First to the finish in the race to innovate the luxury timepiece market through the introduction of Google Glass, Swiss watch brands Frederique Constant and Alpina have incorporated the fledgling technology into their 2014 brand strategies. As part of the Official Google Glass Explorer Program, brands are laying a foundation that will forevermore change how luxury timepieces are merchandized, marketed, and shared. Joining only a select few thousand people worldwide who have had the exclusive privilege of previewing this game-changing technology, brand executives are hard at work revolutionizing incorporative strategies, in line with the Frederique Constant Group’s spirit of innovation and modernity.
Executives from the luxury watch brands quickly deemed the introduction of Google Glass important to the growth and development in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer capacities. The new device will transform the brands’ processes of training and communicating with its representatives worldwide, beginning first with a new approach to merchandising.
Upon visiting over 2,800 retail locations across the globe, sales representatives ensure that Frederique Constant and Alpina displays are merchandised in accordance with brand guidelines. To date, sales representatives deliver photos of their remerchandised and replenished displays back to the shared internal database via an in-house developed iPad/Android App. The insertion of Google Glass capabilities into this already advanced process allows brand directors to create brief and easily understandable ‘How To’ videos from the first person point of view. Now brand sales representatives will be able to access tutorials on merchandising, technical functionality of timepieces and more in an on-demand setting.
“Leading innovation and embracing technologies in a luxury way is what our brands are all about, so this union is quite logical,” said Ralph Simons, President of Alpina Frederique Constant Americas and the initiator of this project. “Since gaining membership to the Google Glass Explorer Program, we have been actively developing best approaches to integrate these smart glasses into new and existing brand processes.”
Executives from Frederique Constant and Alpina plan to embrace Google Glass as a tool not only used to enhance merchandising and internal training, but also for internal research and development practices, generation of unique content such as the assembly of in-house movements from the watchmaker’s perspective, or a virtual tour of the brands’ talented design team and master watchmakers at work in Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland.
Smart glasses are arguably the most innovative emerging technology, and this early adoption by Frederique Constant and Alpina executives can be attributed to the brands’ uniqueness among the luxury watch landscape. Though planned to hit the marketplace later this year, Google Glass remains in its invite-only Explorer phase, with less than one percent of companies experimenting with the new tool. However, analysts predict rapid growth within the next five years; projecting that one in ten organizations may provide select staff with smart glasses by 2019.