Microbrands’ charm: The trend in watchmaking and other industries
Although this is about a trend that was first observed arising in the early to mid-2000s, the microbrand concept for companies has taken a whole new dimension in the last seven years. Change is the new constant in the retail industry. It is now quite clear that in order to maintain a steady positioning in the market it is crucial to adapt to the latest trends in the market which all seem to be digital-oriented.
It is important to understand what a microbrand consists of. Referring to Forbes’ determination of the microbrand concept: “Microbrands (aka digital-first brands, direct-to-consumer brands, digitally native vertical brands, v-commerce brands, challenger brands and so on) are shaped by a combination of customer-centricity, ease and convenience delivering the perfect buying experience to net-savvy consumers with extremely high expectations.
Adapting to the ever-changing consumer behavior, the consumers’ expectations have changed a lot in the last seven years compared to the previous thirteen years so now they are not looking at the established norms of equity, familiarity, and scale but instead would definitely go for innovation, speed, authenticity, personalization and customer experience, which coincide to be in line with the microbrand values’ benchmarks.
While taking into consideration all the advantages that this sort of brand typology offers, sometimes keeping up with all the requirements and expectations of the evolving consumer needs might become quite a challenge. The barrier to market entry is almost non-existent for microbrands because of new-wave backend solutions like Shopify and Magento, two Yotpo partners, while the supply has become easily accessible through Google. Social Media channels and hyper-targeted marketing are ruling in terms of the communication, transparency and just-in-time manufacturing are the main keys to success which can be achieved through the product’s quality and dedicated customer service.
Now let us ask you: Have you noticed big brands being mentioned until now?! Right, no because it is not important to be a big brand anymore. The big brands are adapting to the mentality as well. We must say that this journey has its own perks as well. Basically, given the high number of microbrands arising hourly, the competition becomes more aggressive emerging the need to stand out in the offer and there cannot be any sloppiness in the service.
As we specified earlier, the microbrand concept is not such a new one and through the years it has gone through quite some upgrades in terms of the business specifications as well as the terms it is being known as. These new concepts apply to different industries especially to the fashion one and retail in general. The watchmaking industry is mastering this business typology as there are new emerging brands introduced to the consumers in short time frames.
In France brands such as Maison Kitsuné, Maison Labiche, Arpenteur and Hartford have emerged for clothing and while there are plenty for shoes, we cannot leave without mentioning J.M Weston. For different accessories and bags, we have chosen one in particular for our selection and that is Bleu de Chauffe. For a direct-to-consumer experience for suits, there are microbrands such as Husbands and De Bonne Facture. Regardless of the industry they belong to, these brands have one thing in common, the direct-to-consumer approach and the sophisticated digital store along with the optimized service through the digital user experience.
Direct-to-consumer models and an ever-expanding digital universe have made it possible to create small-scale yet successful micro watch brands like Baltic, Farer, Maen, and Mouvex.
For now, it is quite clear that we are having “an attack of the microbrands” kind of situation developing but what does this mean for the future of these brands?! Will today’s microbrands be the household names of tomorrow while putting the big brands on the shadow if they don’t apply fundamental changes to the way they do business or will even the most confident of microbrands fear the overwhelming mass production of bigger players?!
Let us know what you think!