OPINION: Events will win your shopper’s hearts

MGS sales director Steve Brydon.

Steve Brydon of MGS on how to keep watch consumers engaged.

Taken from WATCH WATCH in March’s issue of WatchPro. Steve Brydon, sales director of MGS tells us why reaching out to your consumers and offering them a little treat is sometimes worth its weight in gold.

By Steve Brydon

Swico and MGS have been successfully distributing brands such for over 35 years in the UK, with brands in our portfolio such as Raymond Weil, TW Steel, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Tommy Hilfiger and Lacoste. One of the main reasons for our success as an independent distributor in a watch industry increasingly dominated by multiple groups has been the level of effort we put into making our brands work within our stores.

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Our account managers are recruited with the specific brand they will be working on in mind. To increase the exceptional level of support we also operate a team of merchandisers as back up.

Because we have invested so heavily in the support teams for stores we are able to deliver a much greater level of activity for the shop. Any good retailer knows that they must constantly promote and reinvent themselves to stay one step ahead in the market and the process is twofold.

Firstly, how do we retain our existing customer base and keep them engaged and spending with us? And secondly, how do we attract new customers?

The proactive retailer will invest both time and money in a wide variety of activity to achieve these aims. Many host events such as diamond evenings and constantly change the look of their windows by moving displays and product. This does not have to mean changing brands, but does mean that windows need to constantly offer the consumer something new to attract them and stop them in the high street. Our challenge is to support the retailers in this effort.

Display visuals are changed as often as possible. As we have a visual merchandising team, we can do this and we can therefore keep the displays up to date by illustrating the most current activity of the mother brand.

Whether this is entails visuals to promote Hugo Boss signing as the official watch of Cowes or using samples of the latest Juicy Couture fragrance to coincide with a TV campaign, the aim is always to increase activity, interest and therefore sales.

I have attended some superb jeweller customer events and evenings, and I am always impressed by the level of effort and commitment that goes into making these a success. I am surprised that more shops do not do any activity of this sort. Some do not even seem to keep an up to date database of their customers.

Our team would always support such events and indeed we run them on behalf of some of our customers. Last year we operated a hugely successful series of Juicy Couture Tea Parties with our retailers. We supplied the party kit and all the store had to do was invite their customer base and keep the kettle on. It was great fun, increased sales for us as a brand and for the jeweller across all of their products. It’s amazing what a little imagination and effort can do.

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