The TAG has a large customer base, with more than 4500 jewelers, dealers that sell our watches around the world.
So we always try to produce about 5000 pieces. When we do pieces of Haute Horlogerie, make sure you can produce this much, this was the main change.
WTBR: TAG is a very popular brand around the world, because of your price range, design … Aren’t you afraid that these new pieces, like the Carrera 01, look like other clocks, other brands also owned by the LVMH group.
Jean-Claude Biver: No, I don’t think that looks like no other watch brands of the group. Some people say: it looks like a Hublot.
I say: Bravo, that’s great. I prefer that resembles a Hublot than with a Swatch. It’s like a car. If someone says that a car like a Ferrari, it’s better than saying that it looks like a Dayatsu (laughs).
If someone tells me that my car looks like a Dayatsu, I say f ****. But if someone tells me that my car has some of the traits of a Ferrari, that’s a nice car. I think it’s more a compliment.
WTBR: But don’t you think Hublot and TAG Heuer Watches have a different audience?
Jean-Claude Biver: With 100% certainty. And the average price of Hublot is seven times higher than TAG Heuer. If, from time to time, some elements look like, I don’t care, because there is no competition.
Anyone who prefers a Hublot, will say “no, no, I prefer a TAG Heuer. He will say: “I prefer a Audemars Piguet, a Richard Mille.
Because the price difference is huge, so there’s this competition. Despite all this, there are similarities. Hublot is Avant Save, TAG Heuer says “Avant Save since 1860”. Hublot is technology: new materials, carbon.
TAG Heuer must have new materials, carbon. Hublot is in Formula 1, with Ferrari. TAG Heuer is in Formula 1, with McLaren. Hublot is in football, TAG is in football. So we have similarities. But the prices are so different that the marks can never overlap.
WTBR: The brand picked up for you great symbols, as Airton Senna, Cristiano Ronaldo and looking for new Ambassadors, as Tom Brady, recently announced. What do you think of the influence of famous for the brand and for their campaigns?
Jean-Claude Biver: This is very important. Humanity needs leaders. Every human being needs someone to follow. And you can see that with children of 5 years of Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt.
What do they need? Identify with the success, a mark of success, like Ferrari, or even the success of a team, like the ones that use a Brazil shirt.
Everyone wants to connect to celebrities. While this is the case, always ambassadors will work. If a setirmos day that people don’t want to be connected to celebrities, don’t care about athletes, not buy Ferrari caps, we will need to see that something has changed and take this strategy of ambassadors. But, today, it is growing.
What happens in sports is phenomenal. I believe in the concept of ambassadors and that is why we follow through with it and it will be a big part of our communication.
WTBR: Now, I want to go to the digital market. He is growing more and more. We can say that with important steps taken by the markings. The motto of the TAG is #DontCrackUnderPressure, using the Hashtag. As the mark, then, see the online media and your importance?
Jean-Claude Biver: The online media and social networks are also crucial to the next generation. Because these new media is the way the new generation communicates.
The older generations still read newspapers in the morning. At the hotel, they will ask, in the morning, if you accept a print newspaper. Almost nobody wants.
Because people have iPad. If the client wakes up at 5 A.M., he reads everything by the iPad, you don’t have to wait for the newspaper showed up at his door. This is a major change.
Due to this change, the TAG changed your strategy and adapted, to be active in online media. So we had an increase in our funding from the printed medium to the online medium. We had no choice.
Because we had to follow our customers. And if we want to talk to our followers, we need to be where he sits. If I speak in the other room, he didn’t listen to us. So, we had to adapt, without choices.
WTBR: Do you believe in the online sales market?
Jean-Claude Biver: Yes and no. Yes, I believe. I believe because it is very convenient. When the nearest store of your House is more than 600 km from your House, or even 300 km is a long way.
The watch industry is very European. And in Europe, the city is 50 km. everyone can travel 50 km to make a purchase of a special watch.
But very large distances, in Australia, United States, Brazil, is a huge difference. Then the online market is very practical. It’s convenient, easy. But we’re not used to doing that.
We still have fear of buying a $10000 product over the internet, because we don’t know if it’s safe, if is original, so there are a lot of insecurities that the online market is not adapted yet.
But, some day, we will have more security, a new organization. One day people will be able to buy with zero risks online. And, so, this market will change.
WTBR: How is the distribution of the market these days? Asia is a very important market, but yesterday you announced Tom Brady as the new brand Ambassador. It is very important to the United States.
Jean-Claude Biver: Worldwide, the TAG Heuer is weak in China. China, Hong Kong and Taiwan represent just 10% of the market of TAG Heuer. And this market represents 35% of the Swiss watchmaker.
So we have a big gap. We still have a great potential to develop in the Chinese market, because it is only 10%. Then, our strongest market is USA, the second is Japan, and the third is Australia, the fourth is England. So, you see, at the same time, we don’t want to lose the lead in America.
We can’t make the same mistakes as some brands have committed in the past in putting more money into the development of China than in the United States.
Reduces the sale in the United States, and grows there. Now, there’s a crisis in China and all the money back. I say no. We’re going to be stable. Let’s make America grow with Tom Brady and, at the same time, I don’t want to miss anything in China.
So, clearly, we are a brand that needs to grow in China. 10% is unacceptable. Should be at least 30, 35, 40%. And that’s not the case now.
WTBR: And Latin America?
Jean-Claude Biver: Latin America is very important for us. Historically, Brazil is the most important market for us. Thanks to Airton Senna, at car races. Brazil is the market leader for us. And, in early December, will be in Sao Paulo, to relaunch the TAG Heuer in Brazil.
In Sao Paulo, in new interview last Tuesday, December 01, WatchTime Brazil had another opportunity to talk to Mr. Biver.
The event held by the brand marked the launch of the new collection of watches Ayrton Senna, with four new models and even the announcement of arrival more aggressive of watchmaking in the domestic market.
Check out what Brazilian consumers can expect with the restructuring of TAG Heuer:
WTBR: This is one of the main steps to Brazil. You will begin the brand on the market?
Jean-Claude Biver: Relaunch is strong. We will be very active, aggressive and dynamic.
WTBR: And that’s good, because many brands came to Brazil recently.
Jean-Claude Biver: And they stopped acting in the market. We have a plan for the Brazilian market and it will be put into practice as of today. This is the start.
WTBR: How is seen the Brazilian market in view of the TAG Heuer?
Jean-Claude Biver: The Brazil is a country that knows very well our brand, a country where people love each other very much, where our market share is well representative and is the country of origin of our brand’s greatest hero, Ayrton Senna, for all these reasons, TAG Heuer has a specific market planning for Brazil. For these reasons we are with this new positioning in the country
WTBR: What is the Brazilian consumer the gap compared to the rest of the world?
Jean-Claude Biver: The Brazilian consumer has a huge difference with respect to consumers of other nationalities, as the Brazilian consumes the emotion, the passion, is friendly, celebrates and enjoys life.
These qualities can be found in other markets, but I can assure you that in Brazil they appear in 100% of cases.
WTBR: You notice the Brazilian consumers more connected than others elsewhere in the world?
Jean-Claude Biver: The Brazilian consumer is very connected with “life style”, with the fashion world, like staying current with the trends.
This is a big difference, because the Brazilians are extremely concerned with what happens in the world. In this sense the Brazilian consumer is always at the forefront of other countries.
WTBR: Now talking a little about the repercussions of the latest news from TAG Heuer to the world, which was an impact of the announcement, in October, of Tom Brady as the new Ambassador of TAG Heuer?
Jean-Claude Biver: I can tell you that Tom Brady cause great impact mainly on the American market. Although many American football fans in the world, Tom Brady is a renowned Ambassador for the American market, other than with what happens with Ayrton Senna.
The pilot is a global name, it is not restricted to Brazil, he is recognized as a hero in various countries, both in the Americas and Europe.
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