Candor Among Friends
Deep Thoughts, MB&F, Tech Tuesdays, Uncategorized

Candor Among Friends

This week, Kanye West had a much publicized outburst on Twitter (@KanyeWest).  Among his tweets was this one which I found particularly interesting:

These tweets have no manager, no publicist , no grammar checking… this is raw

While I’m not sure that the world needs Kanye West to be any more raw, his point is as raw as can be.  Social media allows brands (of which Kanye certainly is one) to interact with their customers and fans in the most real manner since the days of mom and pop neighborhood craftsmen.

Clearly the internet has made the world smaller, but a brand’s website has to be executed with the same polish and attention to detail as a boutique would be.  Social media, on the other hand, is more like the store’s back room where the owner and his friends can have a drink after work.  The watch industry, perpetually resistant to candor, has yet to fully embrace the possibilities here, but I believe they will.

At MB&F,  Facebook has proven to be an amazing outlet.  At the time of writing this post, we have nearly 6600 fans on our brand page.  For a company that produced only 143 watches for the entire world last year, it is truly mind-blowing!  While our website is clearly an incredibly efficient way for us to communicate, Facebook allows us to do so on a much more informal basis.  We can share things which would not otherwise fit on our website.  And most importantly, we can interact whereas our website is only one way communication.  For a company as small as we are doing business internationally, using these tools efficiently helps compensate for our relative lack of resources.

As a watch collector, I love seeing brands, retailers, and journalists embracing social media.  Everyone is better off when we deal with each other as friends rather than faceless email addresses.  We expect a polished, professional presentation from our favorite luxury brands.  But real, human connection without pretense makes this hobby so much more interesting and valuable.

  • Excellent post (as always) Steve, I couldn’t agree more.
    Unfortunately it seems that many of the big brands in the watch industry still really don’t understand the possibilities/advantages (as you have so eloquently described them above) of social media, and so treat these tools very much like they do more their traditional on-line communication points, such as their websites: i.e. it’s all one way. Too often I am reading tweets and FB updates from brands which are all about “look what we’ve done now” but still with the same impersonal touch that a website presents. There is no opportunity for interaction with customers, it is simply “here is the information we have to disseminate to you, please take it and read it in your own personal time, but do not under any circumstances contact us to discuss.”

    They really need to start taking some cues from the niche players such as MB&F and others who’s small marketing budgeting demand heavy reliance on social media. Visit the FB pages of these brands and you see interaction, not dictation. There is a very significant difference there and until the bigger brands learn to harness this power, they will most certainly not reap the benefits of social media.

    Just my thoughts but thank you again for sharing your insight Steve.

    Best,
    Tom

    • Thanks, Tom.
      I do understand why it is difficult for bigger brands to embrace a more informal tone. I think there is a general fear of having too much to lose and not enough to gain. However, I think that the fear is largely unwarranted, and they are doing the industry as a whole a disservice by not connecting on a deeper level with “the masses”.

    • Thanks, Tom.
      I do understand why it is difficult for bigger brands to embrace a more
      informal tone. I think there is a general fear of having too much to lose
      and not enough to gain. However, I think that the fear is largely
      unwarranted, and they are doing the industry as a whole a disservice by not
      connecting on a deeper level with “the masses”.