxury watch brand as other competitors, instead, it will demonstrate a feeling of respect and honor, but meanwhile showcase a fresh and energetic experience. Similar information can be read from its advertisement on TV, unlike the background music used in other competitors, Hublot watches adopt the tune with strong sense of rhythm which excited people instead of the melodious music with slow rhythm. And the picture changes quickly like a fierce competition from different sports events to famous spokesperson which creates a dynamic feeling instead of a heavy feeling. Most consumers that can afford luxury watches are thought to be rich and senior, who are not lack of money and respect but a fresh and youthful feeling.
The slogan and ad of Hublot change the traditional point appropriately, it gives its customers a new image that they not only succeed in the career but also keep pace with the times and maintain a enthusiasm and fashionable mind. Price is a crucial element in competitive marketing strategy, and the price of a company’s products and services represents the vehicle for that company to achieve its financial objectives. (Geoff Lancaster ; Lester Massingham) , however, almost every consumer who walk into a Hublot boutique do not care about the price because the watch is a luxury rather than a necessity so that the demand of consumers is inelastic. The price of Hublot is rarely conventional and always expensive due to the high quality and the true rarity, mainly about 10 to 20 thousand pounds, and there is also the world’s most expensive watch—Hublot “ $5 Million ” watch which took a full 14 months in the making. This watch is more a veritable global diamond collection than a timepiece as it houses 1282 baguette diamonds set in an 18K white gold casting.
Although it is very expensive, for most luxury purchasers, the high price is a cue indicates that the brand is very famous and the product is noble and exquisite. Compared with other competitors, Hublot watches hold the record of the world’s most expensive watch which might express that Hublot can make the best watch in the world and its watches have very high value. Such information will influence the consumers potentially and upgrade the status of brand in their minds. There are nearly 50 Hublot boutiques worldwide, and most boutiques are located in the developed cities of each country. Customers can select the nearest place by searching on the official website and make a reservation. Hublot aims to give customers a very honorable experience by personal service.
As luxury watches already have a minority volume. When the sales began to increase rapidly, Hublot have slowed down the movements because scarce products is more valuable, and such scarcity can be man-made, so that Hublot is extremely careful to limit the supply. It is believed that people have strong desire for things that cannot be acquired easily and “ stay hungry ” is necessary. As a result, when customers select a Hublot watch, they will feel it is high value just like themselves in the society, thus achieving a perfect match between the customers and the watches. Despite the fact that Hublot watches focus on the young entrepreneurs, it has a ratio effect to all the society. As analyzed below:
As a young luxury watch brand, Hublot watches target the group of young entrepreneurs who are not only successful in their career but also dynamic and passionate just like the image of the brand. Its product is exquisite and energetic in many ways such like the logo, slogan and performance and package. Hublot maintain the concept of being noble as well as valuable, and meanwhile it creates a feeling of being enthusiasm, young and comfortable. By cooperating with famous sports event such as FIFA World Cup , it influences the majority of the viewers ranges from every generation, and establishes very high and positive status in the society through charity foundation. The price of Hublot watches is always high and it holds the record of the world’s most expensive watch which indicates that they can manufacture the best watch and give the best value to it.
They provide consumers luxury watch as well as luxury experience, aiming to not only be a timepiece but also the spirit of seeking excellence and being energetic. Within the short 30 years compared with other competitors which have hundreds of history, Hublot watches develop its own market by the special and accurate positioning and the effective usage of marketing mix. Overall, the positioning is believed to be successful and efficient as the Hublot created the “ Art of Fusion” and “ Take the Tradition to the Future” , and achieve the approval and respect among the consumers. Hublot does not only gain the business goal but also satisfy the customers’ demand.
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