Friday, January 8

Nixon Watches - The Brand Experience

For me, being a brand is all about the experience you create for your audiences. It's what turns a product into a brand, at least in my book. :)

Which is why I love hearing about people's experiences with brands, and why I love seeing consistent branding taking place in the marketplace.

Here I have a guest post from a colleague who had a very positive experience with Nixon brand of watches. Fascinating to hear how the culture of the company very much reflects and is incorporated into the marketing of the brand.

What happens as a result? Respect, loyalty, sharing.

Take it away, Damien...
As a fan of marketing and branding, I like to pay attention to the way brands engage consumers and attempt to influence their behavior.  As a professional, I work with military Veterans who are in college and learning how to rebrand themselves, identify a career path and satisfy an underlying need for their new “purpose beyond a paycheck”.  

What often influences their decisions in careers?  The very experiences they have with professionals and the brands those professionals represent.  

The same way my experience with Nixon Now co-founders Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna has made me a lifetime, loyal fan of their brand.

While earning my undergrad at Cal State University, San Marcos, Andy and Chad were visiting one of my business classes, “In the Executive’s Chair”.  Andy and Chad had eluded to certain operation and marketing models that they implemented and used which fascinated me.  To be honest, I thought if I could get a one-on-one with them, I’d look like an all-star if I could list an interview with them as a primary source for a consulting project I was working on at the time.

At the end of the class, I asked Andy and Chad for an interview.  

Chad didn’t hesitate to agree and I was in the Nixon Now Global HQ the following week.  I made sure my questions were brief; I was excited to have the opportunity.  I showed up and was welcomed warmly.  Then, unexpectedly, Chad took me on a comprehensive tour of the facility – I was loving it.  
20 minutes later, I was in an office with Andy and Chad, and had their undivided attention for nearly an hour!  Who does that?  They wouldn’t let me feel rushed; I couldn’t help but feel like I had been accepted as a part of their culture.

At the time, I hadn’t owned one of their watches – let alone known about their brand beyond the name.  In full disclosure, I have had other brands of watches and I’ve only kept two (both were gifts).  Since that day, the only watches my wife or I have bought have been Nixon.  When the topic of watches comes up, I recommend Nixon.  It was an experience I won’t forget.

If you were wondering – in that interview I learned about how Nixon inherently incorporated marketing into production (at the time, 2010, this idea of marketing as more than just a post-production function was not so common).  I took those notes to my team, which influenced how we framed the project.  The results were incredibly successful, enough so that a summary of our group’s work was reviewed by the local Chamber of Commerce and published in local newspapers.

Damien Bertolo
Program Director at the Four Block Foundation
MBA Candidate at NYU Stern


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