Craig Leach and Marcus Braybrook are the dynamic duo responsible for Raymond Weil in the UK. While they have both worked alongside the company for many years, there have been some changes afoot that have brought them closer to their favourite watch brand.
Craig left distributor Swico behind and Marcus parted with PR agency APR to follow Raymond Weil as it sets up its own UK office, switching it from a classic distribution agency model run through Swico to a sales- and marketing-driven subsidiary. The team will still be liaising with old colleagues, however, as Raymond Weil UK will be working in partnership Swico, which will still provide order fulfilment as well as logistical and after sales support.
Craig says: “Our customers now have the best of both worlds; the investment and power of a brand with renewed commitment to its UK promotion through marketing and the award-winning service of an experienced team at Swico.”
It means they have been able to tailor the brand’s operations for the UK and drive it into a more streamlined way of working where things like the exchange rate, for example, are no longer a hurdle. Bottom line though, they have made the brand more exciting than ever.
At the heart of that is music. Raymond Weil works with musicians, musical charities and musical venues. It’s a great piece of prestige positioning that has seen Craig and Marcus set the brand apart from its rivals. Latest in the line up is Raymond Weil’s sponsorship of the Royal Albert Hall.
Marcus says: “It is fantastic for the brand. The RAH symbolises both the origins of the brand, from working in the classical music arena through to more current mainstream music.”
Speaking of which, the duo has also cemented a relationship with the UK’s headline music shindig The Brit Awards. Craig says: “The relationship with the Brits grew over a number of years. From first buying tickets for Raymond Weil’s incentive prizes to booking a table at the back of the hall and finally to becoming the Official Watch and Time partner at both the Brits and Classic Brits Awards.”
But is it paying off in terms of sales? Craig voices a qualified yes. “Despite the reduction of distribution outlets, sales finished on a strong note for the year. Volume suffered a little, but average price continued to climb. The independent sector enjoyed the biggest growth in turnover.”
And what’s next? Craig says the plan is to continue increasing visibility for the brand. So expect to see a lot more of Raymond Weil.
Raymond Weil UK brand director Craig Leach and PR Marcus Braybrook were CMJ Brand Champions in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.