The Power of Consistency
The launch of Citizen Eco-Drive in 1996 set a new global benchmark for light powered watches. Clean energy from sunlight, moonlight and even candlelight generating power and eliminating the risk to environment that accompanies the disposal of toxic batteries.
Never Change a Battery – So What?
If you wear a watch powered by a battery (as most of the world does), you know first hand just how frustrating it is when the battery runs out of power. Now, if it happens to be a dive watch or one that is water resistant to 100 metres, then it is even more troublesome. These type of watches also need to be pressure tested after a battery change and more often than not the pressure seals have to be replaced. Should you fail to do so and wear the watch swimming, then there is a good chance it may never work again, and you can kiss the warranty goodbye.
Small but Dangerous
While watch batteries might be small and appear harmless, when it comes to the environment they are anything but. Like all other batteries they contain toxic chemicals like mercury and lithium. Disposed of in landfill, these have been known to leach into the soil. With millions of watch batteries replaced each year, it does not require much imagination to realise the danger they pose when buried. Removing this risk gave Eco-Drive it's environmental credentials.
Attracting New Consumers
Eco-Drive was positioned to fill a gap in the market - appealing to aspirational consumers with more disposable income who aspire to own a more sophisticated timepiece but were unable to afford a Swiss watch. As well as being more affluent, they were also more educated, more demanding and perhaps more cynical. These were not mass market consumers and considerable thought was needed to determine the best way to gain their interest in a brand they may otherwise dismiss as 'not desirable enough'.
While so much attention had been given to the watches, it seemed none was given to the gift box packaging. Made from polyurethane, they contradicted the very principle that inspired the Eco-Drive technology. Surprisingly, the leadership team in Japan were unconcerned and the existing manufacturers of Citizen gift boxes were not interest in finding an alternative.
Through research a new gift box manufacturer was found who was prepared to work with us on developing new packaging made from recycled paper and cardboard. Within 12 months, these were in production after being given the thumbs up by retailers. The concept was then adopted and implemented across the globe. With their introduction the brand's credibility and integrity were restored.
Consistency of message is critical, regardless of a brand's positioning but even more so for aspirational brands.
Why all the Fuss?
The fact is, more than 70% of watches are purchased as gifts. Anything a brand can do to improve or enhance the gift giving experience can have a direct influence on sales.
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