The Power of Utilitarian Brands

A simple message can be hard to achieve, but Rolex has proven it can go just as far in promoting a product in the marketplace.
Author, Profit First
April 05, 2013

Rolex's ads are essentially just a pretty picture of one of its watches and its logo. No copy is needed. Why? Because the 108-year-old Rolex brand is as synonymous with luxury and excellence as the sun is with light. The people who can afford the brand's watches know exactly what they are, and so do the rest of us. 

Simplicity is an awesomely powerful thing. Simplicity never goes out of style. Simplicity is the most reliable. And simplicity is often the most durable. Yet few brands achieve simplicity in their offering (or their advertising). Simplicity requires that a brand remove more and more things from their products or services or advertising, yet achieve the same effect. That is hard. But when done right, it lasts forever.

Rolex has mastered simplicity in its product—not through millions of mind-numbing ads, but by producing the highest quality, most luxurious and most dependable watch on the planet. A Rolex watch from 1925 is just as cool (if not cooler) than a 2013 Rolex, and still keeps time as well as it did the first day out of the box. Word-of-mouth endorsements from presidents, celebrities and famous people whom we believe know quality when they see it just reinforces what we already know and believe about the brand. 

How can you make your brand and your marketing that simple and yet that powerful? Be excellent in all you produce. If you pull it off, you will have a timeless classic yourself.


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