Piaget is a rare brand in many ways. It is one of the few watch and jewellery brands to have all skills in-house. It was already a vertically-integrated manufacture back in 1874 when it was founded – even before it became a brand. This enables them to create watches that incorporate gold and gemstones in every imaginable way, and a vast range of spectacular jewellery. Their technical expertise led to countless records for ultra-thin mechanical watches, and reflects their founder’s motto, ‘Faire toujours mieux qu’il n’est nécessaire’ – ‘Always do better than necessary.’
Piaget has its sights firmly on the future, and in today’s world, technical and artistic mastery has to be accompanied by softer skills of communications and marketing. To find out more, we spoke to Valérie Nowak, Communications Director at Piaget since mid-2015.
LUXOS: Where do you think Piaget should be tomorrow, as far as digital communications are concerned?
Valérie Nowak: We have improved our digitalisation recently. It was a focus that we wanted to address. We have been working on social media, which in the luxury industry are key in establishing a link with our audience on a day-to-day basis. Instagram is particularly important, one of the most visited channels for luxury audiences. We also work a lot with YouTube. At SIHH in January 2016, we experimented the new real-time application Periscope, and we are going to integrate new applications for big launches.
LUXOS: Does that mean you’ll have more digital assets in terms of videos?
Valérie Nowak: Definitely. Audiences expect a brand to be a publisher as well, and from Piaget they something authentic and interesting. Today there is an important focus on story-telling, and for Piaget this is essential in strategy, because content is key in developing relations with clients through familiarity with the brand. Of course, communications are never going to be just digital. Consistency over all touch points is important: boutiques are fundamental in relations with clients, and so we have to integrate digital experience and boutique experience. Clients generally visit the internet first, to learn about the product, finding information from a lot of sources, and then at last they come to the boutique.
LUXOS: Do you think that in the future, boutiques will be more about story-telling?
Valérie Nowak: Yes, there will be new technology, such as screens with videos and other digital technology. In addition, the boutique is a place where you can not only buy products, but also experience the brand, sharing joyful moments. We are working on how to present new products through experience.
LUXOS: The Possession collection seems to be more about daywear, younger, even entry-level jewellery...
Valérie Nowak: In jewellery there are two complementary pillars, high jewellery that builds the maison’s legitimacy and reputation by demonstrating its creativity, savoir faire and craftsmanship, and fine jewellery such as Possession. It’s important to attract younger women in their 30s, empowered women who very often buy bangles and rings themselves, self-rewarding gifts.
LUXOS: How would you describe the Piaget woman?
Valérie Nowak: She is of great allure and charisma, strong and elegant, the kind of woman who can go beyond conventions. She probably doesn’t follow fashion, but plays with all styles, creating her own style. Jessica Chastain, our ambassadress, is this kind of woman: she is not superficial, her films have interesting angles, she has her own production company, and supports women in the film industry. Olivia Palermo is a friend of the brand, we partnered with her for Possession. She is stylish, joyful and young.
LUXOS: Piaget has a long history, over 140 years, so it has a lot of historical content. Your communications are totally modern. How do you integrate your history into your communications?
Valérie Nowak: We think that our heritage and DNA are key to luxury, and we have to build our brand identity and equity on this treasure. I think that young generations, such as Chinese and Asian clients, are interested in the history of the maison, helping to understand us as a luxury maison, so our heritage is key. We want to capitalize on this history, and reinterpret and continue the story based on that. If you look at the communications, there is often a lot linked to history and heritage. Young people, the digital community, the Y generation, are very interested in it, for them it's a way of developing their own culture through that of the maison.
LUXOS: Are there certain markets that you are particularly looking to reinforce in terms of communications?
Valérie Nowak: Asia is a strategic area. Chinese clients often buy in Europe, but they prepare their trip and so the brand’s communication has to be strong locally to reinforce awareness and its reputation, so that Chinese global shoppers have the brand in mind when they travel. Other key areas are the Middle East , the U.S., and, considering Europe, Italy, France, the U.K... But communications will be consistent across the globe.
LUXOS: Your historic motto is ‘Always do better than necessary.’ How would you describe Piaget’s approach today?
Valérie Nowak: We have a new positioning in terms of communications, Radiance, meaning a joyful atmosphere, sharing, energy, youth: these values are the starting point for what we are doing. All our digital communications and events are about radiance. When we present a collection, very often we showcase the overall concept in just ten sentences, but this could be distilled down to just one word: radiance.