In America, our clients still prefer the good old classics - they love big white diamonds, classic jewelry and traditional shapes.
APOLLINARIA BAKHANOVA, Marketing Director Jacob& Co.
MARKETING DIRECTOR JACOB & CO.
Dear Polina, tell us a bit about yourself, life before and after Jacob&CO?
I joined the company 2 years ago. Prior to that, I was head of marketing and PR departments in such companies as LVMH, BMW, Marriott, and was a vice-president at Amex in Russia.
At Jacob&Co I am responsible for marketing, PR, communications, event and international strategy. I work at headquarters in New York and around the world - the brand is represented in more than 20 countries. I have a team of 30 people, and right now I am building an international strategy for the company in terms of branding and marketing.
I externally graduated from high school, at the age of 15 I already entered the university, studied public relations, marketing and advertising, and at 17 I went to work. At 21, I became the head of PR and marketing at Marriot, and I began as a PR manager. I can’t say that it was unexpected for me, because by the time I got promoted, I had already worked full four years, and at Marriot for three years. Overall For the 18 years of my career I was head of marketing and PR departments in such companies as LVMH, BMW, and was a vice-president at Amex in Russia.
An incredible experience. How did you manage to get to Jacob&Co?
I immediately liked the vacancy at Jacob & Co - they liked that I had a lot of experience in the luxury business, and although I had never tried myself in the jewelry and watch business, I know the clients and the strategy very well. Just three months after the move, I got the position of marketing director - now I am sitting in the main office, planning and coordinating PR in all countries where the brand is represented.
The Jacob & Co brand is almost 35 years old.
In your opinion, what was it like before your arrival and what has it become now?
Yes, The Jacob and Co brand will be 35 years old in 1.5 years. But, of course, This is a fairly young age for a world-famous watch and jewelry brand. Before my arrival, I think that everyone already knew quite well about the brand itself and about Jacob Arabo and his achievements. But with my arrival, I tried to pay more attention to the revolutionary projects and achievements of the brand in the field of high and complex watch technologies, as well as the image of the brand in general. We made a successful partnership with the number 1 football player in the world, Leon Messi, produced incredible limited watches for the 110th anniversary of the Bugatti automobile brand, and were able to present a new advertising campaign for our stunning jewelry with the very fashionable Victoria Secret model - Elsa Hosk. Our international awards this year have also become a great achievement. We won the Grand Prix in Dubai as the best independent brand in the world, and also reached the final in 3 categories at the most prestigious watch award in Switzerland - GPHG.
Which markets are most important for the brand today?
The brand is actively developing now around the world, but next year we want to strengthen our position in Asia and open boutiques in China and Singapore. And also, to expand our presence in the Arab countries as we have only one boutique in Dubai.
Can you tell us more about Jacob and Co. plans for 2020?
The first time we will show several exclusive models in Dubai in January 2020. The brand will hold a small exhibition of our watch and jewelry there together with our Partner in the United Arab Emirates. Also, we are organizing an annual large exhibition and presentation of new products in Geneva. The next year, however, it will not be in January, as it was several years in a row, but at the end of April 2020. But this is due to the global migration of the exhibition calendar for all watch and jewelry brands. Unfortunately, we will not be able to participate in Basel, because the schedule will not physically allow us to spend Geneva and immediately move to Basel, although we were extremely pleased with the results of this exhibition in 2019
What were the highlights for the brand in 2019?
We held 2 large presentations of our new products at large jewelry and watch exhibitions in Geneva, Basel and Hong Kong; opened a boutique in Dubai, Bangkok and Beijing; pop ups in Sardinia and Paris during fall fashion week. We also spent our traditional evening in Porto Cervo and opened the yacht season in Geneva in the summer. The year was very busy, but - extremely productive for business
What are the differences in jewelry preferences of representatives of America, Europe, Russia, Asia?
In America, our clients still prefer the good old classics - they love big white diamonds, classic jewelry and traditional shapes. In Russia, our clients, as I have already said, the love bright designs, colored and large stones. In Asia, as in the United Arab Emirates, for example, everyone wants rare stones, jewelry in a single copy. What they don’t see from anyone, and of course they prefer high jewelry, fine jewelry they acquire much less.