Even with a great product in hand, I knew that this venture could not just be about selling watches; it had to be about a story that people could relate to and support. I mean, there are hundreds of other watch brands out there, even in the same market segment that we are targeting. What would make us stand out from the crowd? What would set us apart in this crowded marketplace?
A great product is only a part of the business equation
As soon as we had our sights on the classic watch, I said to Seb, “before we even begin the designs of the watches, we need to build a business strategy and define our brand and story”. Just like designing a physical product, this was easier said than done. I spent years in multiple marketing agencies as a digital business advisor and strategist, but I am no branding expert, nor a copywriter.
Since we didn’t have the budget to hire experts, I just had to figure it out and do it. Again, two of the objectives of this project was to learn something new outside of our current field of expertise and “Get Shit Done”.
This business project is all about DIY
During the first of many business lunch meetings on Rue St Laurent, Seb and I drafted an initial list of core values and ideas for our brand and story:
- Design and build our best possible watches;
- Deliver quality, quality, and quality, at an affordable price;
- Go directly to the consumer through e-commerce;
- Make Montreal a part of the brand;
- Always be bold and uncompromising;
- Serve the world by giving back and make it a big part of the story
Studies have shown that millennials are a socially conscious generation with a strong desire to make a difference in the world, and they’ve started turning to businesses to help them make a bigger impact. So, showcasing our social responsibility business approach is not only an opportunity for us to make the world a better place but also a way for Millennials to enact social good.
I wanted to help improve people’s lives through building a profitable & socially responsible business.
Ok, so why “Mont Royal”?
Because we wanted to piggyback off the notoriety of Mont Blanc? Of course not… The idea was to feature our beloved city of Montreal within the brand and story; a city known for its diversity, “joie de vivre”, and flourishing design & innovation community. As most luxury watches originate from European and Scandinavian capitals, we feel Montreal will bring a breath of fresh air to the watch world.
100% Designed in Montreal
Some of our initial name ideas were:
A few days later, I thought about the Mont Royal, where my wife and I love to go for short nature hikes. What better way to represent Montreal as using the name of the iconic mountain at the center of the city. It also represents how we feel our watches will stand out from the mass-produced minimalist designed watches we see everywhere.
Now that we had a name, I was struggling to find ideas for a tagline to accompany the brand. It was during one of our weekly date nights that Angie (my wife), came up with “Time For Change”. A tagline that represents both the timepiece idea and the socially responsible business approach of giving back.
We are The Mont Royal Watch Co.
It’s only been 8ish months, and looking back, I’m quite amazed at the progress we have done so far. Thinking about how we knew nothing about the watch making process back in September, and now are just about ready to get our first samples!
Feel free to send us your thoughts. We would love to know what you think.