Klaus Botta, owner of BOTTA watches, in conversation with GZ editor Dr. Stefan Hencke
GZ: Your watches are sometimes marked as "Designed in Germany" and "Made in Germany". Why?
Klaus Botta: Our double motto has a common denominator: the country of origin, Germany. In addition to high product quality, Germany as production location - especially abroad - is synonymous with outstanding design with high functionality. It is precisely the combination of these two quality characteristics that makes our watches stand out from the usual market offerings. We are one of the very few companies that conceive, design, develop and manufacture their watches entirely in Germany. Although production in Germany is considerably more expensive than abroad, it is only here in Germany that we as a small manufacturer are able to realize our ideas one to one and without compromising on quality and design. We are also proud that we support the local industry with our products. Our growing success proves that there are certainly enough quality-conscious people who share our philosophy.
How would you describe the USP or the brand core? What is special about the watches?
In addition to our double motto, which describes the origins of our watches, we use a supplementary motto that conveys the essential core of the BOTTA watch brand: "Time for individualists". We don't want to develop watches that are already available by the hundreds on every corner (and in every shop window). Our target groups are people who consciously manage their time and their lives. Not me-too-buyers, but people with a pioneering role, who take their own personal path in life and cultivate a lifestyle. Our watches are undoubtedly modern, but never fashionable. They are high quality, but never ostentatious. They dispense with everything superfluous and instead concentrate on the essentials. The wearers of our watches appreciate these values and consciously wear them outwardly.
At present, your watch collection includes twelve models. What are your plans for the future?
Random diversity and senseless variation are not part of our philosophy. We only develop a new model when we have found a new theme that is worth implementing. We also invest a lot of energy in the further development and improvement of existing models. In our product development the principle of evolutionary improvement instead of revolutionary change prevails. Our products are characterized by formal and material durability. Therefore the constant product improvement is worthwhile in any case. On average, a maximum of one or two new models are created each year, which last at least ten years on the market.
Is your strategy that of a niche brand?
We are indeed a niche brand, and we are conscious of this fact. A product for individualists cannot be a mass product. Of course we only reach a small part of the population with our watches, but there are no actual competitors in our niche - strictly speaking, there is no company that has a comparable product philosophy. This means we do not have to share this relatively small target group. We are very happy about this, because our target group is a very pleasant clientele. Our customers are generally just as straightforward and honest as our watches. We simply enjoy working for such people very much. Many of our buyers are loyal customers and buy from us again and again or recommend us to others. This is certainly also a major reason for our constant double-digit sales growth in recent years. BOTTA does not produce short-lived trendy products, but modern classics with a long service life and an interesting philosophy. By combining unmistakable design, top-quality technology and perfect service, the BOTTA brand is independent of zeitgeist and fashionable trends.
What are your national and international goals for the next three years?
Our goal for the next three years is controlled growth while maintaining our high standards. The path to this goal is already clear: We are currently exploring the German market for suitable retailers to whom we can offer our product range in a very targeted manner. Here, too, we are avoiding mass mailings and the like. We are trying to select from the huge network of dealers exactly those who best fit our needs. It is very important to us that these dealers understand our philosophy and also carry it. This applies nationally and internationally. We already have a number of trade partners abroad who appreciate the symbiotic connection between "Designed in Germany" and "Made in Germany". At the moment we are developing step by step suitable marketing measures to support our trade partners in the adequate presentation of our brand. We want to remain the watch brand for individualists. Nevertheless, we would like to give all interested customers the opportunity to find our products in specialized shops. In order to be able to pass on the numerous customer inquiries to the specialized trade locally, we want to build up a sufficiently close-meshed dealer network.
The interview with Dr. Stefan Hencke was published in the Goldschmiede Zeitung 11/2010 and we would like to thank him for allowing us to publish the interview on our website.