“Seiko has become a brand of no clear identity,” he says. “‘Everything for everybody’ ended up being ‘everything for nobody’. That has to be changed.” – These are the words of Mr Akio Naito, President of Seiko Watch Corporation in a recent interview with the Financial Times. In fact, that’s just the opening paragraph and it is a great read with one of the industry’s most interesting personalities.
When talking Seiko, we all know there is a lot of great history (past and present) to discuss. As with any other brand with such a massive history (140 Years and counting) there are of course also possibly a few elephants in the room, and here it seems that Mr Naito decided to address all of them in one glorious interview.
He talks about the challenges of the wide price range within the (Grand) Seiko catalogue and how this impacts brand perception. Not only did that seem to create external challenges, but also internal ones which he details in the interview. Mr Akio Naito further discusses the recent re-positioning of Grand Seiko as a luxury brand (at luxury prices). He talks challenges, opportunities and quite a bit more. For any and all (Grand) Seiko fans, this right here is highly recommended reading.