Li Li: The Price Of Longines Is Commensurate With The Current Consumption Power Of The Middle Class

Li Li, who has worked in Longines for 16 years, grew up in a traditional Chinese intellectual family. He has been living in the luxury goods industry for many years but still maintains a valuable and modest temperament. He believes that elegant, classic and durable things will always be fashionable in all fields, just like Longines’ positioning-‘elegant and traditional Swiss watch maker’.
Li Li
Vice President of Longines China. As an important promoter of Longines in China, he creatively completed the ‘2 + 1’ expansion of the product in the Chinese market. 2 refers to Elegance and Traditional Watch Maker, and 1 refers to the revitalized Sports field. It has always followed the healthy development process of promotion, sales and re-promotion, which has made Longines watches recognized by consumers.
The price of Longines is commensurate with the current consumption power of the middle class
Beijing News: In China, the luxury consumer group is younger than in foreign countries. Many young people buy watches when they just work and get married, and often choose Longines. What do you think is the reason?
Li Li: First of all, the watch is a very interesting thing. On the one hand, people are using it to record the elapsed and unretainable time. On the other hand, they also want to use this timing tool to leave many good moments. Function, so you will find that even if a watch is worn out or obsolete, it will not be thrown away even if it is not moved, it will be saved.
On the other hand, watches, especially those that are not simply fashion watches, represent the maturity of the wearer. After work, from relying on parents to becoming economically independent, independence is a sign of maturity; marriage is also a matter of maturity and following the tradition, so watches will become a souvenir for these things. Longines has been emphasizing ‘elegant and traditional Swiss watch manufacturers’ since its entry into the Chinese market. Its design is simple, low-key, restrained, and more intellectual. This is in line with Chinese culture, so it will be affected by ‘ ‘Mature’ white-collar workers and couples. At the same time, it cannot be ignored that the price of Longines ranges from 10,000 to 30,000, which is commensurate with the economic level and consumption power of China’s middle class.
Beijing News: It is not easy for a brand to be accepted by the Chinese market, especially for luxury brands. When Longines re-entered the Chinese market, you played an important role. What conclusions did you draw from this?
Li Li: First of all, we must persist in the concept of the brand, and there must be coherence and continuity. If the brand concept is not promoted for a long time, it will be difficult for people to accept or superficially accept it. So Longines has been focusing on ‘elegance’ since its landing in China today.
On the other hand, the market is changing, China’s economy is changing, and people’s perceptions are changing. Therefore, under the premise of sticking to the same philosophy, it is necessary to make necessary adjustments in different time periods and different market environments. For example, when I joined the company in 1996, the average price of Longines was more than 4,000 yuan, and now it is nearly 15,000 yuan.
But the price change is not to start from the ground without changing any existing products, but to continuously produce products with high added value. For example, the size of watches that Chinese people like has become larger, and with the improvement of living standards, more and more attention has been paid to health, sports, leisure, and travel, so we will also introduce more large-sized and sports styles. Watch. Without this change, the brand would not be what it is today.
Third, Longines used to choose top Chinese first-tier and second-tier cities to open stores. Now, third-tier and fourth-tier cities have developed a lot. There are a lot of malls with good hardware and software opened. The income level of residents. Improve, they like Longines, we have to consider giving consumers in these cities the greatest convenience.
As a brand leader, you need to be flexible, sensitive, and forward-looking. You need to act a little bit ahead of time and make changes. But don’t go too far in advance, otherwise it will go through a long incubation period and even be rejected by the market. The market cannot be too advanced or lagging, this ‘degree’ is difficult. Longines entered China to do system marketing earlier, so it was important to take advantage of it, so I think some of the cities below also have to take advantage of it.

 Many sports events are elegant and noble
Beijing News: You once said, ‘In the watch industry, sports are a big trend, so it will have a big development in watches.’ But in fact, Chinese people, especially Chinese men, are going through a period of ‘formalization’. Men in more and more industries start to pay attention to the image of formal wear. Is this contrary to the trend of the industry?
Li Li: Chinese people have more formal images on business occasions, but at the same time, there are more leisure and tourism. Dress and accessories are also distinguished. Changes in lifestyle will allow many Chinese to have second, third and even many watches after the ‘first dress watch’.
And with the deepening of the concept of environmental protection, the requirements of ‘formal dress’ are also relaxed. For example, it is now recommended to set the air conditioner at 26 degrees, then the traditional three-piece suit and bow tie will be very hot, so now we can see men in general I don’t wear a tie or a bow tie very much, either, and casual elegant can be worn very casually and make people feel formal. Especially in the fashion industry, people will recognize it when they wear their own taste and will tolerate you. Aesthetics is becoming more and more personalized, and everyone can have their own way of judgment.
When it comes to the relationship between watches and sports, because watches are highly technical, especially in cooperation with sports events means that you must be ‘precise’ enough. We have a lot of sports watches to reflect watchmaking technology. So I think there needs to be big developments in sports watches. In addition, many sports events can convey the concepts of many watch brands, such as our sponsored equestrian, horse racing, gymnastics, and tennis. These events are elegant and noble, which can reflect the concept of Longines.

录 Quotations from ‘Fashion Power List’
Elegant, classic and durable things will always be fashionable in all fields. For example, Audrey Hepburn, there have been more female stars, but no one can surpass her in terms of elegance.
In my opinion, the elegance of Chinese men is ‘refined and elegant’. They must be neat and tidy, and they don’t have to be extravagant in appearance, but they must be clean and tidy to make people feel comfortable, and they must be elegant in talking and etiquette. After all, we grew up under the influence of Confucian culture, and everyone should generally recognize ‘Confucianism’ as the standard of ‘elegance’ for Chinese men. This is what I think is right and what I like and pursue.
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Continuity of brand concept
Each brand will have its own development strategy, so the previous development of the third- and fourth-tier cities is not a certain route. But only in terms of the price of Longines, with the development of China’s economy and the rapid growth of third- and fourth-tier cities, they gradually have this consumption habit and ability to consume. Maybe some young people don’t have enough purchasing power, but they can see the brand. At the same time, our own image is guaranteed. The brand image in third- and fourth-tier cities is consistent with first-tier cities and international metropolises. When they visit Longines stores, they will feel the concept of the brand. When they have the ability to buy, they will Choosing Longines has a great impact on the speed of expansion.

Updated: 6. November 2020 — 4:02
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