How Tiffany's Changed its Image to Engage Millennials, Spark Customer Loyalty
Tiffany’s is a compelling example of an iconic 181-year-old brand that blends its historic past with cutting-edge trends and themes that cater now to a younger demographic, aiming to restore some of its lost radiance. By targeting millennials and using a heavy dose of social media and digital marketing, Tiffany’s has found new life that has fueled significant company momentum, both organically and fiscally.
Tiffany’s New CEO
CEO Frederic Cumenal’s resignation in early 2017 after two years of sinking sales and profits, coupled with a dreary three-year strategic plan, left Tiffany’s board of directors determined to right the ship.
Hiring Alessandro Bogliolo as the new CEO has been a pivotal move for Tiffany’s.
Prior to taking the helm at Tiffany’s, Bogliolo served as CEO of global apparel and accessories company Diesel S.p.A in Italy. During his four years there, he helped elevate the brand and magnify the customer experience.
Bogliolo said in a recent news release to shareholders, “I'm committed to strengthening the company’s position as one of the world’s most important luxury brands and delivering value for all of our stakeholders.”
Lady Gaga for Audrey Hepburn?
A fresh new image, appealing to millennials in particular, is a focal point to drive customer loyalty for Tiffany’s under Bogliolo.
Tiffany’s made a splash at Super Bowl LI, formally announcing Lady Gaga as one of the new faces of the brand. The Super Bowl commercial also marked Tiffany’s first TV ad in 20 years.
Focusing on milestone events (e.g., weddings, birthdays, anniversaries) makes the millennial demographic more important to Tiffany’s in the long run.
Tiffany’s “Believe in Dreams” campaign targets a younger demographic and features celebrities such as Elle Fanning, Maddie Ziegler and A$AP Ferg.
In addition, Tiffany launched its “Believe in Love” campaign, which spotlights the jewelry brand's engagement and wedding rings. In addition, the company’s Love & Engagement campaign is unique in that it profiles how Tiffany’s plays a part in real-life love stories.
Bogliolo has outlined six strategic priorities for Tiffany’s to generate more customer loyalty:
- amplifying an evolved brand message;
- renewing product offerings and enhancing in-store presentations;
- delivering an exciting omnichannel customer experience;
- strengthening competitive position;
- cultivating a more efficient operating model; and
- inspiring an aligned and agile organization to win.
Another key event that occurred for Tiffany’s in late 2017 was the opening of the Blue Box Café in its Manhattan flagship store.
Millennials always enjoy an in-store experience that goes beyond just shopping and, perhaps, making a purchase.
The Blue Box Café is part of the store's fourth floor renovations, which also houses Tiffany's new luxury home and accessories collection. The new, brighter space is appealing to younger shoppers and adds a nice touch to the in-store experience.
Framed by the company’s well-known colors, the Blue Box Café makes breakfast at Tiffany’s a desired destination and experience. Millennials often seek unique and memorable places to dine. The Blue Box Café checks this box nicely.
Digital Customer Engagement
Tiffany’s has done an excellent job of marketing to its key millennial demographic. The brand's focus on social media has been particularly impactful.
Consider that Tiffany’s has more than 7 million followers on Instagram and more than 9 million on Facebook. Luxury shopping doesn’t have to be confined to in-store. Tiffany’s also achieves this through its Engagement Ring Finder mobile app.
Tackling social media so effectively and heightening customer engagement are two huge reasons why Tiffany’s has made a significant impact with a younger demographic. Being able to sell high-priced luxury items while capably communicating with millennials has helped pave the way for enhanced sales at Tiffany’s.
The process of emotive selling hasn't been lost on Tiffany’s, which wants to effectively leverage consumer emotions during the buying process.
Tiffany’s holiday same-store sales in 2017 increased 6 percent, and its worldwide first-quarter sales this year jumped 15 percent.
Tiffany’s is trending upward thanks to new brand messaging, effective communication via digital marketing, and customer loyalty from a younger demographic.
To achieve all of this in a relatively short amount of time shows that Tiffany’s knows and understands its customers well. It refreshed the brand image and introduced new messaging without losing its loyal base of older, wealthy customers.
Customer-centricity has helped Tiffany’s regain some of its lost luster. All these elements are critical to establishing long-term customer loyalty.
Tom Caporaso is the CEO of premium loyalty solutions pioneer Clarus Commerce, with over 24 years of experience in the retail, e-business and customer loyalty industries.
Related story: How GNC's Loyalty Program is Helping Turn Around the Business
Tom Caporaso is the CEO of ebbo, an all-in-one loyalty company that has helped leading brands build unforgettable customer experiences for over two decades. He has been in the loyalty space for over 25 years, empowering brands to build better relationships with their customers for the long-term. In addition to his loyalty expertise, Tom also received a 2020 leadership award from The Hartford Courant and has helped ebbo earn the Connecticut Top Workplaces award every year since 2013.