Bright light of recovery

First Published in Busnet on 18 March 2010

BASELWORLD, the World’s largest Watch and Jewellery Show, opens today. It brings nearly 2,000 exhibitors into contact with 100,000 buyers and a press contingent of about 3,000.

Following a difficult and disappointing 2009, many are beginning to speak of the bright light of recovery that, they hope, will revitalise the industry.

As Switzerland’s largest trade event, BASELWORLD provides a wonderfully sophisticated illustration of relationship marketing in action. As Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe commented, “we have the unique opportunity to meet a vast majority of our worldwide network of retailers in a limited amount of time”.

These exhibitors appear to invest the same effort in the design of their marketing messages as they have in their luxury timepieces. We can learn a great deal about our own relationship marketing in the company of such Maestro’s.

Based on some parallels, here are three insights for positioning our own personal brands when networking.

1. Select the right show for you. Each event provides your unique opportunity to meet with those who share your passion. Scan the listings of available events for suitable opportunities.

2. Refine your message. You are steadily building your brand positioning through a series of consistent messages. Well crafted messages will reveal your unique personal value, highlight what makes you special, and underline what makes you reliable.

3. Make the connections. Whether you are avant-garde, classic or timeless, you are trying to find a connection with an audience that values the role you play. Working these opportunities can be a pleasurable experience. Use chatty dialogue to uncover how their needs match your distinctive offering, what trends are emerging, and what mutual opportunities this creates.

The luxury of BASELWORLD gives a fine example of how to enjoy the experience of the show, and create lasting business connections, while subtly engaged in relationship marketing. We think it is also an excellent role model for the value of networking…or as we like to say, Right Place, Right Time, Same Wavelength.

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James writes lifestyle books and blog articles as a hobby. In his principal role, he is as a specialist in business modelling as a process for empowering business decision-makers and unlocking business value.

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