Sometimes, though, charts and figures become the ideal observation points from which to understand changes to the world in general, and not just our own particular world. For while Fine Watchmaking gravitates inside its own solar system with Switzerland as its centre of gravity, it is no less true that customers are the planets whose often unpredictable orbit can sometimes radically alter the balance of this “micro-macro cosmogony.”
To know the customer is to know their expectations and, as far as is possible, anticipate them. Customers can be placed in different categories based on the admittedly discourteous but undoubtedly useful factors of wealth or age.
First wealth. There are the “Uncle Scrooges” who, far from being a dying breed, are increasingly numerous. Then there are the “mere” millionaires. Next come those who have a healthy purchasing power without being as well-off as the previous categories, and who like to spend their money on the “beautiful, tasteful objects” that make up the world of (true) luxury goods. Then there are those, and there are many of them, who “wish that I could but I can’t.” Those who aspire and who will get there one day, and those who can’t wait and fall back on fakes. We can define these “incontinents” as those who, because they can’t contain their appetite for possession, turn instead to the indecent trafficking of people who scorn the hard work and honesty of professionals.
Then age. Our over-55s are our Seniors. So-called not because they are necessarily experts but because they demonstrate a certain lifestyle. Customers between 35 and 55 are dynamic, in search of stimuli, symbols and confirmation as they rise through the ranks. Junior customers are aged 25 to 35, while the “babies” are aged 18 to 25.
Cross-comparing these two parameters produces some interesting projections. We discover, for example, that the “babies” can also be millionaires and therefore have a far greater purchasing power than an older customer. We see that a “senior” in a more mature environment has moved from being a fan to a connoisseur. We also discover which age bracket we must focus on so that these fans and connoisseurs become loyal devotees.
In a word, we form a picture of the world and its laws that help us understand not just how to target a marketing campaign but also how to effectively communicate and promote the culture of Fine Watchmaking. Where, how and for whom. The world is changing all the time, and the culture of our world must resemble that of the sower in the Gospel, who never tires of sowing on all types of ground. Not every seed grows and not every seed takes root. But we’re interested in the good seed. Come winter, the sower is never empty-handed.