Although each watch has its own story, only a few such as Casio watches can be unique. Casio’s name comes from the Japanese pronunciation ‘Kashio’ of the founder Tadao Takao ‘Taoo’. Casio watches subvert traditional mechanical watches and bring multifunctional precision timing tools of electronic technology to the global timekeeping field. The success of Casio watches is inseparable from the unique concept that precision is not just time. In Casio’s own words, Casio watches can provide accurate information beyond time, anytime, anywhere.
For decades, Casio has always been at the forefront of innovation research and development, pursuing deep-level innovation from structure, material to performance. Never imitate, thinking from zero, creating a new value from 0 to 1 is the research and development attitude that Casio watches have always adhered to.
Casio watches entered the Chinese market earlier, and its G-SHOCK brand was well known to the Chinese. Zhongli Fan, deputy general manager of Casio (Guangzhou) Trading Co., Ltd. and director of the business headquarters, recalled: ‘When the G-SHOCK watch entered China, people’s understanding of the watch remained on the metal pointer watch, and the G-SHOCK watch completely broke People’s understanding of watches can be said that Casio watches have subverted the appearance and appearance of traditional watches. From the market performance in recent years, G-SHOCK has been recognized by many young people, accounting for a quarter of Casio watch sales. More than one. ‘In April 1986, Zhong Li Fan entered Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Japan Head Office and has been responsible for overseas sales of Casio watch business.
Lang Zhongli Fan said that Casio watches are one of the three major Japanese brands, and the vibrant, young, fashionable, and versatile brand image it represents has long been popular.
However, when Google, Apple, Samsung, Sony enter the field of smart watches, what changes will take place in the traditional watch market? How does Casio respond to new challenges?
Casio’s G-SHOCK brand launched a watch with Bluetooth function. Is this an attempt or a future direction? What is its strategic positioning?
Li Zhongzhong: Bluetooth products are one of the future development directions of G-SHOCK, because performance products, in addition to cultural background, have to constantly try new technologies from a technical perspective. We are following a new technology line that no one in the watch industry has tried. This is one of the characteristics of G-SHOCK. This is only the first generation product. In the future, we will continue to develop and update the Bluetooth product to have more practical and interesting functions.
It is also a Japanese brand. Sony has always paid attention to and advocated technological innovation. It has invested heavily in research and development. As electronic products are updated quickly, Sony’s competitors do not focus on product innovation. They can gain a large market share by imitating and copying After Sony realized this problem, it had already adjusted its development strategy. Does Casio have similar issues to consider?
Huang Zhongli Fan: My personal opinion is not the same. No brand can break out in the market by relying on a single product. You also need to convey the corresponding message to the market. This requires a certain method and entry point. This is what I said just now, why G-SHOCK has been doing cultural penetration for young people. Therefore, I feel that both the market and technological innovation must conform to the times and launch products with scientific and technological connotations that people can accept and like. This is what Casio must adhere to in the long run.
Casio launched G-SHOCK products equipped with Bluetooth v4.0 this year. What will be the highlights of G-SHOCK next year?
Lang Zhongli Fan: The second-generation G-SHOCK product research and development has made considerable progress. It can be confirmed that the second-generation product can be associated with not only the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 but also some Android products, including other supporting functions. I can give you an example. In fact, the watch is just the ultimate carrier. We can connect it with different APPs, including how many kilometers you have to run in the morning, because your mobile phone has GPS function. It is a terminal. Various functions can be realized through the modification of the APP program, which is a future for our watches.
Japanese watches started later than Europe, but Casio has always emphasized technological innovation and has a great advantage over competitors. But how does Casio balance the relationship between innovation and marketing?
Zhong Zhongli Fan: Casio started from making watches. Regardless of product or brand positioning, it is different from the customer base sought by other watch brands. Therefore, technological innovation and continuous product improvement are the lifeblood of our survival. Without technological innovation, Casio watches have no advantage, and technological innovation is our greatest advantage.
At the same time, in terms of brand promotion and marketing, we do n’t do large-scale promotion like European and American watch brands. Our more marketing means is to target the core consumer groups and make targeted investments, resulting in many loyal customers. We have always emphasized precise delivery rather than large-scale rollout, because we are now in a market stage that is completely different from the stage when new brands enter China. Therefore, for G-SHOCK, we have organized Shock the world trendy party events in major cities around the world. This year has been held for 5 years. Every year, more than a dozen major cities around the world participate in the four fields: culture, fashion, art, and sports Carrying out global promotion and infiltrating G-SHOCK culture into young consumer groups, which makes G-SHOCK’s repeat purchase rate and loyal customers continue to increase. From 2004 to the present, our sales scale has increased by 6-7 times. It’s not like a Swiss watch. You can buy one by yourself, which is OK for most occasions. But for G-SHOCK, one person will buy many pieces, so we have developed a marketing strategy different from other watch brands.
如何 How do you promote the brand to the core consumer groups?
Lang Zhongli Fan: Whether it is music or street culture, the United States leads the world. For example, Kanye West, the American hip-hop king, is a very loyal fan of G-SHOCK. In addition to Kanye West, Grammy-winning sister-in-law Eminem, he has a great influence on global hip-hop culture. He wears G-SHOCK both in his MV and in daily life. . We conveyed such scenes and information to their fans through various means, using this as an entry point, supplemented by the cultural content behind G-SHOCK of Casio, including cooperation with top European and American tide brands, etc., to share their fan base. , Built a very open marketing platform.
是否 Is the precision marketing adopted by Casio watches spread in different countries?
Huang Zhongli Fan: There is a difference. Because different countries have different stages of development. In the United States and Japan, the current stage is top-down. From the vanguard crowd to the masses, there are very sound communication systems. However, G-SHOCK has only been in China for more than ten years. From a time perspective, coupled with China’s local cultural factors, street culture is only a very small part of the overall culture. In China, from the four lines of culture, fashion, art, and sports, sports and fashion are the most acceptable.
GG-SHOCK equipped with Bluetooth v4.0 can connect to iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 in the nearby area, and has useful functions such as call notification, email notification, and mobile phone location. Nowadays, more and more people holding iPhones in large and medium cities have begun to change from niche to the general public. Will Casio promote concept watches to the general public?
Zhongzhong Lifan: The core consumer groups targeted by G-SHOCK are between 20-30 years old. In addition, G-SHOCK pays attention to ordinary consumer groups using iPhones. Through this entry point, they can let them know about G-SHOCK. We want to provide these people with a new option.
Hundreds of Contention
Recently, Google, Apple, Samsung, and Sony have launched products similar to smart watches. We collectively refer to them as wearable smarts. What do you think of this trend?
Tong Zhongli Fan: From the perspective of Casio, we welcome this situation. From the current global watch market, the vast majority are traditional metal pointer watches. However, Casio is different from other manufacturers. We use a lot of electronic technology. In fact, we have introduced electronic technology into watches. We hope that there will be a contentious situation. In this way, ordinary consumers can better experience the advantages of electronic technology. It is a very good thing to say.
Will Apple’s entry into the field of smart watches cause a lot of pressure on Casio watch brands?
Zhongzhong Lifan: This is definitely a challenge for Casio, but in a broader sense, we do not think that Apple’s entry into the smart watch field will bring subversive changes, because watches are quite different from mobile phones. In addition to the design of the mobile phone, its main function is convenience or fun. However, watches are different. In addition to paying attention to the design of the watch, what brand of watch each person chooses, there are considerations such as brand preference, brand culture, and visibility. So the watch is not only a practical electronic product, it is also close to accessories and has a more intuitive connection with clothing and style.
Electronic watches continue to evolve and smart watches appear. I think some parts may overlap, but it is impossible for one product to completely replace another. Therefore, I don’t think Apple will subvert the watch market after coming in.
What do you think will happen to smart watches in 2013?
Huang Zhongli Fan: First of all, the smart watch market will be very lively, there will be various manufacturers to try, this is definitely a trend. Of course, the main carriers should be two-IOS system and Android system, which is the current mainstream trend. But there will definitely be a relatively fierce elimination period. In the end, who can leave it is difficult to say.
Traditional watch manufacturers make smart watches, and traditional IT companies make smart watches. These two camps should have opportunities for cooperation. And from the history of watch development, we have various concerns before, but history proves that the watch market is actually large enough that everyone may survive, but the market share of survival is different, and it is impossible for a new thing to come. After that, the others will not survive.
Frankly speaking, I find it difficult to judge how popular smart watches are. Because the watch must consider both the size and the practicality. After being equipped with many intelligent functions, the watch battery is more difficult to develop than the mobile phone battery. And so far, everyone has been talking about the smart watch concept, but no manufacturer has made a real smart watch. As far as the watch industry is concerned, I think the most difficult problem that smart watches need to overcome is the battery. While controlling the size and ensuring the corresponding functions, it requires cross-industry technology integration. This is a very big subject.