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  Movado
Movado
Selectively Social
by Chana Mayefsky
July 1, 2010

Brandchannel’s weekly Digital Watch feature takes a deeper look at brands’ digital strategy. Our latest case study, Movado, examines a luxury brand that's fighting to rebuild its business, and recently announced a major shift in its retail and distribution strategy.

 
OVERVIEW Nineteen-year-old Achille Ditesheim likely never dreamed his Swiss company would become a US$300 million business back when he founded the luxury watch company Movado in 1881. Movado, meaning “always in motion” in Esperanto, has traditionally been a brand to reckon with in the watch industry. Although it has suffered through periods of decline, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, under the leadership of CEO Gerry Grinberg the Movado brand rallied to new heights of success. It's now attempting to recapture those glory days with a new retail strategy, as noted above.

Movado, under the umbrella Movado Group, is defined by its innovative Museum watches and, in particular, by its distinctive designs featuring, simply and elegantly, a single hour and minute hand on a solid background with a single dot on the 12 o’clock mark. And the brand, although known almost exclusively for its watches, has branched out into jewelry, offering a pricey array of rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.



 
 
Movado WEBSITE Movado’s website incorporates its knack for time in every click a user makes. As Movado.com loads, and for each and every click made throughout the site, a timepiece makes its clockwise rotation. A black background appears on every page, just like the watch’s signature black background.

The website’s initial image features a woman’s arm donning a bracelet, resting easily on what is an ambiguous part of a woman’s body (her own or another is unclear), and is quickly followed by its tagline, in a boldfaced “Movado: The Art of Design.” The scene then transitions to a picture of a woman’s bare midriff, graced by an elegant necklace hanging loosely near her waist. After a few more quick pictures of different nude portions of a woman’s body touting Movado jewelry (one of which creates the impression of a woman’s nipple, but upon further investigation is simply the reflection of the jewelry), the home page rests on one of these snapshots.

It is somewhat surprising that the brand, which is synonymous with watches, would prefer to feature its smaller jewelry enterprise center stage. Perhaps Movado hopes to focus more attention on its brand extension since it is convinced of its primary product’s achievement. It may also be the case that consumers prefer to shop for high-end items in person, and are more likely to buy more inexpensive jewelry online.

The website caters to both men and women consumers who may have visited with a watch purchase in mind, but whose attention is quickly captured by the glamorous jewels. And hey, if a woman’s body can sell cars, it can certainly sell jewelry.

The website offers options to view its watches and jewelry, and to learn about Movado’s Brand Ambassadors, a roster of celebrities that includes Amanda Seyfried, Kerry Washington, Wynton Marsalis, Derek Jeter, and Tom Brady. Very interestingly, not one of these Movado celebrities, all of whom are pictured under the ambassador category, is sporting any Movado wares.

Web visitors can locate a retailer, a list that will narrow as Movado shifts from branded standalone stores to third-party sellers; find information for Movado customer care and watch service; and sign up to become a Movado VIP (which seems to be less of a loyalty program than an email marketing list) by filling out a basic form.

Web surfers can navigate to see the Movado Series 800 as well as ESQ by Movado, which redirects to a Facebook page. Below that are testimonials from buyers who are beyond thrilled with their ESQ purchases. The entries are short, informal, and a good marketing ploy featuring positive feedback from satisfied consumers.

SOCIAL MEDIA In contrast with ESQ Movado's Facebook page, which has 6,800 fans, the official Movado page claims just over 9,000 fans. Movado uses its primary Facebook page to highlight recent brand recognition, such as brand ambassador Kerry Washington wearing a purple Movado watch at the Tony Awards. It also informs readers of Movado watches being featured in different magazines, and alerts fans to venues where they can find performances by Movado ambassadors like a jazz concert with Wynton Marsalis. Most of the other Movado posts are formal responses to fans’ questions of where they can find a particular watch or have a watch repaired.

The ESQ Facebook page (www.facebook.com/esqbymovado), which can be accessed by clicking on the "Find us on Facebook" tab on the ESQ microsite home page, is similar to the Movado Facebook page, similarly reachable by clicking on a "Find us on Facebook" tab on the Movado.com home page.

On ESQ's Facebook page, there are basic comments, raves, questions, and requests from fans to one another and to ESQ. With almost 7,000 fans, this page is not as popular as the Movado page, but, like its more interactive website, it seems to generate a little more user content and interaction.

Both Movado and ESQ by Movado lack Twitter pages. With more focus on social media, Movado Group could certainly beef up its relationship with prospective buyers (the Facebook comments indicate there are many brand fans just working up the guts, or the money, to shell out for their first Movado), and convince consumers that quality and style are everything.

Until then, only time will tell if the brand's digital presence will help it weather its shifting strategy.

 

Chana Mayefsky is a freelance writer. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yeshiva University and holds a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in Jewish History.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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