This post was originally published in May 2014. It has been updated with fresh content and new insights. Enjoy!
People are buying pretty much everything online now: books, clothes, gifts, even cosmetics. But fine jewelry? Is it possible to get customers to purchase online when it involves such a crucial—and costly—item?
Thanks to some impressive digital marketing efforts and deep engagement with online consumers, Tiffany & Co., a premier jeweler since 1837, has reached audiences in a new way and is cutting a (very shiny) swath among aspirational brands marketing on the Internet.
McKinsey reported that 50% of luxury purchases are now influenced by what shoppers find online. And Tiffany is leading the way. L2 Think Tank, New York, ranks the digital competence of prestige brands, and awarded Tiffany & Co. its only Gifted ranking in its Digital IQ Index® Watches & Jewelry study.
The Power of Emotion
Tiffany is impressing consumers and consumer researchers alike, not just through its gorgeous website touting its elegant wares, but by tapping into the sentiment involved in purchasing fine jewelry, particularly engagement rings. Their latest campaign, “Will You?” celebrates “love in all its forms” and features real-life couples, including a same-sex engaged couple.
“Selling product benefits is, today, a failed strategy,” says Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami. “Tapping into your prospect’s deep-seated values and emotions is key.” Ramey says Tiffany understands this marketing evolution as well as any company. Emotive selling connects neurologically to consumers who are disinclined to buy more items.
Emotive selling seems to work for Tiffany, with a reported 20% increase in sales after the launch of their former What Makes Love True and their engagement ring finder mobile app. The app, updated in the second half of 2015, lets users choose styles, carat weights and even take hand selfies to “try on” rings. You can share the photo with family (and terrified boyfriends) and book an appointment with a Tiffany store.
Soaring Engagement for Engagement Rings
Tiffany boasts more than 3.5 million followers on Instagram, almost 130,000 on Pinterest, 1.4 million on Twitter and more than 8 million fans on Facebook. They also have 25,000 YouTube subscribers.
A new year and a new beginning, but one life-changing question remains the same. Which Tiffany diamond is the one for you?Explore engagement rings: http://tco.nyc/3lROa8
Posted by Tiffany & Co. on Wednesday, January 6, 2016
But Tiffany has more to show than just a lot of followers across their social platforms; Engagement Labs ranked the venerable retailer first overall on Facebook and second on Twitter in their Total Social Rankings™ report. Engagement Labs cited the luxury brand’s engagement and responsiveness scores, which means that not only are they posting great content, fans are responding to it—and Tiffany is using that opportunity to further engage with their audience.
The report cited Tiffany’s photos of celebrities purchasing its products, and content from fashion bloggers, as well as the popular #WillYou hashtag tweets.
Showing Consumers the Love
Tiffany’s impressive social engagement is making it the iconic brand to watch. Tiffany blue is red-hot. The jeweler seems to be embracing what Duke Greenhill, the founder and CEO of Greenhill+Partners, calls “the four pillars of digital marketing for luxury brands.”
Tiffany is one of the five most-visible luxury brands online, and one of the most responsive, too. “It is definitely important that a brand doesn’t ignore their consumers online. However, thinking more broadly, responsiveness is at the core of a successful social intelligence program,” says James Lovejoy, content researcher at Brandwatch. “That goes well beyond just replying to questions or comments; responsiveness means constantly following the conversation surrounding the industry and being able to have those conversations inform the business’ decisions.”
Tiffany is outsparkling most other luxury brands when it comes to connecting with consumers via social networks, but high-end labels in general still lag other segments when it comes to social. That’s according to the recent Total Social Rankings from marketing consultancy Engagement Labs, which measured more than 100,000 brands across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and offline word-of-mouth and then ranked the top luxury brands across those four channels.
_ _ _
Given its success with social media, Tiffany seems to be extracting that emotion and “rocking” it. What luxury brands have you seen with star-studded content marketing campaigns? Share your favorite examples in the comments.