branding, men, Positioning, segmentation, targeting, Tiffany & Co
Although the demographics of shoppers in Tiffany & Co. retail stores often have featured a lot of men, most of its products were designed for women to wear or for families to acquire for their tables. That is, the shoppers might have been men, but many of them were mostly buying for their female partners. In its ongoing attempts to remain relevant and prosperous, Tiffany & Co. wants to shift that trend by encouraging more men to buy treats for themselves too and making sure that it stocks plenty of luxurious offerings to tempt them.
Thus, in addition to diamond jewelry and fine silver, Tiffany has introduced cuffs and bracelets for men (made of leather, silver, and other materials), a billiard ball set in its signature blue color, men’s sunglasses, and silver ice tongs and beer steins that the discerning home bartender can get monogramed.
The added product offerings are not the first recent extension by Tiffany. It previously has added more items at lower price points, in an attempt to attract younger, less wealthy clientele with entry-level products that can get them accustomed and loyal to the brand. Before it thought about men, it also added luxury products for pets, including collars, leashes, and beds. Its Everyday Objects line includes a wider variety of home goods too. For its latest entry into the men’s market, it has relied on these existing Everyday Objects; for example, it already sold beer steins but now markets them more actively toward male buyers.
Such moves reflect the company’s realization that it needs to make some changes to stay relevant and avoid an image as a staid, old-fashioned brand. Modern consumers might have little interest in who Audrey Hepburn is or feel compelled to show off a blue box next to their new engagement ring—if they even get engaged at all. Sales of engagement rings have decreased by 4 percent in recent years, a drop that represents a great risk for a company that depends heavily on such sales. Furthermore, sales of designer jewelry overall have fallen by 12 percent. Although Tiffany also has sought to expand its brand internationally, its growth in one of the most promising markets, Hong Kong, has slowed dramatically, seemingly due to the social and political unrest disrupting the area.
- What kinds of extensions has Tiffany & Co. been trying? Which ones should it focus on primarily, in your opinion?
- Is focusing on male consumers an effective targeting approach, or should Tiffany & Co. consider different segmentation options?
Source: Nick Remsen, “Tiffany Creates Another Reason for Men to Shop,” The New York Times, September 15, 2019