🤫 The Secret To Luxury

⏱ How To Build A Luxury Brand: The Rolex Playbook

This Rolex watch sold for 17.8 million dollars:

Why is it worth $17.8M?

Is it because the strap is made of rare leather? Are there diamonds engraved on the side?

Or does it simply tell time better than any watch on the planet?

It’s none of those things.

This watch sold for millions because of one word on the front “Rolex”

It’s because of that one word that Rolex has made it through 7 major recessions and 2 world wars.

And even when the market flooded with battery watches that were both cheaper and more precise, Rolex sold more watches than ever before.

Why?

Well, that's the nice thing about owning a luxury brand...

You’re not selling a product. You’re selling status.

Here’s what we got for ya:

  • 🏷 Status As A Price Tag

  • 🧠 The Law Of Association

  • 🤫 The Secret To Luxury

Read Time: 4 min 6 sec

🏷 Status As A Price Tag

Before someone makes a purchase, they ask 2 questions:

  1. Do people like me buy things like this?

  2. Would the person I want to become buy something like this?

Both of which are determined by status.

However, having a brand with status does not mean luxury, sophisticated, rare, etc.

Status is simply an emotional reward word for being associated with something.

A perfect example of this is Collette Brunson (Russell Brunson’s wife). She didn’t want ‘status’ as in nice cars, thousand-dollar shoes, etc.

She wanted a minivan because ‘it made her look like a good mom’. 

Your brand’s status is determined by two things:

  1. Your marketing (we’ll get to this next)

  2. Proof that your product is worthy of the status (if the minivan only had two doors, it wouldn’t live up to the ‘good mom’ status)

Rolex knew that if they wanted to sell elite and ‘old-money’ status, they needed a watch that was:

#1 - Expensive

Not just expensive, but a watch that everyone knows is expensive.

#2 - High quality

Since day one, every Rolex watch is:

  • Made in-house

  • Painted by hand

  • Takes a minimum of 1 year to be made.

#3 - Of the newest technology

Rolex was the first to create:

  • The ‘Perpetual Rotor” - the first watch that could be automatically wound.

  • The waterproof watch

  • The first watch with a date

But as you know the product itself is not enough to stay ahead and maintain elite status.

Let's talk about Rolex's $10B marketing technique and how it kept sales high no matter what competition popped up.

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🧠 The Law Of Association

In the early 1900s, watches were NOT worn by men. They were seen only as jewelry for women.

So trying to pitch a watch to men would not get sales.

Hans Wilsdorf (founder) had to find a way to get Rolex in the media without demanding complete attention.

And if he couldn’t create attention around Rolex…

He’d have to steal it.

1933 - Houston-Everest Expedition wears Rolex on the first flight over Everest

1935 - Malcolm Campbell breaks land speed record a Rolex

1953 - James Bond wears a Rolex

Today - Rolex is the Wimbledon timekeeper

Rolex became a characteristic of excellence. Something every successful person wears.

This is called the Law of Association.

The more frequently we see things together, the more we associate them with each other. So in buyers’ minds…

Buying a Rolex = Feel like James Bond

🤫 The Secret To Luxury

In 1946, Hans made a decision that changed the future of Rolex...

He sold Rolex for free to the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation.

This not only took away his position as CEO but also:

#1 - Exempted Rolex from paying corporate tax (they’re a foundation)

#2 - Allowed Rolex to keep the politics of the company a secret.

The media technically does not know who ‘owns’ Rolex, how much money Rolex makes, or where all of the money goes.

All we know is that a good portion of the profit is donated to charity and used to train new Rolex watchmakers.

#3 - Gave Rolex the reputation of “being the most secretive business in the world”

To this day, no pictures are allowed inside the Rolex building and every employee is sworn to secrecy.

Key Point: Your brand needs to represent the status you sell

Rolex wants you to feel untouchable, classy, and elusive. So they became that themselves.

Another great example is building a business around a status is Adidas.

Adidas wants you to feel invincible when wearing its brand, so its marketing is full of motivational quotes and heart-wrenching sports moments.

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