UCL School of Management

Research seminar

What's the Benchmark? Media and Valuation in the Luxury Watchmaking Industry


Kim Claes, INSEAD


Friday, 5 December 2014
10:30 – 12:00
Torrington Room 104, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

This paper argues that, within a well-established industry, the media’s general discourse partly determines consumers’ perceptions of how comparable producers are to one another. That is, within a given industry, the overall structure of co-mentions of a producer’s name with its competitors within these media reports influences the reader’s perceptions about that producer’s comparability to its competitors. In turn, such perceptions of comparability of a producer to its competitors are positively associated to consumers’ valuations for that producer’s products due to a closer fit with the category prototype (i.e. the category member most similar to all others). Using media reports on the luxury watchmaking industry between 2001 and 2009, I find a positive effect of a watch producer’s comparability on the prices reached by its watches in auctions. This relationship is positively moderated by both the absolute level of watch experts’ monetary valuations of these watches and the uncertainty of those valuations, as these factors impact the likelihood that consumers will rely upon that structure of comparisons.

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Executive Education: Project Management
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Last updated Wednesday, 3 December 2014