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Geneva, Switzerland, 2009/03/26 - The World Watch Report 2009 (WWR) by IC-Agency includes Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Ebel, Franck Muller, Girard-Perregaux, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Montblanc, Omega.
The World Watch Report (WWR) market study published by IC-Agency, a company specialized in luxury digital marketing, released its 2009 report which deciphers queries entered into search engines throughout the Internet from millions of prospects for 25 luxury watch brands (compared to 12 previously).
"This year's enhancement of the report includes expanding to 25 luxury watch brands, Chinese and Japanese demand analysis as well as adding the social media impact, as it has been designed to answer today's watch brand managers needs." Florent Bondoux, project manager for the World Watch Report.
The report covers 7 major export markets: China and Japan (for the first time), as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany. Below are the main trends revealed by the 2009 World Watch Report:
Internet demand for counterfeit goods is growing by 6% in the United States, whereas it is shrinking across Europe. China is overtaking Japan and presents a high growth potential. It has an online customer base with high brand awareness, but less awareness of the models. Social media platforms are becoming crucial meeting places for luxury watch brands.
WWR on global demand distribution for luxury watches:
Europe represents the major market share (44.2%), with the UK leading (14.6%), followed by Germany (12.1%), Italy (9.6%) and France (7.7%). The United States is still by far the most important market (42.8%). Asia is still weak, with 13.2% market share, but China (7.4%) overtakes Japan (5.8%), whereas the level of Internet use there is only 22%, compared to 74% in Japan. The Chinese are mainly interested in brands (77%), and are less interested in models (less than 10%, whereas that figure is usually around 18%), confirming the awakening interest in Swiss watch culture and the importance of product marketing.
WWR on the most demanded models:
Omega holds the two top places in the top 20 models ranking, with Seamaster (7.8%), and Speedmaster (4.7%), overtaking Rolex's Daytona, which at 4.3% drops from 2nd place to third. TAG Heuer's Link (10th place), Rolex's Date (16th place) and Omega's Planet Ocean (20th place) enter the ranking for the first time.
WWR on the luxury watches ambassadors:
Omega the highest ranked brand (17%) uses the Michael Phelps effect: an American swimmer who beat the Gold Medal record in a single Olympics (8 medals), in the Beijing Olympic Games. Six of TAG Heuer's ambassadors are ranked in the top 20. At the top of the line is golfer Tiger Woods, who garners 15% of searches, followed by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan (7%), Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton (4%), actor Leonardo DiCaprio (3%), tennis star Maria Sharapova (3%) and deceased actor and racing driver Steve McQueen (2%).
WWR on counterfeiting:
The main market for counterfeit goods is still the United States, representing over 66% of global demand (constant range of +6%). Will the financial crisis push the Americans towards counterfeit timepieces? However, this figure remains marginal (6%) compared to the total number of searches for authentic products (94%). Eighty percent of demand for counterfeit products is for Rolex only. The remaining 20% is divided up between the other 24 brands analyzed. Japan is the only country in which there are more searches for counterfeit goods on Omega (15%) than Rolex (11%).
WWR on social media networks as brand advertising on official websites is no longer enough:
Facebook (180 million members): Cartier dominates Facebook with 30,000 fans, followed by TAG Heuer (18,500), Rolex (17,500), Bulgari (14,300) and Breitling (13,600). Are multi-product brands better positioned to grasp the opportunity presented by social media? YouTube (100 million videos viewed monthly): Videos posted by fans are now taking up 38% of brand visibility. Is this an opportunity to support these fans who often have a high power of persuasion?
More about the 2009 World Watch Report: The market study carried out by IC-Agency is published in partnership with Europa Star (europastar.com) the most influential watch magazine and is available for purchase online.
"In this time of financial turmoil and significant changes in luxury consumers behavior using Internet, the World Watch Report aims to provide the industry with accurate recommendations." Florent Bondoux, project manager for the WorldWatchReport.com.
Created in 2000, IC-Agency (ic-agency.com) is a leader in luxury digital marketing. Based in Europe (Switzerland) and in North America (Canada), IC-Agency provides its clients with services such as analysis, promotion, optimization and protection for their brands, products and services.
Among IC-Agency's clients are many independent luxury brands, as well as brands belonging to groups such as Swatch, Richemont, LVMH, and PPR/Gucci. The company was recently awarded the Strategis/HEC Lausanne prize for its excellence in Management.