Tiffany & Co – Where the Heart leads the Head

Isaac Mostovicz writes that Tiffany's new digital campaign aims to capture consumers' hearts as well as minds ...

I have written previously about luxury brands’ adoption of digital campaigns, for example designer Marc Jacobs’ MarcFam which encourages consumers to interact with the brand online via Twitter and Instagram.


I read with interest about the latest instalment of luxury jeweller Tiffany’s digital campaign “What Makes Love True,” which has adopted a similar approach in terms of digital user interaction. However this campaign, based on the concept of the art of love and romance, invites users into a world charged with emotion, presented in a highly immersive digital environment.


The first part of the campaign incorporates brand and user created content – videos of consumers narrating tales of “true love,” an interactive map where consumers share locations where they have experienced romance, and additional filmed content. For the second part of the campaign, launching next week, consumers will be able to upload their own tangible examples of “true love” through a user-curated gallery.


I have written in the past on the importance of brands connecting to consumers’ emotions, and this is a very successful association for a brand that wants to position itself as having a major significance at “life-stage” events such as engagements and weddings – with that significance now firmly embedded through its own virtual environment.


Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami commented: “Selling product benefits is, today, a failed strategy. Tapping into your prospect’s deep-seated values and emotions is key.


“Tiffany understands this marketing evolution as well as anyone,” he said. “Emotive selling connects neurologically to consumers who are disinclined to buy more stuff.


“This is the new reality for selling luxury.”


The What Makes Love True microsite can be found at

True Love in Pictures by Tiffany & Co


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Is it possible to keep online luxury exclusive?

Isaac Mostovicz writes that luxury websites can work, if they appeal to how people interpret luxury...

Following up on my recent post about luxury companies going online, the Economist has posted an interesting article on luxury companies going online. Some companies, like Tiffany & Co., are doing quite well with their online sales, while others, like Fabergé, are taking more of a ‘wait and see’ approach. These companies say they are reluctant to put their goods for sale online because the experience isn’t the same. Says the author:

Luxury executives explain that the internet is too impersonal for their products, which need the human touch. Allowing anyone to buy online can mean a loss of cachet. Luxury firms like to dazzle customers with plush stores and sleek ads, so that they think only about beauty and not at all about price. The web, by contrast, shines a clear light on price. “That’s the last thing I want people to think about,” wails an executive from the watch industry.

Still, luxury firms are going online in greater numbers because their customers increasingly want the convenience of ordering online. I don’t think it’s impossible for luxury companies to offer a unique, exclusive experience through the online channel. It just needs to be well planned and thought out, and needs to appeal to the different ways that individuals look at the world and consume luxury. A website that appeals to a Lambda woman in one way and a Theta man in another could be quite successful.

Photo by Erin Blatzer

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Van Cleef & Arpels’ Luxury App for the iPhone

Isaac Mostovicz writes that Van Cleef & Arpels has provided a walk to remember...

More and more luxury companies are creating mobile phone applications to sell their wares and expose their brand–Tiffany & Co. just released their engagement ring finder iPhone app earlier this month, joining Chanel, Net-a-Porter, and many others. Van Cleef & Arpels has also joined the fray, but their app is different from other apps I’ve seen.

Their app, A Day in Paris (the newest version of which just came out this week), doesn’t directly sell Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery — it provides users with “a variety of poetic strolls to guide you in Paris … revealing the most poetic places chosen by the private Van Cleef & Arpels’ blogger community”. The app also has “a new thematic menu to browse the categories of poetic places: arts & culture, gastronomy, shopping, poetic places” and encourages users  “to discover [Paris’s] selective and poetic places and share those magical places with their Foursquare contacts and of course on Facebook if they so choose.”

Providing a positive experience affiliated with the brand (but not directly selling to consumers) is an interesting strategy, and I believe that it sets Van Cleef & Arpels apart. Have a look at the app in action here:

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Tiffany launches iPhone App

Isaac Mostovicz writes that finding an engagement ring can now be done anywhere...

Last year I wrote about Chanel and Net-a-Porter apps making it to the iPhone. Since then, more luxury companies are expanding their marketing efforts and finally embracing the online sphere. Today Tiffany launched a new iPhone app that allows people (I’d imagine primarily men) to easily browse Tiffany’s range of engagement rings.

While one can’t purchase rings directly from within the app, it does offer a decent amount of utility. Users can scroll through all of Tiffany’s different cuts, fixtures and collections for engagement rings — 44 combinations in all. You can also figure out what size you need by placing an existing ring on screen and matching it to a digital sizer. And if you need more help, you can call or set up a meeting with a representative from Tiffany from within the app.

The app doesn’t do anything more than what Tiffany already offers on its website, but by offering an app, I believe Tiffany will expose its rings to a larger number of (predominantly younger) luxury consumers who have iPhones. These consumers are discerning and like their luxury on demand–they should appreciate the ability to browse rings wherever they are. People can even design rings and then share them via email and Facebook. These sharing functionalities will appeal to Theta personalities who will want their ‘marrying friends’ to know that they fit in and are getting rings. That it’s still possible to design a very unique ring within the app will help it appeal to Lambda personalities.

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Tiffany & Co pushes into China with a new digital approach

Isaac Mostovicz writes that diamond retailer Tiffany & Co has discovered the benefits of digital to reach their varied customer base....

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Every week it seems a different luxe brand is making a push into China. This week it’s diamond retailer Tiffany & Co, with a new digital through-the-line campaign for its Tiffany Keys collection.

Media by Brand Republic has more:

This week, Tiffany unveiled its ’Journey behind the door’ online campaign, developed by Proximity Live and BBDO, in conjunction with a photography exhibition featuring mainland celebrities. The digital site, at, features a sample of the photographers’ works and includes community features, encouraging audiences to share their interpretations of the theme ‘Journey behind the door’ via BBS posts and photographs.

The new digital campaign is a different approach for luxe, which has previously avoided digital because of a perceived loss of exclusivity. But now that those same Lambda personalities who avoided the web are now practically digital natives. As a result, the luxe brands have less motivation to avoid it, too.

bhavin says of this article...

hi this is bhavin here i just want to know what will be the new upcoming in the diamond industry…consumers buying costly diamonds or cheaper diamonds……in future so wat will be the future……

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New, old trend emerging on the diamond market

Isaac Mostovicz writes that imperfect stones are not always considered imperfect anymore...


A new trend is emerging on the diamond market, where rough unpolished diamonds now are being sought after by diamond dealers and used by jewellery designers for their character, uniqueness and authenticity.

However, this trend isn’t actually new, but started nearly a decade ago with underground German stone-cutters creating innovative pieces that pushed boundaries, and have since been in vogue in avant-garde circles around the globe. But it is only now that this trend is reaching a wider audience and is being picked up by big brands such as Tiffany’s, Cartier and De Beers.

Stones with imperfections that previously would have destined them to be thrown on the scrapheap are now used and considered as a source of character.

Tiffany’s vice-president John King told the Financial Times that Architect Frank Gehry is creating rough diamond jewellery for the company. “He is attracted to raw nature which is not neatly faceted, to rough textures and, from his work with wood, to the warm browns and ambers of rough diamonds”

Some argue, however, that jewellers may use such gems as a way of squeezing extra value from stones that previously had little use; and now that they are in vogue, prices of rough or included stones has indeed rocketed.

In the end it comes down to supply and demand, and it is up to the customers to decide whether they are prepared to pay for these traditionally overlooked stones. My guess is that Lambda personalities, who generally seek originality and challenge, are the ones most attracted to the distinct and unique characters of these stones, whilst Theta personalities, who seeks truth and unity, may dismiss them as un-pure and lacking the brilliance of a perfectly cut and polished diamond.

LuxuryLab Daily Digest « says of this article...

[…] New, Old Trend Emerging on the Diamond District (Janus Thinking) new trend is emerging on the diamond market, where rough unpolished diamonds now are being sought after by diamond dealers and used by jewellery designers for their character, uniqueness and authenticity. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Baume & Mercier Watches Lose Their CEO […]

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eBay 1, Tiffany’s 0

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Tiffany was in the news this week, not for a new line of diamond rings or earrings but because it lost the long-running lawsuit it’s had with eBay about the sale of counterfeit Tiffany goods on the site. Tiffany maintains that eBay knowingly encouraged sellers to dilute Tiffany’s value and trademarks by not putting a stop to counterfeit Tiffany listings on the site. Rather than resting with eBay, the burden for identifying counterfeit goods rests with Tiffany, who have to report counterfeit listings to eBay and have eBay remove them. EBay argues that like YouTube it’s up to the trademark holder to report false listings, and they already take enough action against counterfeit items because these are bad for their marketplace.

This American ruling is interesting because it diverges from recent findings in European courts. In Germany a ruling for Rolex found that eBay must make greater preventative measures against the sale of counterfeit Rolexes, and in France eBay was ordered to pay Louis Vuitton 40 million euros in damages for the sale of counterfeit goods.

Counterfeit goods damage brand value–if discovered, they’ll upset people who purchase them and receive them as gifts; they mock the effort that people make to show their love and appreciation for one another. The takeaway from this case is that one needs to be careful when make purchases from a source that hasn’t been completely vetted. When a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

[Photo by minxlj]

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Tiffany and Swatch announce a 20 year pact

Isaac Mostovicz writes...


This week Tiffany and the Swatch Group announced a new partnership lasting at least 20 years that will expand Tiffany’s small watch business into “one of the most important watchmakers in the world in the next five to 10 years,” according to Nicolas G. Hayek, Sr., Swatch Group chairman and co-founder.

Tiffany will continue its current lines and expand them in a new company, Tiffany Watches, which will be entirely owned by Swatch. Both companies will share their expertise to collaborate on design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and service. Tiffany will have a seat on the company’s five-member board of directors, product design and marketing committees, and will get a share of the new company’s profits.

Many consumers associate Tiffany with fine diamonds and Swatch with cheap watches (even though Swatch does own several luxury timepiece brands, including Breguet, Blancpain, Glasshütte Original, and Omega). Tiffany will have to be careful so as not to pull a ‘DaimlerChrysler’–tarnishing the brand image of both companies (bringing the Tiffany brand ‘down’ to Swatch) and losing a great deal of money in the process (when expected synergies don’t actually happen). It sounds like Tiffany and Swatch are on the right track though, as they’ve already said distribution will be “selective” through the Swatch Group global network, Tiffany stores, and areas where rivals like Bulgari watches are sold.

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Connoisseurship Trends: Value

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

When we initially envisaged this connoisseurship series, we thought there would just be four posts (the definition of connoisseurship, aspects with which to engage an object, connoisseurship’s academic legacy, and sham connoisseurship), but the material keeps coming. In this fifth post, we discuss value’s place in connoisseurship.

A great example of a modern connoisseur is Mark Resnick. A vice president at Twentieth Century Fox, he (along with his wife) has amassed a very highly-regarded collection of American posters dating from the 1890s. In an interview from last November, Mr. Resnick said that his connoisseurship of posters ties together lifelong interests in art, commerce and popular culture.

I collect posters for the love of it. Not a day goes by without my trying to expand my knowledge—for its own sake—of graphic design. That isn’t to say I’m not rather businesslike about my collecting. I have to be, in order to build and manage what is now getting to be an archive. If there’s a “recipe” here, I think it’s to combine a sharp eye, deep knowledge of the material, and solid business skills.

I thought the most interesting part of the interview was Mr. Resnik’s description of the entry standard for posters in his collection:

The collection’s breadth means there are few restrictions. I do avoid purchasing even great posters, however, if they’re excessively priced. And I’m more cautious still when it comes to “good-but-not-great” posters, posters in poor condition, or posters in a category already well represented in the collection. I know that if I don’t stay focused (price-wise) on posters in good condition that truly fill a gap, then the goals I’ve set for the collection will never be reached.

Indeed, as people have more sources of information and more choices, value becomes something that both the not-so-rich and the ultra-rich consider when choosing which objects to appreciate. One can look to the Helium Report to observe this. The Helium Report is a luxury portal that allows users to comment on and compare resorts, private jets, exotic cars and other topics a wealthy connoisseur might be interested in. Throughout the site, the prices of such luxury (and how to calculate a figure when it isn’t immediately apparent) are readily listed.

Thinking beyond monetary value for a moment, the real value a luxury good provides for the purchaser/connoisseur is how it makes him or her feel, whether the object is intended to become a gift or part of a collection. Some might find paying a million dollars for a piece of jewelry a bit extravagant, but if it provides the buyer with exactly what he or she wants, then it’s a good value. In fact Tiffany *is* offering a million dollar piece of jewelry, and that includes the experience that goes along with it. From an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last December:

“A Victoria Secret bra covered in diamonds is a beautiful piece of lingerie. But, a true connoisseur wants to go to the mines, choose the diamonds, then design the item,” said Carol Brodie, chief luxury officer of Robb Report magazine. “It’s creating your own personal preference.”

High-end jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. offers just such an opportunity. For a cool $1 million, shoppers can select their own 24.3-carat rough diamond from an undisclosed mine and then travel via private jet to the company’s diamond-cutting facility in Antwerp, Belgium. The experience ends in New York, where chief gemologist Melvyn Kirtley will help create the perfect setting and mounting for the bauble.
“A stone of this size can produce as many as three stones,” said Kirtley. (Consider it a three-for-one deal.) And, as if there were any question, first-class accommodations are included throughout the trip.

This type of experience certainly provides value for the connoisseur who wants something extraordinarily unique and customized.

Our next post on connoisseurship will expand on this customization idea, discussing several ways that connoisseurs use their accumulated knowledge to customize and specialize objects.

Judah Gutwein says of this article...

Really great post.

I always enjoy you salient viewpoints and perspectives!


Jakob Voldum says of this article...

Collectors items and connoisseurship is certainly an interesting subject – especially because it is a well known that most die hard collectors can be found among affluent individuals. I am currently doing some research on luxury-consumption myself and have had some time and opportunity to dig in to the more theoretical dimensions of the idea of collecting items; what it means to have a collection. The recently deceased philosopher Jean Baudrillard had some interesting thoughts on the concept as he developed his theory about the system of objects back in 1968. He wrote, and I quote:

“Man is not at home in the functional milieu. He needs, in order to make it livable, something like that splinter of the True Cross which sanctified a church, something like a talisman, like a fragment of absolute reality which would be at the heart of the real, and enshrined in the real”. (Baudrillard, 1990 [1968]: 39)

So, the very basic point here is, that objects can only be understood in terms of the unique relationship in which they are to the individual. We all aspire to find out exactly who we are, and in order to do that we surround ourselves with objects that can help to enforce that image of ourselves. That, I believe – with inspiration from Baudrillard – is part of the dynamic of consumption. Now, with regard to understanding the phenomena of collecting and connoisseurship among the affluent, the point I am getting at is quite clear. As affluent individuals are more likely than “ordinary people” to have surrounded themselves with objecs that enforce their self-image and thus, they need to expand the concept of what they are by adding something material that is not so easily obtainable – and that is for example, a collection of something (art, vintage watches, etc.).

Well, just a few quick thought – thanks for an interesting blog…

Sherpareport says of this article...

Great post. There is certainly a place for value assessment as part of connoisseurship.

We see affluent consumers using the left side of their brains and downloading spreadsheets as part of their review of Luxury Destination Clubs and Private Residence Clubs.

But ultimately they join to enjoy the exclusive services and the time with their families.

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Feelings for Tiffany

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

As we’ve mentioned before on Janus Thinking, Tiffany is a company that seems to be doing it right. There’s a fine line between courting young consumers with lower prices (to make buying Tiffany a lifelong habit) and devaluing the brand (putting off older customers or making younger customers think Tiffany is something they grow out of), but Tiffany has thus far been able to toe the line successfully. We mentioned Tiffany’s marketing strategy of raising prices to reduce demand earlier this month; last week the New York Times ran a story about Tiffany with a similar theme:

I credit the store for its gentle displays here: the most inexpensive rings — prices start at $1,090 for a ring with a round .18 carat diamond — seem to be presented in the clearest, brightest lights. This is not intended to make these rings seem bigger; rather, it makes them appear to be just as important as the icebergs down the counter — say, the round 10.5 carat diamond ring that sells for $1.12 million.

Indeed, the Tiffany ethos of making customers feel special is part of the reason why people think so highly of Tiffany and the blue box. That “fuzzy feeling” people get when they buy Tiffany is extraordinarily valuable:

While Tiffany has sold millions of diamond engagement rings, many of its customers would pay a surcharge for the blue box because it represents trust and quality. What most people want when they celebrate their marriage is the manufacture of perfect memories, and for them the blue box is as essential a part of the wedding tradition as a white veil. In the marriages I’ve observed that began with a blue box, there is a kind of assurance that buying your ring at Tiffany inures you from bad marital juju, as if the union were protected by the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

This type of emotional connection certainly gives Tiffany a leg up against the competition.

This Valentine’s Day, did you think ‘Tiffany’ for your special someone?

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A New Bulgari

Today I came across an interesting commentary item from Unbound Edition, a publication by marketing consulting firm Patrick Davis Partners. Last month Bulgari announced that they are overhauling their business starting with their flagsh…

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