Startup Luxury
Category: Forbes Life By : Ardian Wibisono Read : 102 Date : Friday, November 10, 2017 - 16:06:38




Hublot was founded in 1980 by Italian Carlo Crocco. However, the luxury watch manufacturer began its story when former Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver and his successor Ricardo Guadalupe—who was appointed as chief executive in 2012—started revitalizing the brand in 2004. Since then, the company has taken many brave moves in building its brand into one of the hottest in the industry. The approach is paying off, despite being a young brand that used to produce quartz watches. Hublot is now known for its iconic watches that stand side-by-side with other Swiss brands with centuries of history in watchmaking. In four years from 2004, Hublot’s turnover increased from 25 million to more than 200 million Swiss francs in 2008, when the brand was sold to France’s LVMH.

What’s the secret to that success? “I think we have a startup spirit, to be very flexible and very active. We believe it is really important to be quicker in everything that we do, either in development of a new watch, a movement or material. In the end, we want to be better than our competitor. We came from almost nothing, so we need to work harder to achieve this success. Although we’ve become quite big now, we keep this startup spirit, it is a spirit that is important to keep our success in the future,” Ricardo says, just a few hours after marking the one year countdown to the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Moscow in July with football legend Pele, a Hublot brand ambassador.

Beside the Big Bang, which was unveiled at BaselWorld 2005 and awarded the “Best Design of the Year” at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie event in Geneva that same year, football tie-ins is another marketing strategy. While other brands look to prestigious sports such as golf or tennis, Hublot instead saw an opportunity to introduce its brand to the billions watching the sport—making Hublot the first high-end watch brand to associate itself with football.

“In 2005, we were a very small brand. Claude and I discussed that if we go into golf, we’re going to be in trouble because there are already other brands, and also in tennis. But there was nobody in football, because people think football is for the masses, and not high-end. It’s not true, there was an opportunity for us to really create something through a platform of communication to introduce a luxury brand. It was a good opportunity and a good idea,” Ricardo says.

Hublot started with being the official watch for the Swiss national football team in 2006 along with the production of 300 pieces of Big Bang ASF limited edition, 60 members of the national team worn the watch on their wrist when they flew off to the World Cup in Germany. The strategy continued in 2008 when Hublot became the “Official Timekeeper” of the Euro Championship. In 2010, the brand became the historic first “Official Watch” and “Official Timekeeper” for FIFA and the World Cup 2010. Hublot continued the campaign in the World Cup 2014 and the upcoming World Cup 2018 in Russia, where the referee would also use Hublot timepiece in their wrist.

“We touched billions, and got hundreds of millions of returns in advertising that we could never afford to do in every country. The return for us is incredible, so our marketing strategy was probably the right strategy,” Ricardo says. Hublot has ventured into other opportunities, including the Ferrari Formula One, and even lifestyle events, such as the recent Ultra 

Read full version of the article



`