Company History
Founded in 1875 by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, Audemars Piguet has remained a family business with no change in ownership since its inception. Both founders originated from traditional watchmaker families who had established headquarters in Le Brassus in the Swiss Vallee de Joux. Initially, Audemars Piguet produced pocket watches equipped with complications. In 1891, a time period in which wristwatches had not yet dawned upon the world; Audemars Piguet created the first wristwatch with a minute repeater. Talent and passion paid off as watches from Audemars Piguet gained worldwide fame and popularity as the company opened branches in Berlin, London, Paris, New York and Buenos Aires. Following the death of the two founders, the heirs of the company took over the business and continued developing and manufacturing high quality watches.

The Challenge
Audemars Piguet continuously thrives to deliver the best client experience at all touch points, from its retail stores throughout the world, to its new Lounge concepts (AP House) in Milan, New York, and soon more location, by moving the company to the next stage in their long-term CRM goals in terms of relationships and experience across their existing and/or future touchpoints. The objective of this case study is to identify additionalways to optimize CRM approach systematically and in a scalable manner.

Concept Proposal “The B2C Audemars Piguet”
With Audemars Piguet’s transition to a retail focus model, the six-person team from Columbia Business School developed B2C client engagement initiatives for women and millennial clients, creating exceptional strategies that showcase how Audemars Piguet creates emotional connections with customers and becomes a community connecting people’s life experiences. The initiatives include event series in AP House and boutique experience redesign.

The project started with in-depth research and mystery shopping of competitors, data-driven luxury companies and parallel industries –based on the assessment of CRM strategies and tactical actions the team proposed a systematic CRM flywheel with four steps: data collection/acquisition, data & consent management, customer insights, and customer engagement. Anchoring the CRM flywheel, the team provided insights and recommendation of touchpoints in client journey for different customer personas and identified opportunities to deep dive: client engagement with two target customer segments –women and millennials.

The Team
Thaiza Alvim – MBA, Columbia Business School
Alexandra Milstein – MBA, Columbia Business School
Mark Poon – MBA, Columbia Business School
Anam Sadarangani – MBA, Columbia Business School
Lily Wei – MBA, Columbia Business School
Isabell Weiser – MBA, Columbia Business School