Win-win scenarios

Jordy Cobelens – CEO TW Steel

The company TW Steel, proudly Dutch, was always about obtaining a lifestyle and it stands unique amongst its rivals, concentrating exclusively on developing and leading the oversized watch market. Jordy Cobelens, CEO and co-owner of TW Steel, shows the Paddock magazine around.

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What’s new?

We announced two amazing partnerships in 2013. In February we announced that we would become the ‘Official Timing Partner’ of Sahara Force India Formula One Team. This meant a continued presence for the TW Steel brand within the sport. More importantly, it meant an outstanding opportunity to work with a progressive team and utilize their relationships to grow our brand into the Indian market place as well as to produce a new team collection for retail.

We followed that in May with news that TW Steel would become an ‘Official Sponsor’ of Yamaha Factory Racing, competing in MotoGP. That relationship also speaks for itself given the incredible pedigree of the Yamaha brand and their rider line-up of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. The opportunity for us to produce the Yamaha Factory Racing timepiece collection was undoubtedly a key component of the relationship.

I think there’s always the issue of producing a product that stands out in an already crowded marketplace. We chose to be different by forging a DNA that has TW Steel ‘Big in Oversized Watches’ and that separates us from much of our competition, that and we offer affordable luxury.

We chose to be different by forging a DNA that has TW Steel ‘Big in Oversized Watches’ and that separates us from much of our competition, that and we offer affordable luxury.

Similarly one of the most interesting aspects is the challenge of reaching out to the consumer and capturing their attention. There are so many distractions out there but we put a strong emphasis on engaging content to appeal to consumers, whether it’s related to our partnerships with the likes of Sahara Force India or Yamaha Factory Racing or through our ambassador relationships and global events.

The motors

I think Formula 1 as a sport is as strong as ever. Put simply, there’s a reason that watch brands use Formula 1 as a marketing platform. There are the obvious synergies of timing and performance while at the same time, the appeal of racing and the lifestyle that goes with it is very attractive.

Let’s not forget, the sheer number of eyeballs watching a Formula 1 race is another reason the sport has appealed. Certainly, from TW Steel’s perspective, when we entered into the sport in 2010 it brought us added credibility and raised consumer awareness of our brand tremendously.

As stated, in terms of getting our brand name out there, Formula 1 has proved to be massively important for TW Steel. We’ve always enjoyed prominent brand positioning and again as you’ll see this year with Sahara Force India, the TW Steel logo will be on high visibility spots on the car, the team overalls and the driver helmets.

Equally, our relationship with Sahara Force India has allowed us to once again produce a watch collection that appeals to fans of the team and fans of Formula 1 in general. Finally, our business relationship with the team has allowed us to network, create B2B opportunities and assist us in our plans to enter the Indian marketplace. There’s a tremendous commercial platform in India and going into it with the right partners is critical. Our relationship with the team has opened many doors for us and we enjoy a shared vision of creating win-win scenarios through our partnership!

Plan away!

We’re continuing to grow our brand globally, entering new markets while building up our existing territories. We have recently taken over distribution of the United States ourselves, which is naturally a significant investment for us but one well worth making to capitalize on the opportunities there.

At the same time, we’re tapping into China with an aggressive growth strategy, spearheaded by opening our own branded boutiques. In March we’re opening up our second brand boutique in Hong Kong, the number one watch market in the world. This not only enhances our relationship directly with the consumer but it demonstrates our commitment as a brand to invest in key markets to strengthen our market share. These are exciting times for TW Steel. We like to make big, bold statements and there’ll be many more to come!

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