Daniel Wellington debuts new Quadro collection, unveils ambassador Tina Kunakey
Daniel Wellington this week debuted its new Quadro collection, as it unveiled a brand-new ambassador, Tina Kunakey, for its watches in the latest moves from one of Scandinavia’s fastest growing accessories marques.
Steadily but very surely and in barely a decade, Daniel Wellington has grown to become a quarter-billion-euro marque, and now looks poised for even more explosive growth in the near future.
The name was born when founder Filip Tysander was backpacking the planet and noticed a particularly handsome and dashing Australian, who turned out to be called Daniel Wellington.
And something of that global trotter attitude is true about the brand’s structure. It still is designed by Tysander and his team in Stockholm; movements are made in Japan; assembled in China; with leather straps from Italy; and punchy rubber straps from Germany.
Tysander, 36, still owns 100% of the brand, which he launched in 2011. Within a half-decade of starting he had sold one million watches. The brand now has a presence in 52 counties, with 450 owned retail sales points and nearly 6,000 doors, including kiosks, the majority of these in China.
“Looking back a couple of years we have focused on just a few products. And been careful what we launch. Everything we release we want perfection. So, this year, we have doubled the number the product range to include more unisex watches; and women’s necklaces and rings,” explained CEO Johan Johansson.
Internationally, Daniel Wellington’s biggest partner is Tmall in China, alongside Zalando and Amazon. However, from the beginning, Daniel Wellington has always had a very influencer-driven marketing strategy; and used cool actresses as ambassadors in different markets like Korea, India or Italy. In Germany, they have hired Stefanie Giesinger, with 3.9 million Instagram followers; in China their plenipotentiary is Fan Bingbing with 3.8 million.
Their latest campaign for the new Quadro collection features Tina Kunakey, model, actress, partner of hot French actor Vincent Cassel and mum of a two-year-old daughter.
“We’ve had our eyes on Tina for a long time, and she felt perfect for the Quadro collection. She is fashionable and stands for what we believe in,” enthused Johansson.
The pandemic of course has been tricky for the marque like so many others.
“We suffered a lot outside our online business. Overall the total company saw sales fall by over 10%, not so bad compared to our competitors. So, we also took market share,” stressed the CEO.
Clearly the brand’s minimalism and timelessness clearly strikes a chord with consumer, ensuring very high awareness worldwide, and few returns.
“Our returns are very low, below 0.5% compared with many watch brands which can range up to 10%. We offer a democratic and reliable luxury,” notes Johansson, pointing to the watches' highly durable clasps made in 316 L steel, same as top-shelf brands like Patek Philippe.
The brand also offers little pain at the cash register, with watch prices pitched between €150 to €350, helping to reach the sweet spot of global marketing – Chinese Generation Z. In one operation, when Chinese influencer Viya held an online web auction, Daniel Wellington sold 16,000 watches in less than two minutes. And the CEO hopes to grow the business five-fold in five years.
Married with three children, Johansson likes to vacation in Miami, when not touring the planet for work.
While Tysander, with an estimated net worth of some €300 million, likes to keep a very low profile – just a classic character in one of those moody Swedish thrillers. Hopefully with not the same denouement as Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
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