When a consumer hears the words, “Rolex,” images of quality, refinement, class, and success undoubtedly come to mind. Such is the power of the global brand and luxury watchmaker Rolex. In fact, the value and status that the Rolex name conveys is so pervasive that market research shows that, as a whole, the pre-owned Rolex market generates considerably more revenue than the market for new Rolex watches. People simply want Rolex watches, and they’ll happily and proudly wear a pre-owned one if necessary.
So just how did Rolex become such a behemoth as a luxury watch brand? The Reputation Institute, which does a yearly study on global brands called the RepTrak 100, may be able to shed some light on the issue. The 2014 RepTrak worldwide study, which analyzes data gleaned from consumer surveys, found that Rolex is tied for second (alongside carmaker BMW) among the top 100 most reputable consumer companies in the world, trailing only Google and Walt Disney. Additionally, the Swiss watchmaker ranked No.1 for companies that only produce consumer products.
The Reputation Institute states that what all of the top-ranked companies share is an ironclad trust amongst consumers, as well an uncanny knack for creating themes and narratives around their products that people naturally want to be associated with. What’s doubly impressive about Rolex, compared to the other top brands, is unlike the ubiquitous Google for example, not many people actually own a Rolex nor see one in their day-to-day lives. Still, Rolex has leveraged its storied history, long association with movie stars, athletes, and moguls, and meticulously precise fabrication methods to build a brand that has captured the affections of consumers worldwide.
Simply put, a Rolex is much more than an expensive wristwatch; it’s a finely crafted, impeccably wrought luxury emblem that announces to the world your membership in the most exclusive of clubs; that of a Rolex connoisseur. And members of this club don’t wear Rolex watches to merely gain status. No, they’ve already achieved success and status, and their ownership of a Rolex is simply a gift to themselves. A just reward for a job well done, and the fitting icing on the perfect cake.
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