– Tiffany’s is luxury.
Tiffany’s is class.
Tiffany’s is the ultimate American dream, when asking for that yes.
But with millennials, in no rush to put a ring on it,
how does an almost two century old brand stay modern
without abandoning its heritage?
Tiffany’s was founded in 1837,
as a stationery and fancy goods emporium
called Tiffany, Young, & Ellis.
By 1853, they discovered that their market niche
was more jewelry, less stationery.
The company changed its name to Tiffany & Co.
Over the 20th century, Tiffany’s became synonymous with engagement rings,
thanks in large part to Audrey Hepburn
in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The brands reputation and luxury stature
became a part of pop culture.
But, as with most heritage brands,
there comes a time when heritage starts to sound a lot like old
By 2017, sales were in a serious slide,
as millennials and other younger customers looked
elsewhere to find a cooler version of luxury.
By February of that year, CEO Frederic Cumenal
resigned after two straight years of nose diving results.
In reaction to that major sales slump,
the company hired former Diesel CEO Alessandro Bogliolo
as its new Chief Exec.
And the company’s first Chief Artistic Officer, Reed Krakoff
veteran of both Ralph Lauren and Coach.
– [Reed] The brand has been consistently, I would say
traditional and somewhat quiet for the last decade
or so in terms of newness.
We have our first new setting in love and engagement in ten years,
just launching now called Tiffany True.
Paper Flowers was the first fine jewelry launch in almost a decade.
It all reflects a more casual brand added to but also,
the most rarefied all with room to grow and expand.
– An October 2018 report from consulting firm Bain
reported that people born between 1980 and 2010,
had generated 80% of the growth
in the luxury industry over the previous year.
– [Reed] Everyone knows the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s,
so one of the very first things I worked on was the
building and creating The Blue Box Cafe.
and I was definitely a foreign to the new area.
It’s something that Tiffany has never been in the business of before
and an area that is really
just the beginning of a next generation of retailing.
– After it’s initial success in New York,
the brand is now exporting the cafe concept elsewhere
to cash in on the experiential potential far beyond Fifth Avenue.
First is a pop-up breakfast cafe in Beverly Hills in May 2019
and launching a Tiffany Cafe in Tokyo.
Tiffany’s experimentation hasn’t ended there.
As with any brand, it faces the challenge
of breaking through the constant den of cultural noise
in order to get people’s attention.
The brand’s advertising reflects a riskier less button-down approach.
In its Spring 2018 campaign,
a one in a half minute video,
staring Elle Fannin called Believe in Dreams
featured both a nod to Breakfast at Tiffany’s
and a custom Tiffany track by Asap Ferg.
Diamonds sparkle and Fanning sports a Tiffany blue hoodie.
Meanwhile, the brands Instagram feed is sprinkled
with the likes of Kendall Jenner and Lady Gaga.
– [Reed] You can be part of a brand 24/7 through social media
to retail through online channels and many other ways.
and you have to be really convincing.
And you have to tell a coherent story.
That’s really critical to have one over arching voice.
I love the saying”brands are like people”.
You kind of have to get to know them
and it’s a very organic iterative process.
It’s not a straight line at all.
So you do something in one part
of the business and product or in marketing in PR.
Kinda have to take that in and see what it does
for the entire brand until the next piece.
If you’re not conscious of that you’re not constantly challenging yourself
in terms of things you’re doing.
It’s difficult to be successful at things unless you’re
constantly reevaluating how the brand is tracking and how it’s evolving.
– Looking ahead the brands buzz is as strong as its been in years
and US sales have increased over the past three quarters.
Still, challenges continue as US holiday sales
remain essentially flat compared to 2017,
and sales in China have been slipping.
– [Reed] I don’t think too much about success
I just think about what’s next,
but knowing that Tiffany,
I really believe is the only American luxury brand
and the only brand that has credibility and commitment
to create incredible craftsmanship and doing things the right way.
The fact that we have such a long history of
commitment and credibility and craftsmanship
is not a hard story to tell,
but it’s a story we need to be more forceful about.
So I think I have an amazing palette and amazing opportunity
and will drive the business forward.
– As with any brand,
no one single move is a silver bullet for success.
but what these recent moves by Tiffany’s demonstrate
is that they’re willing to bet big when it comes to the brands future.
– Tiffany’s is luxury.