You want or need to buy something. Where do you go? There is the big, established place that has locations everywhere. There is also the small business that is only in your area.
This choice applies in almost any product or service you can imagine. Whether you are looking for jewelry, craft beer, new clothes, or a wristwatch, you can go with the national or global brand, or something on a smaller scale. As you investigate the options, you may come across the term “micro brand.”
Micro brand is a term to describe a business that produces a smaller number of products. The person running the business is usually independent, not a dealer that is part of a large corporation. This enables the business to build a product and sell directly to a customer, rather than being part of a chain that goes from manufacturing to middle-man (salesman) to customer. The products will usually be different and unique.
Although the term can apply to any number of items, “micro brand” or “microbrand” is most closely associated with watches. What makes a microbrand watch better than the mass-produced watch? Here are 3 reasons:
Direct relationships – The big brands are just pushing their preferred products, and the middle-man wants that sales commission. The microbrand can easily be a one-person show – 1 person owns the business and designs the watches, and is also responsible for marketing, sales, shipping, and customer service before, during and after the sale. The customer can give feedback that will be heard by someone who can easily put it to use. That makes it easy to sell them online. The microbrands usually uses social medias when communicating with customers. These social media platforms serve two purposes – they can be used when a small microbrand doesn’t have a huge marketing budget, as well as being able to speak directly to the potential customers.
Daring designs – The big-name watch brands have only a few designs, which only get updated on rare occasions. There is the “legacy” factor, that requires a brand to have a certain look based on history and reputation. The microbrand watch can be created by the business owner without getting approval from the big company. A microbrand will often have new designs before the brand names because there are few people that have to approve it.
Delightful pricing - The traditional way a watch ends up on someone’s wrist is very set in stone – the big brand manufacturer pumps out a huge number of watches that all look the same, sells them to distributors, who sell them to retailers, who sell them to customers. A single watch can be sold up to 10 times it’s production cost, each time being marked up to ensure that person or shop makes a profit as it goes down the line. By the time the customer buys it, the price is way too high. Buying a microbrand watch can save you a lot of money.
Microbrands are different. Some uses crowdfunding to get started, then operating in the online space, the overhead costs that traditional stores have to deal with are not present with the microbrand. Dwiss started in 2011 with online and offline sales, participating also in fairs like Baselworld (2014 and 2015) and Hong Kong watch and clock fair (2014 and 2015), before moving only to online sales in 2016. Those overhead costs are also part of the price you pay with the traditional brands, in addition to the amount marked up each time the watch passes through the chain.
As you can see, the microbrand watch has some definite advantages over the big names. The microbrand concept has been built around the idea that people with a passion for great watch designs want to bring things to market that aren’t the same old boring things we have seen for years and years. The ability to speak directly to enthusiasts and potential customers, the daring designs they can bring to market, and the competitive pricing with the more traditional brands allow the microbrand to give genuine options to those on the hunt for something to add to their watch collection or the person that just wants something new.