When you think of Tiffany’s, what pops into your mind? For me it’s overpriced diamonds and a stodgy man behind a jewelry counter.
Apparently, I’m not alone and those images have been a big problem for the brand.
Tiffany & Co. had four consecutive quarters of sales declines and took a big hit in the stock market. The reasons are obvious when you think about it—our culture is changing, and the brand is no longer relevant to young people. Does anyone under 40 even know who Audrey Hepburn was?
But the 180-year-old jewelry company is fighting back. Tiffany’s transformed its marketing with, among other things, a beautifully shot commercial featuring Lady Gaga who talks about “rebellion,” “power,” and “challenging the status quo.” It seems to be working. The company had a stronger fourth quarter, and in March its stock rose to a 52-week high.
Tiffany’s isn’t only targeting young people with its new ads. The company has also (finally!) jumped on a trend that’s been discussed in the jewelry industry for a few years now: the self-purchasing woman. More and more women have stopped waiting for a man to buy them that gorgeous bracelet and are instead paying for it themselves. The self-purchasing woman has a successful career, may very well be single, and after wearing that bracelet for a few months, she’s just as capable of deciding her condo needs a new kitchen. In fact, in 2016, single females represented 17 percent of total home purchases, according to the National Association of Realtors.
I was chatting about all of this recently with industry consultant Mark Richardson, who then mentioned a series of meetings he had with remodelers all over the country. He asked each group a question: “What percentage of your clients were 30-somethings 10 years ago?” He then asked the same question for today. The answers were consistent across the board: A decade ago, the proportion of younger clients was between 5 and 10 percent; today, it’s 30 to 35 percent, these remodelers said.
I would advise asking that question of your own business as it pertains to younger clients and self-purchasing women. Which demographics are growing? Is that happening more in a particular region of your service area? More importantly, is your marketing keeping pace with shifts in your customer demographic?
When you think of remodeling clients, what pops into your mind? Hopefully, it’s not just middle-aged couples.