From parts creation to watch design, Blancpain has always adhered to the pursuit of excellence, relying on its unique skills across the field of timepieces, for many years in the international watch industry model. On June 14, 2013, Blancpain watch with a history of nearly 300 years ushered in the opening of its global flagship store located in Xintiandi, Shanghai. On the day of the event, Mr. Marc A. Hayek, the President and CEO of the brand, personally presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony and held a talk about Swiss watchmaking culture and social classics with the new ‘brand culture ambassador’ Mr. Liang Wendao. Wonderful discussions on inheritance and other topics shared their respective philosophy of life and wisdom in life.
Qi Liangwen said: Before I first saw you, someone introduced me to saying that you are a good diver and a good racer. But at the same time will explain to me-you must not misunderstand, in fact, Hayek is a gentleman and a gentleman. I’m thinking why they say you’re very gentle-that’s because many people have the impression in their hearts that many people who like dangerous sports and extreme sports should be wild. But what you see is not like this, because many people may have a misunderstanding of these sports, thinking that it just requires you to have a risky mind. In fact, in these sports, more precise control is needed. You have to be very disciplined and very calm. You can’t afford any small mistakes, so it requires very precise calculations, calculations about risk and a very clear mind. In this case, I think a person almost has to turn himself into one, as we usually say-as sophisticated as a ‘Swiss watch’. So I think you probably think that there are something in common in making watches and engaging in such an industry with your usual hobbies? is this correct?
Mark Hayek: Yes, absolutely. I very much agree with what you said. These wild sports you just said, I started to try them when I was very young, I really like them. Those with a wild personality may not be able to engage in these sports for a long time because they cannot be precise and precise. Therefore, people who like these sports need to be calm. This is very similar to the watchmaking industry. Luxury brands such as Blancpain have a history and heritage of hundreds of years, and such historical heritage also gives us a sense of responsibility. I think everything is long-term, and we are committed to the long-term. We are talking today that a lot of the details involved in our technology are precise details. This is also the detail we need to pay attention to when we exercise.
After all, if you don’t think about the development tomorrow, ten or twenty years later, without corresponding investment and long-term thinking, then you have no way to do greater things. Because what you do today does not only bring you success today. Well, you put a lot of effort into it today, not to say that it is done. It’s the same as sports, it’s the same as watchmaking. We need to invest more time, longer time.
Li Liangwen said: When you join Blancpain, it has such a long history and is one of the oldest watchmaking companies in the world. It has a long tradition, but I noticed that Blancpain’s brand image has changed several times. He used to be famous for sports watches, very famous diving watches like the Fifty Fathoms, and then in the 1980s, suddenly it became very classic and very gentle. When you come to take over, his image has changed several times. What kind of angle do you use to interpret this tradition, and how do you see the relationship between this brand image, positioning and tradition?
Mark Hayek: Just like there are different stages in life, there are different aspects to present. The fifty-five diving watch you just mentioned, you can see the DNA of the Blancpain brand. By the 80’s and 90’s you could see the characteristics of this brand from our moon phase table. It is possible that at different times, one aspect of the brand will be more prominent, so as to present different aspects to consumers. At the same time, brands cannot ignore these characteristics of themselves, and you cannot do what you think is more fashionable, so I think we must be able to see the more comprehensive characteristics of the brand, so as to bring more creativity and make the brand more vitality . And to stay young, especially for a historical brand like ours, I think sometimes it’s necessary to even be crazy, including what I just said, to reach your limits, this is very important the spirit of.
Liang Wendao: Can you tell us that after you started as the CEO of Blancpain, you did something that previous people did not do in this company, so that after you take over, this company has only 100 How many employees have grown to more than 1,000 employees worldwide? What’s more, the market performance in the world is getting better and better, and you must have done something innovative, haven’t you?
Mark Hayek: I think, on the one hand, is spirit. On the other hand, we need to be able to communicate with everyone. Our flagship store is not just a place to sell watches. I think such flagship stores and brand stores are also places where we can communicate and communicate with you, and show what kind of brand we are. .
First of all, you need to understand yourself, your brand, and your brand’s DNA. In this way, you can go outside and look for some elements that can match and complement your brand and make the brand better. It is important to understand the main points of the current trends, dynamics, colors, and technologies in a timely manner, but it is more important than these fast fashions. You should also look at the world and innovate with a more open mind, rather than just thinking about On trends that tend to disappear quickly. Watchmaking companies in particular are more interested in what has settled in time.
In fact, we have also created a lot of complex technologies, and maybe others have not done it. We also felt very shocked when we looked back. This kind of innovation is where my life is. I really like this kind of work, and I also like the spirit of continuous innovation.
Liang Wendao: Previously, we learned that your interest, your views on work, and your innovation in the company Blancpain sounded as if they were highly integrated. But when these ideas come to China, will there be any new changes? For example, do you think that although China is a big market, will it also be a challenge for an ancient watch brand with a long history? Will it change for you?
Mark Hayek: I have a lot to learn about China. Everyone said that China is a good market, and I also think that the market is good and should go. But the decision to really enter the Chinese market is not so easy. Although many brands feel that the Chinese market is very good, it is actually not the case. You may encounter a lot of difficulties, but at the same time ensure that your brand adheres to the traditional tradition. But Blancpain has been relatively successful since entering China. Of course, there were many setbacks in the beginning, but after entering stable development, it is doing very well now, and it can also recruit more talents to work for us. Everyone who works for Blancpain agrees with our company philosophy, which is the secret of our success in China. Our company’s cultural shaping is done very well. Of course, we also work very hard because we have too much to learn when we enter the Chinese market. There are indeed many various changes in the Chinese market. If you want to respond more flexibly, you must understand and understand China’s national conditions.
Of course, the Chinese market is constantly growing, and it is also a learning market. China is also learning a lot from foreign partners and is actively searching for a lot of information. Because Blancpain has a long history and tradition, we can actually help this market and help every customer in the market to learn a lot about clocks and fine watchmaking. We share with them the secrets and spirit of Blancpain’s success. I think this is an interactive process. You need to understand this market to succeed in this market. At the same time, you should provide a lot of information to this market and grow with it.
Liang Wendao: You mentioned that Blancpain is a relatively “temperate” brand. It gives us the feeling that after you come to China, you are not in a hurry, it seems to be slow, just like the environment you create today. Because you mentioned the Chinese market just now, I agree with it very much. When entering the Chinese market, you ca n’t be too fast or anxious. You must pay attention to the relationship between the entire consumer level and the brand, and slowly cultivate that connection. To understand each other. The Chinese market is like what you said at the beginning. It is like facing the sea when diving. This sea is unfathomable. In fact, the risks are great. You do n’t know what will be in it. For example, as recently, we know that China’s luxury goods market has encountered an unexpected and turbulent period. During this period, the sales of many brands have declined, and their market growth expectations have to be lowered. But Blancpain didn’t seem to be affected by the steady pace, did it?
Mark Hayek: I have to say that we are actually very satisfied with the performance in the Chinese market, especially when the economy is bad, because you can see the inter-brand strategy when the economy is bad. different. When the economy is good, you may not see much difference between brands, and you may even be slightly slower than others, but now we can see the benefits of our own strategy. I think that steady development is a better way of development. I hope people will remember our brand. I believe we are a brand with great future. I think we will continue to invest in the Chinese market. We do not want to take short-term and short-sighted approaches. We are still very satisfied with the performance we have achieved in the Chinese market.
But overall, the Chinese market is still performing very well, and it is becoming more and more mature. I think that the key to coping with such a market environment is our talents and our strategy: we hope that this brand is committed to long-term development, not a temporary thing. Therefore, this strategy has seen its effectiveness at such a difficult time today.