Your brand is not limited to a design or the name that you slap on it. In our post-industrial era, the fact that you can outsource practically every aspect of your operations doesn’t mean that you should outsource your brand experience. You need to own it from choosing a name, all the way to the customer service. Here are the four best valuable pieces of advise that we can give based on our experience of monitoring the watch industry for the last 20 years and working with established brands and watchmaking entrepreneurs over the last ten years.

Incorporation

Our first most valuable advise is that you can literally start your business from home, but "you should not figuratively be running it from home”. The first step to be taken seriously by customers, suppliers and possibly investors, is to run your operations under a separate legal form. This will keep a clearer separation between your personal finances and the brand's finances and prove useful in the following instances:

  • You are more than one person to invest in the brand. By incorporating a company, you can reflect through the distribution of shares how much capital each partner is bringing.
  • You seek to raise capital to grow the brand. You should have a working proof-of-concept, but having a properly incorporated company will look more professional to your potential investors.
  • You don't know how long you will want to manage a brand, so if everything is contained within the same company it will be easy for you to sell it or shut it down.

Contact an accountant from your area to evaluate which type of legal form would allow you to start small and eventually scale up. With a proper legal form you can sign up for many administrative services, benefit from better rates and value added tax offset.

Branding

Our second most valuable advise is "you should know which quality segment you belong to". If you are clueless about which price segment your brand belongs to, it makes it much harder to communicate your values. We have put together a list of recommendations for brand naming and trademarks and branding assets based on our twenty years of experience. Our material is written to help you to choose a name that is catchy, and to help you to make sure that it will not conflict with any existing brand. To find out more, click on the links above or go to our payment portal to purchase access to this material:

Design

The third most valuable advice that we can give is this one: "find an empty slot and claim it”.  You may already have a strong idea for an industrial design, but how does it fit it with your brand? We have created a Competitive Perception map of the market based on 5 styles and the 6 quality segments that we define. To find out where to best position your brand price wise and style wise, click on the links above or go to our payment portal to purchase access to the material:

Supply

Our fourth most valuable advice is that “the best supplier is the one who doesn't need you yet”. You could of course use a trial and error method and comb through the hundreds of suppliers that you can find between The Basel World Watch and Jewellery Show, the EPHJ Professional Watchmaking and Jewellery Environment, the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair and the CWFC China Watch and Clock Fair, providing that you are proficient with differentiating between the 6 different quality levels. You could also spend countless hours scouring the internet (HKTDC, StyleWatch.com or Alibaba.com) to evaluate various suppliers based on their quotation, without any idea of the type of quality that they can deliver.

The truth is that the best suppliers generally don’t put themselves out there because they already have plenty of loyal and paying customers. So our material has been designed to help you to become knowledgeable about the 6 different levels of quality and use the list of suppliers that Francis Jacquerye recommends based on his training as a goldsmith and a watch assembly operator, to spare yourself hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. To learn about the 6 quality segments and our recommended suppliers, click on the links above or go to our payment portal to purchase access to the material: