1. How are Seiko watches made?
The majority of our watches today are made totally by machine. Component parts are made in individual factories and these then come together at assembly plants where product is assembled and tested. Certain watches like the Seiko Kinetic Chronograph are hand assembled due to low numbers produced.
Materials used in today's watches have evolved over many years. Plating with gold colour material remains popular but currently the trend is very much for consumers to choose stainless steel for the case and bracelet material. We also find that leather strap models now represent a much smaller % of total sales. We also use titanium for several models today to cater for consumers that have skin allergies.
To make watches lighter we use ceramics and engineering plastics in most of our movements. This also cuts down on power consumption (less friction) and quantity of parts used and this in turn cuts down servicing requirements.
Power supplies for watches have changed over the years.
Until we introduced the world’s first quartz watch in 1969 watches were powered by mechanical movements which had mainsprings that had to be wound daily. With quartz, the power is supplied by a battery and this is the main power source today for the majority of our watches. In the late 70's solar power was used with tiny solar cells designed into the dial.
Today in a large range of our watches we use kinetic energy to produce power. In our Seiko Kinetic watches a weight inside the casing swings when the watch is moved. This movement then generates electricity which is used to drive the quartz movement. Any excess power is stored for use by the watch when the consumer is at rest.
2. How are Seiko watches marketed?
At Seiko UK we use a number of methods to market our products.
The most important of these is advertising and we are one of the largest watch advertisers in the UK. Our campaigns usually focus on a select few ‘hero’ watches from the current Seiko range. Each watch features in its own advert, yet all the adverts follow a common, recognisable theme.
We have a target market of 25-45 year old AB (upmarket) adults. To reach this audience, we place the bulk of our advertsing in fashion and lifestyle magazine titles, such as GQ, Esquire, Easy Living and Elle, and newspapers’ weekend supplements. We also use outdoor and online on a regular basis.
PR and promotions are other ways in which we market Seiko watches. We use an external PR agency who present new products to journalists who will then use them in watch features and fashion shoots as appropriate.
Once we have made consumers aware of our brand and products through advertising and PR, we have to persuade them to convert this into an actual purchase when they go shopping.
A significant proportion of our marketing budget therefore goes into producing the window displays that you see in jewellers’ windows. The displays must be eye catching, reflect the quality of our brand and show the watches to their best advantage, as well as being easy to use for the sales staff in the shops.
The key aims of our marketing strategy are to make people positively aware of our brand, highlighting individual products which illustrate the quality and innovation of our product and to leave people positively disposed towards Seiko when they reach the point of purchase.
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