Worldtempus: How has Jeanrichard fared since its major relaunch last year?
Bruno Grande: We launched the new concept at BaselWorld in 2013 but deliveries only started in October last year. It’s difficult to come to a conclusion after only one year in the market. We have no concerns about the positioning of the brand and the products. But we still need to build awareness of the brand. Most people who try the watches will buy them, but to pull in more customers we still need to invest for a few more years, maybe up to five years.
You have a very aggressive marketing strategy with some partnership that rival those of much bigger brands. How has this helped to develop the brand?
The partnership with Arsenal was definitely a good investment for us because it shortened the time frame for us to become visible in the market. At least now we are on the radar screen, maybe not in the centre but at least on the screen. So if we continue with our strategy with the philosophy of life of Jeanrichard I think in a couple of years we will see Jeanrichard in a different way.
"We chose to partner with Arsenal mainly because of their philosophy and the fact that they nurture the talents of tomorrow.
Can you quantify the effect of the partnership with Arsenal in particular?
Our partnership with Arsenal doesn’t just have an impact in the UK but worldwide. We are selling the limited edition models in Singapore and Hong Kong. We only started delivering the 250 limited edition pieces in June this year and they are almost gone.
There is definitely an association of values between Jeanrichard and Arsenal. We chose to partner with Arsenal mainly because of their philosophy and the fact that they nurture the talents of tomorrow. They do buy players from time to time, of course, but in a lot of cases they grow the talent themselves.
There is also a link with the history of the brand, because at the turn of the millennium, Jeanrichard was one of the first brands to enter into a football partnership (with Juventus).
You are launching a new limited-edition Arsenal chronograph here at SalonQP but it is a former Arsenal player, Ian Wright, who came to launch it. Why is that?
We were contacted by Ian Wright because he wanted to see the watch. We don’t have a direct association with him (we couldn’t afford it), so he’s a genuine friend of the brand and we have plenty more gravitating around the brand thanks to Arsenal.
How important is the UK market for Jeanrichard?
It’s definitely an important market for Jeanrichard and for the watch industry as a whole. At our price point there is definitely a possibility for us to expand. But we also need to increase brand awareness before we can really work properly in this market. We are gaining ground little by little, though, and we already have seven retailers in the UK compared with none a year ago.
What other markets are priorities for you?
The United States is an important market for us because we already have 25 points of sale in the region. It is also important for its influence on the Caribbean and Latin American markets. But it’s a huge market as well, so the amount you need to invest is so big that we are not yet at the level we want.
Asia is important and, surprisingly, Japan is one of our best markets. It’s a very sophisticated and very mature market and people there are looking for something different with value for money.