NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ronn Torossian, one of America's leading public relations executives has just released a book excerpt from his recently released paperback book, the updated version of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."
With luxury watch sales through the roof hitting record sales, Torossian has released a book excerpt on Richard Mille.
"A Real Gem: Authenticity Meets Exclusivity
When I began to hear the early buzz about Frenchman Richard Mille's timepieces, I was intrigued. That intrigue is part of the watches' charm and its PR. Along with their extremely high price tag—from $140,000 to more than $1 million—unsurpassed technology and performance, and exotic and unusual watchmaking materials such as carbon nanofiber, aluminum-lithium, and ALUSIC. Richard Mille watches are extremely high-end and meant for a specific niche market of wealthy collectors, business people, world leaders, and other high net worth individuals. For Richard Mille, keeping it real means keeping it rare.
Mille is not a watchmaker by trade, so the company uses the best watchmaking companies in Switzerland for mechanisms and parts. It works, since the company is not interested in volume, producing fewer than 3,000 watches every year. The focus of its founder is on innovation, technology, and quality. Richard Mille's vision is to create the best technical innovation and artistry to set a new standard for heritage watchmaking. The desire to make an expensive, unusual watch didn't come from a marketing idea, but from Mille's own passion, a good place to start when creating an authentic brand in a space that already has many high-end brands with long and historic heritages.
"I wanted to make the watch of my dreams that I could never find anywhere," he told Forbes. "Everything I wanted, people told me it was impossible to make; this or that couldn't be done. There was always a wall. And I never believed that this wall was really there. I was determined to break through it and make my own watch on my own terms. I thought of myself as an oddball just passing through, not out to revolutionize the field, but simply to express what I knew was inside me and wanted to make, without compromise. The only limits I acknowledge are those of the technically feasible, and we are rolling these back with every day."
The brand does subtle, some might even say invisible, PR and it works. His low-profile strategy is to communicate news about new watches to his small circle of high-end collectors and uber-wealthy consumers, and they do the work for him. The news of a new watch is spread, and they sell out quickly. Richard Mille does use advertising and the internet to communicate about the brand, but it's done so carefully and in such a way that it does not dilute the exclusivity of the watches.
For instance, the company sponsors various international sports celebrities, including Formula One drivers, tennis players, golfers, and sprinters—all of whom wear the watches while performing the sport to demonstrate the quality, durability, and functionality of the pieces. These watches are not just for show. The company also sponsors exclusive sporting events, including the Le Mans Classic auto race and Voiles de Saint Barth sailing regatta. Celebrity endorsers are helpful as well, and have included Natalie Portman, Jackie Chan, and Michelle Yeoh (there is a substantial Asian market for the timepieces).
PR for luxury brands always has to be careful to communicate to create awareness beyond those who can afford the product, because broad name recognition has intrinsic value. But it always has to be done in a way that makes customers feel comfortable that the brand is maintaining its integrity and exclusivity. There are a few ways to maintain integrity, core values, and desirability when marketing to high-end customers:
- Base organic PR on customer desire. What I mean by this is that PR, marketing, advertising, and communication in all its forms have to engage customers where they are and speak their language. Encourage them to share stories and images. Let them talk to each other about the product—their followers will learn about your product from them, whether they are celebrities, athletes, or other well-known people.
- Be hard to get. Luxury authenticity comes from its rarity. Don't make the product easy to get. In the luxury market, people aspire to have what seems difficult to acquire. The fact that there is a six-year wait for a Hermes Birkin bag makes the bag even more coveted.
- Explain why you're so good. Richard Mille is very transparent about what materials the watches use, how they are made—in fact, the watches are literally transparent. You can see the inner workings of the watch through its face. The technology is part of the design. The company is excited to explain the innovation materials that go into each watch.
- Ensure press is explanatory and informative. When people decide to invest substantial resources into a product, one of the first things they do it research it. That means talking to people who already own the product, but it also means reading up on it. Articles about Richard Mille always describe a great deal about its technology and quality, and this is not accidental. Always be willing to talk about the specific things that make your product great."
Ronn Torossian is CEO of one of America's largest PR firms, and he is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations professionals.
SOURCE 5W Public Relations