If you want to go global, you have to think globally from the very beginning.
Use a universal language
In order to communicate globally you have to use a language that is understood all over the world. Whereas music is inherently international, as is dance, it was more of a challenge for me to create a universally understood “symbolic language” for DELANCE. I created this bridge through shaping my watch into a well-known, ancient symbol of life, harmony and eternity. This symbol is easily recognized and universally understood by women, as well as men, all over the world.
Create your international network
If you want to be global you have to belong to different international network. My first step was to get in touch with women all over the world. I traveled extensively to meet women to ask them to define “time.” Interestingly, the most frequently cited answer among the women from around the world was that time is life! Not one woman said that time is money.
Concentrate on common values for your product and your company
Women do not measure the value of time in dollars and cents. When I asked women what is important in their lives and in the way they spend their time and what they are struggling for, their unanimous answer was that they are striving for harmony. Many women also said that they wanted something more than just than everyday life–something spiritual. Therefore, in addition to capturing the strength and eternity of women, I also wanted the DELANCE to capture the sentiments of life, harmony, and spirituality. This is why I have chosen the diamond shape, because it symbolizes life and harmony.
Find the unique selling proposition
My next step was to survey women to ascertain whether they would be a high quality watch that did not have a famous label. Some said no, and I knew that they were not my clients. Many, however, said yes they would buy the kind of special watch we designed if they loved the watch or if there was a special reason to buy the watch. My challenge was to satisfy these potential customers by making a watch that was very beautiful and recognizable at first sight and which expressed to make each woman feel that the watch was made just for her.
Create a brand name
If you want to be global your brand name must be globally significant for your product. If it tell a story it is the best. Your Brand name must play the music of your product. I choose for my company DELANCE, my father’s name, to reconnect to my father.
Follow your desire and find the way
Once I clarified and refined my design concept and target market, my next step was to identify all of the pros and cons of embarking upon this global venture.
The Pros included: I am an Engineer, an artist, and I can speak at least three languages quite well. I have the resources and connections to travel all over the world and I am a good communicator and a good saleswoman.
The Cons included: I am a woman. I am over 50. I have no money. In Switzerland, men between the ages of 35-40 are responsible for most new business start-ups.
Turn your cons in pros
Thus, I first had to cross an internal psychological boundary to refrain from feeling that my femininity and my age was a disadvantage; to the contrary, I decided that it was an advantage.
For the femininity I would do something with the spirit of a women that no men could have done
For the age, bringing with it maturity, experience, and my well-established name in the watch industry I would do a masterpiece, a resume of my life.
For the need of money I have to consider me as my capital, I have to be creative, use synergy and opportunity.
I have connections, so my strategy is to go as far as I can without having to obtain formal financing. I engage a network of friends, family, and business partners to invest in my venture. So in Mai 1996 I created DELANCE Inc.
My strategy is to find female entrepreneurs, as partners, all over the world who are in a position to both invest and launch DELANCE in their respective countries.
Find a good mentor or two or three
Share your story, your dream with your real friends. Find a dedicated mentor who understand your project and support and encourage you. Perhaps different mentor for different aspect of your business could be an idea. Do not work with your friend or family but with good partner who know what you don’t know. And just do it now.
Giselle Rufer, President DELANCE Swiss watches