Rolex Case Study: How Do They Remain On Top?

Rolex Case Study: How Do They Remain On Top?


Rolex is the first, and most times, the only watch brand that comes to people’s minds when you talk of high-end timepieces. Brands like Gucci, Nike, Apple, and Mercedes have achieved a similar status quo as Rolex’s. Rolex, just like these brands, is deeply rooted in the global culture. 

They have created a space for themselves and have made wise decisions that kept them at the top. They now represent much more than their labels. We can now ascribe things like success, wealth, style, and quality to the name Rolex. Due to its cultural prominence, Rolex is at this present age an indefatigable king in the watch industry. 

At almost a decade old, you will admit that only notable visionary strategies could have sustained the brand at the horological; throne. This article will explore Rolex marketing while looking at the factors that helped them retain their position at the industry’s top. We will look at how the brand used effective marketing to achieve the global powerhouse we know today.

  • How They Started
  • Rolex Efficient Marketing Strategy over the Years
  • How They Retained Their Position at the Top

How They Started

Rolex was started by a German man in England in the 20th century. It later moved operations to Switzerland. Rolex is a luxurious watchmaking company based in Switzerland and founded by Hans Wilsdorf in the year 1905. Rolex became famous in 1926. 

In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf, born in Germany, and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis set up an eponymous company in London that imports Swiss movements. They installed the Swiss movements in British cases and sold them to jewelers who, in turn, put their names on the dials. When they sensed the potential in their brand for success in the wristwatch market, Wilsdorf came up with and eventually secured the brand name Rolex in 1908.

From the onset, Wilsdorf understood the importance of precision timekeeping. This understanding is what led to the 1910 popularity of the Rolex watch. That year, Rolex was the first wristwatch to carry the Swiss certificate of chronometric precision. The official watch Rating Centre gave the certificate in Switzerland. This rating is a narrative changer as it brought an increase in sales.   

Wilsdorf secured a “Class A” Precision Certificate in 1914 from the Kew Observatory 1914. This precision certificate is usually reserved for marine chronometers. This certification resulted in the influx of British customers who understood that accurate timekeeping had empowered the British Empire to dominate the seas in combat and commerce. Thus, Rolex began the convention of offering civilians mechanical accuracy that only a few requirements but much desire. Rolex has offered cutting-edge accuracy ever since its inception.

So, Rolex’s popularity started when it invented this first waterproof watch. As a result of its innovative features and classic design, it has been the forefront player in the luxury watch industry. 

Rolex Efficient Marketing Strategy over the Years

You will agree that there must be something about a brand that has stood for more than 100 years and still is a symbol of classic design, prestige, and extravagance. Rolex stayed at the top of the game for years based on a crucial value-based positioning strategy.

Below are the marketing strategies that stood out over the years when it comes to marketing Rolex.

Competitive advantage

Since its inception, Rolex has created a niche segment of customers who see wearing their brand as prestige. Like I said earlier, it is no longer about the time accuracy function of the timepiece but about the reputation that comes with wearing one. Hence, if a company comes up with a watch as good as Rolex, it might not gain such popularity because of the age-long class and prestige ascribed to Rolex. 

The luxury watch manufacturing company has been a pace-setter in bringing new-age technologically advanced watches over the decades. Rolex has been present in over 100 countries of the world with limited company stores around the globe. 

BCG Matrix

Rolex’s marketing strategy puts into consideration that when something becomes too familiar, the public loses interest. This understanding is why Rolex has a limited number of watch models in circulation. BCG matrix helps to understand the competitive position of the brand in the industry it belongs to. Rolex watches hold a star’s role in the BCG matrix due to their demand. Now, Rolex watches have a star’s position because of their market and their advanced sleek and technological design.

Distribution strategy

Distribution is vital for every product. Rolex distribution strategy sets it aside from that of other watch manufacturing companies. You can’t just find a Rolex watch anywhere in the market. Rolex has a minimal number of exclusive stores around the globe. They distribute their watches and accessories majorly through company-owned stores. Also, they distribute products through-commerce sites and multi-brand stores. Approximately Rolex produces about 2000 watches every day.

Brand equity

Of course, Rolex thrives on the name of the brand they have created over the years. Even if you did not hear or see any of their advertisements, the mere mention of the brand name will send a message of class, integrity, and luxury to your brain. Rolex has traveled the time with over a decade of experience in being the ageless masterpiece, a symbol of luxury and prestige. Rolex was ranked 64th in the list of the world’s most powerful global brands in 2016.

Competitive analysis

One thing about Rolex marketing is that they don’t consider or imitate competition. Rolex has been continuously leading technology advancement with ease. Ideally, the presence of counterfeit and imitations is supposed to be a limitation, but for Rolex, it is not. The dynamic buying patterns of customers in emerging economies are affecting the watch industry as a whole. Many local and international brands are now producing watches, intending to create a space for themselves in the industry. 

We can say that Rolex does not compete with any brand. They manufacture, market, and distribute at their own pace. Rolex is leading in the watch industry with state of the art designing. In short, Rolex leads while others follow.  

Market analysis

A lot of factors contribute to the success of luxury goods. One of the reasons for the continuous demand for classy and expensive luxury goods is that people always want to change their status. Below are some factors that aid the success of luxury products like Rolex watches;

  • Changing Lifestyle
  • Changing Consumption Patterns
  • Increasing Disposable Income 
  • Developing Nations and Purchasing Power, 
  • Changing Aspiration and Motivation Level Of People To Follow Their Dreams 
  • Migration from Rural To Urban Areas

The present market favors manufacturing companies like Rolex. In developing nations, luxury goods manufacturing companies are the fastest growing industry in recent times.

Customer analysis 

We can’t say Rolex marketing made provision for low-income customers. If you’re still the managing kind of person, you would instead stick to other affordable brands of watches. Customers of Rolex are upper-class income individuals. Their customers incline towards luxury goods and prefer a lavish lifestyle. These customers are usually from higher-income strata of society. Some are from the business family between the ages of 30-60yrs

How Rolex Marketing has Helped them Retain Their Position at the top

It is a big thing to get to the top, but staying for long at the top is an entirely different story. Rolex has been on the top for years now. Even though their marketing strategy is exceptional, some personal qualities retained them at the top position. Rolex is currently present in more than 100 countries around the globe. However, it has a limited number of exclusive stores across the world. You can’t just see a Rolex company-owned outlet anywhere. They maintained the high-class standard that has increased their prestige and appeal. 

Let me highlight the qualities that I’ve observed in them:

  • Consistency
  • Integrity
  • Persistence
  • Quality
  • purpose


We can conclude that Rolex’s marketing strategy is as good or even better than their actual products. In this present world, where you can use your phone to check the time, Rolex still manages to get customers to spend several thousand dollars on their products. They have reached a point where it is no longer about the function watches but the affluence and class attached to their brand. 

Up to date, Rolex still manages to dazzle its customers. They achieved everything they represent today by introducing the testimonial concept carefully. Their sensitivity to what the world wants and the ability to provide it has kept them at the head of watch affairs over the years. In the years to come, Rolex will need to reinvent both its watches and marketing strategies. Even though we can’t say, past performance is an indicator of future performance. However, a more creative advertisement will retain Rolex at the top.

Was This Article Helpful?

Rolex Case Study: How Do They Remain On Top? This article explores Rolex marketing. What are the strategies and marketing plans that have retained the company's position of global influence?
5 1 5 1

You're Never to Cool To Learn New Things

Please note: 440 Industries is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to