Bremont - keeping perfect time through passion and consistency by heathrowkennedy

Whenever you get the chance to meet with or listen to a creator.  Do.   It's an experience which never fails to inspire or motivate as you hear, first hand, the unique story behind their product and brand.    It's a reminder that brands are built with blood, sweat and tears - even when it appears, retrospectively, effortless. And so it was on Wednesday evening with a talk by Giles English one of the two brothers who co-founded The Bremont Watch Company back in 2002.

The experience was heightened because it was in the intimacy of a private club and there was ample opportunity for candour and questions.   However, I suspect that such is the authentic and honest approach that Bremont make to their work it's a very consistent message !

Afterwards over dinner my guest (he is both a fellow brand expert and a lovely of all things horological) and I discussed what makes the brand tick.

Firstly, it's important to recognize that what the English brothers have achieved is nothing short of miraculous - it would have been hard enough without being set against the backdrop of economic downturn and competitor brand consolidation into the mass luxury maisons.    And all without the financial backing of a parent brand.  But turn those facts on their head and you can see that those negatives are a contributing factor to the survival and success of Bremont.

Successful brands require three things;

- a credible product proposition  (watches hand-built in the UK)

- a clear set of defining principles (precision, durability, aviation, mechanical, British)

- passionate consistency

Bremont has all three but more than anything I put their success down to passionate consistency.   The individuals that had the idea, founded the company and continue to run every aspect are the same.  That ensures product consistency but also executional consistency.    Ironically a few days later the UK marketing news covered another luxury brand I follow which is on its third creative agency in two years.     It almost seems to be a truth that the bigger the budget, the bigger the egos and the more need to "chop and change"  leaving the consumer confused and the brand in question becalmed.

That passion also ensures that every penny is spent wisely - events, advertising, partnerships are not frivolous but sweated - there is always an opportunity cost to the activity so the right decisions are made.

Bremont is, thankfully, not the only example but it's the one which has made the most lasting impression on me.  It's a reminder that the limiting factors to success are passion and consistency - not investment.

All of us involved in brand creation and management would do well to remember that.

Watch (this) space by heathrowkennedy

Leo Burnett once said of advertising "Make it simple.  Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at.  Make it fun to read."   With the exception of the final rule - which perhaps does not hold for luxury, although it certainly shouldn't be not-fun - I would agree with all of this. I was reminded of the quote when I was flicking through the UK edition of Esquire Magazine on a flight back to London on Friday and came across an advert for Bremont, the excellent British watchmaker in the inside back cover.BREMONT

Let me be clear.   I love this brand.   It's been forged into existence by the vision and determination of the founders, Giles and Nick English.   So you will understand my emotions when I reviewed the advert.

It's worth bearing in mind that this is a watch collection which begins at about £3,500 plus. It's competitive set probably includes Tag Heuer, Panerai, Rolex, Omega, Bell & Ross each of those showing off the watch to full effect - showing exquisite detail, engaging the magazine reader with a richness and a desire to buy.

This ad. Not so much.BREMONT MARKED UP

Too much copy. Too clever. Too insider. Dull. The watch, and indeed the Bremont brand itself, skulks at the bottom of the page with not even a call to action or a suggestion you visit their website (which is not bad).

If I was a Bremont die-hard customer I would read this. It would give me additional facts to throw about in a watch conversation. But there are more efficient ways of transferring those nuggets to your ambassadors - this is not one of them. The role of print advertising in this context should be to excite and draw people in - heart AND then mind. Convert a Rolex (or whatever) potential buyer into a Bremont purchaser.

Of course I could be wrong. In the meantime I will add this brand to my list of "love to get my hands on this campaign".