As discovered in our previous assignments, Tiffany is a brand that is deeply embodied in the element of love and renowned for its luxurious jewelry. Because of Tiffany’s deep history, it is unwise to try to change the image of Tiffany. Tiffany’s past branding campaigns have worked well for the brand and the attributes of the brand are already well imprinted in the minds of our consumers. As such, our growth strategies for Tiffany would be to not change the brand image, but expand on what we already are as a brand.
THE EVOLVING PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSIONS OF LOVE
Tiffany has one key message for all; the universal truth that is: We all need love. Therefore, in its years of existence, Tiffany’s products serve as pledges of love be it for another individual or for oneself. However, Tiffany knows that it has to be constantly updated regarding what it really sells – it does not sell products, but instead it sells the universal truth of love. In our new brand purpose, “Redefining special moments of love”, we aim to look at the greater definition of what love through society’s eyes in order to define suitable growth strategies for our brand, Tiffany & Co. Singapore.
RISE IN SUPPORT FOR SAME-SEX AND INTERRACIAL ROMANTIC LOVE
Love been evolving with the times, with many definitions and dimensions of love now coming into play. Especially in the Westernized societies, two prominent types of romantic love today would be the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) and interracial/multiracial relationships.
Even President Barack Obama, in his recent re-election, fought to preserve LGBT rights, positing that gay couples “should be able to get married”. In a study conducted by Tom W. Smith, an internationally recognized expert in survey research specializing in the study of societal change and survey methodology, public attitudes towards same-sex marriages were shown to have improved tremendously over the years. Another notable trend, according to the General Social Survey by NORC at the University of Chicago, stated that younger generations will lead the way in rapidly changing public attitudes towards gays and lesbians to reflect greater acceptance.
Although all three sources mentioned above were taken from a Western context, we foresee a similar phenomenon that may take place eventually in the Asian context, due to rapid globalization and the promotion of liberal views towards love through the media. However, we recognize that it will take off at a slower pace, as the Asian society is still a conservative one.
RISE IN THE NOTION OF SELF-LOVE
Love towards oneself (self-love) has also emerged. Not to be confused with narcissim, self-love is defined as “caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses)”. With the increasing number of self-help books with titles such as “How to love yourself better”, “The power of me”, and even Valentine’s Day events for singles, we can see that this special type of love cannot be disregarded.
RISE IN THE FREE EXPRESSION OF LOVE TOWARDS FAMILY AND FRIENDS
In terms of familial love and love towards friends, research suggests that the feeling of intimacy, emotional connection and closeness is central to all types of love. What may differ across relationships is the degree of passion as well as the level of commitment. We can speculate that familial and friendship have a lower degree of passion, but perhaps a higher degree of commitment. These days, people are more expressive in displaying their affection towards their family and friends, with the phrase, “I love you” being said almost casually.
Tiffany & Co. International has acknowledged this trend of evolving love, and has shown great foresight as exemplified by its latest campaign, “What Makes True Love”, a websiite and mobile applicatiion which allows anyone to upload photos and quotes of love. The campaign serves to document relationships in all forms – irregardless of sexual orientation, race, age, and even human or not (e.g. love between two animals). The campaign managed to create a Tiffany community, not just within a country but globally – it brought together people who believed in expressing what makes true love. The campaign successfully exhibited love at its purest form; such that love is tolerant and transcends all differences.
LOVE – IN THE SINGAPORE CONTEXT
Despite the fact that social support groups for LGBTs have emerged (e.g. People Like Us, Fridae.com), as well as the Government’s stance on non-discrimination in hiring gays and lesbians, and more relaxed media regulations (e.g. Love & Pride film festival), according to a CATI public opinion poll conducted in Singapore in 2010 on homosexuality, it seems that Singaporeans’ general attitudes and acceptance of LGBT relationships are still negative. Much change is seen in the past decade. This is not very surprising as Singapore is a cultural melting pot, comprising of people of different racial and religious groups. From the poll, it was shown that Muslims and Christians, who make up a large portion of religious groups here Singapore, displayed the most negative attitudes towards LGBT relationships.
However, for interracial relationships, Singapore has long promoted racial integration and it is of no surprise that interracial marriages are on the rise. As of 2007, 16.4% of marriages were interracial as compared to 8.9% a decade ago. In comparison with LGBT relationships, Singaporeans do not seem to have as strong negative views towards interracial relationships.
In determining our brand strategy, we realise that there is a fine line between advocating LGBT rights and the notion of freedom to love. What we strongly wish to communicate is the latter, that Tiffany is an open community that respects love regardless of race, age and sexual orientation. We understand that opinions on LGBT relationships are highly polarized and the topic is especially sensitive in Asian cultures. Therefore, Tiffany’s communication strategy in this aspect has to be clear.
As mentioned, Tiffany is a brand that is linked to love. While doing our research (Assignment 2), this was further confirmed by our participants who stated that they would only consider Tiffany as a brand if they need to buy presents for their loved ones, especially if that loved one is their significant other. Also, gift were usually purchased mostly for women. Thus to broaden Tiffany and a brand, we came up with the purpose (Assignment 4) of “Redefining Love’s Special Moments”.
Our strategies aim to work on our Points of Parity (POP) and also further create more Points of Difference (POD) to help the brand stand out against its competitors. For example, from Assignment 1, we identified Customer Service as a POP. This will be further improved to give customers a better in-store experience. With this, we propose to launch a “Tiffany Day” for our loyal customers, to further give them a Tiffany Experience and capatilise this into becoming a POD for Tiffany.
With that, Team Tiffany invites you to join us on our jouney of “Redefining Love’s Special Moments”.