How Tiffany & Co. re-connected to younger audiences
In an age where traditional ‘luxury’ is dead, emerging brands know that to be successful they need to forge a deep connection with their customers – through culture, through stories, or through social movements. But for already prestigious high-end brands, how do they re-connect with new generations of young consumers whilst staying true to their heritage?
Tiffany & Co. is one case that’s caught our eye recently. In the 90s, a piece of Tiffany jewellery was a statement, one that signified wealth and taste. However, the brand shifted its direction into ‘affordable luxury’ and its statement lost its potency. But in the last few years, Tiffany has been working – with success – to re-connect with young, fashionable audiences once more. The proof? Tiffany’s revenue increased 9.6% between November 2017 and October 2018. Here are the 5 steps to their brand image reinvention:
Make it colourful
We live in a visual age with Instagram leading the way, and colour is key. Youthful hues such as ‘millennial’ pink appeal to younger audiences and Tiffany & Co.’s classic ‘Tiffany blue’ packs just as much punch. The spearmint colour has taken over their Instagram feed in fresh new ways (think colour clashes, bold text overlays, playful animations) that instantly pop with a youthful feel while staying true to their heritage at the same time.
Takeaway: look to your heritage colours and focus on one element that pops
Make a partnership
You’ve got your visual hook, now you need to present it in a new way. One of the challenges for heritage brands is shrugging off the ‘stuffy’ traditional visuals. And one of the easiest solutions is to partner with an upcoming young talent who can see your brand with fresh eyes. For Tiffany, this has been their artistic collaboration with photographer Renell Medrano for over a year. The result is that Tiffany reaches a new audience through Medrano’s following, re-framing the brand to the younger fashion generation.
Takeaway: a long-term creative collaboration wins for both parties
Make your content cool
It’s not just photographers you can collaborate with; choosing influencers that your new target audience identify with is another way to reinvent your brand image (see our Bulgari case study). As well as the Medrano collaboration, Tiffany kept their brand front of mind with younger audiences by featuring zeitgeist models and celebrities such as Zoe Kravitz, Elle Fanning, Karen Elson and Jū Xiǎowén in their 2018 Believe in Dreams campaign. Tiffany blue was creatively styled throughout their Christmas ad, which was directed by Mark Romanek – known for Beyoncé’s Lemonade video. All of which earns cultural kudos and PR hooks that resonate with younger generations.
Takeaway: know your audience and feature models and directors with links to their culture
Make it red carpet-worthy
Making use of real-life events is a timeworn marketing tool and jewellery and fashion brands have the opportunity to create real PR buzz here. Tiffany made another smart move by designing a bespoke necklace for Lady Gaga – a champion of young and LGBTQ audiences – for the Golden Globes, knowing all eyes were going to be on their product.
Takeaway: choose your celebrity endorsements wisely and capitalise on cultural events important to your audience
Make a stand
We live in an age where consumers are demanding transparency. From GDPR to social media, ethical behaviour is now hugely important to consumers, particularly the younger generations. Conflict diamonds have been a tense political issue for jewellery brands, but last year Tiffany & Co. declared that by 2020 you’ll be able to trace your diamond with a Tiffany serial number. In an industry where secrecy behind sourcing their product was paramount, this is a bold move that audiences will celebrate.
Takeaway: Be transparent about your business’s main flaw and address it
By Nicole Harley – Account Manager at Studio Black Tomato