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Marketing Mix: example of analysis according to the 7Ps [watchmaking]

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After publishing our reference article on the marketing mix, we propose a detailed example of analysis following the 7P model. We have chosen to focus on the case of the luxury watch brand Richard Mille, a relatively new brand whose watches reach the record average price of 150.000€! For each element of the marketing mix, we have tried to illustrate it in the form of a video.

Analysis of the Richard Mille marketing mix

 

marketing mix 4P product produit

The P in “Product” (Product Policy)

In luxury watchmaking, the product is, of course, central. Richard Mille watches adopt an innovative design (see video above) which is a crucial marketing element. The shape of the case is recognizable among all the materials used (titanium in particular) and is the signature of the brand. The “open” design of the watch, the complications proposed, and the materials are all elements that reinforce the “sporty” positioning of the brand.

The example below (edition “Le Mans Classic”) gives a good overview of the materials used and the sporty orientation of the product.

marketing mix 4P price prix

The P in “Price” (Pricing Policy)

Richard Mille’s pricing strategy is based on the value perceived by the customer. This strategy is one of the characteristics of luxury brands.

The exorbitant prices have been set, considering the most expensive models of competing brands (Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, …). Nothing under 100.000€ in the range, and prices can exceed one million euros for the most exclusive models. As the request is higher than the offer, there is little chance of a discount.

marketing mix 4P promotion

The P in “Promotion” (Communication Policy)

The marketing positioning of Richard Mille requires communication through ad hoc channels. No radio or TV advertising, but inserts in exclusive magazines or newspapers read by the high-end clientele sought after. Sponsorship of events linked to the world of sports (the brand’s DNA) is also a means of communication. Partnerships with famous sportsmen (Rafael Nadal, Alain Prost, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, …) further strengthen the brand’s attractiveness.

The video below presents The Bridge 2019, an event around exceptional cars for which Richard Mille is the main sponsor. Everything is there to see a high-end clientele flock: the place (a golf club) and the most beautiful vehicles on the planet.

marketing mix 4P place

The P in”Place” (Distribution Policy)

Distribution follows a hybrid model. Richard Mille distributes its products via a network of exclusive boutiques on the one hand and carefully selected retailers on the other. These sales outlets cover the most exciting markets geographically for a prestige brand, i.e., the wealthiest countries. There is a high concentration in the Middle East (Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait), Asia, and North America.

The sales outlets are, of course, only located in capital cities and at the best addresses (AAA locations): Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Maximilianstrasse in Munich. Each opening is an opportunity to invite the most influential people in the country to join the event, as you can see in the video below (opening of the Abu Dhabi store).

 

marketing mix 7P people

The P in “People” (Relationship policy)

The customer is, of course, brought into contact with representatives of the brand during his visit to the boutique (an essential prerequisite for any purchase). The codes of luxury are respected (attitude, clothing) to respect the ultra-luxury marketing positioning of Richard Mille.

Interactions are highly personalized, and the small number of customers allows the company to know who are the most loyal and maintain a privileged relationship with them. Customer-only events are organized by the brand during which customers have the opportunity to share their passion.

Therefore, this highly personalized relationship policy should be seen as a central element of the Richard Mille marketing mix.

marketing mix 7P process

The P in ” Process ” (the processes related to the service)

The manufacturing process is an integral part of Richard Mille’s marketing. This process reinforces the search for “high-tech” positioning. Therefore, the manufacturing processes must propose a compromise between modernity (to differentiate) and tradition (so as not to disturb the perception of quality of the customers in this segment). The video below gives a good overview of the manufacturing techniques at the cutting edge of progress but respecting the Swiss watchmaking tradition.

Therefore, the processes must combine standardization and precision for the manufacture of components and personalization for the hand assembly of small series.

marketing mix 7P physical evidence

The P in “Physical evidence”

The sales outlets are the visible face of the brand for connoisseurs. The video below gives a good overview of the store layout. Noble materials are the norm, and as is often the case in boutiques of this type, alcoves are created to preserve customers’ privacy. The atmosphere is very “design,” with a predominance of black and white tones. Glass is used alongside wood and metal to convey the brand’s “high-tech” values. We also note the presence of technological instruments that support the marketing positioning of Richard Mille.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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