I have nothing but respect for competent, innovative marketing tactics. But when marketers fail to their homework and are clumsy with an unconventional approach, I will be first in line to call the ugly baby ugly.
Stephen D Time tried a clumsy attempt at guerrilla marketing on Amazon.com. A shill entered into the discussion groups spouting the merits of Stephen D watches in a forum inhabited by a number of watch nerds, including yours truly. Rather than rant and flame, I tried to be open and look at the merits of the watch.
I erroneously had the impression that they used a Swiss movement in all their models but as I double checked myself, this is not the case. They put a Seiko quartz movement in most (a movement Seiko doesnâ€™t put in their own watches, as far as I could tell), and save the Ronda quartz movement for the â€œselectâ€ editions. This was the closest thing to a merit I could find, and then it went downhill.
The style is atrocious. A 45mm watch, with glitz and shine in a vain attempt to make up for the shortcomings in substance. Iâ€™m sure this will sit well with the pretentious but uninformed gangsta wannabes, and incompetent status seekers their marketing appears to target. Clearly sized for a man that feels inadequate, with sub-dials for day and date on most models, in an effort to look like a chronograph. A guy who wears a chronograph that he doesnâ€™t know how to use is shallow, a guy who wears a watch that is trying to look like a chronograph that he doesnâ€™t know how to use is embarrassing to stand near.
The overall styling is a thinly veiled homage to Chanel watches, which in turn are overpriced homage to Blancpainâ€¦ An homage of an homage; isnâ€™t someone going to go blind like that?
Stephen D is using a historically successful but lame business strategy. Sadly, we can expect to see this pattern reappear, as it is a way to turn a quick buck.
But if youâ€™re going to attempt an â€œout of the boxâ€ approach to marketing; research your methodology and target audience, donâ€™t just throw it out there and hope.