October 23, 2012
French jeweler Boucheron is opening its fall catalog with a history lesson that leads recipients to jewelry pages showing its fall collections.
The majority of the catalog comprises pieces from the collections presented on thick, white pages that also contain simple line drawings of the brand’s 26 Place Vendôme flagship boutique. Boucheron is also stringing some of the history and craftsmanship behind the brand throughout the pages with a timeline and collection introductions.
“Imagery is sexy and emotional, words are commodity,” said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami. “In a visually-driven world, Boucheron nails the concept.
“Mail is relevant because it adds to the senses – you can touch it and feel the heavier stock, you can pick-up scents, and you can force the eyes to focus on the smallest detail,” he said. “Print is less likely to be manipulated since it has a sense of something important.
“There is an authenticity that permeates how you learned to read, think and appreciate art and luxury.”
Mr. Ramey is not affiliated with Boucheron, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Boucheron did not respond before press deadline.
Keeping it simple
Boucheron took a minimalist approach to its fall catalog by showing mainly images without accompanying product details.
The front of the catalog is embossed to show the front door of the 26 Place Vendôme boutique. The brand, boutique address and the world “collections” are shown on the cover in metallic gold.
When closed, the thickness of the pages is metallic gold as well.
The first section of the mailer is “Histoire de Boucheron.” It contains a timeline and a few additional readings in French and English.
Next are the fall collections. Each collection begins with an explanation on the inspiration and craft behind the pieces.
Section introduction pages
Most pages show one piece of jewelry, but others show a few items of similar style.
Two pages at the back of the catalog offer information about special orders.
The last page shows the URL to Boucheron’s Web site.
Boucheron’s mail strategy seems to carry the same themes that are represented on its Web site that was revamped earlier this month. The site allows consumers to access 360-degree product angles and brand heritage.
The site is available in English, French, Japanese and Simplified Chinese. It is split into Boucheron News, Creations, Expertise, The Maison and Boutiques.
Consumers can access all Boucheron collections including high jewelry, fragrances, jewelry, bridal and watches. When consumers select a product, they can zoom in and get a 360-degree view through video.
Another major section is expertise. Consumers can seek expert advice from the brand on diamonds, gold, colored stones, care advice and a call guide.
The Maison section is likely the most interactive. Site visitors can act as if they are walking through the Boucheron flagship boutique.
Boucheron’s new site also acts as a display of the brand heritage. It depicts the Boucheron family, a history of products, values and special orders.
The “Moments B” section is “secret archives” that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the brand history and discover iconic moments and creations.
Another section is Savoir-Faire that gives insight into the Boucheron way, inspiration behind certain products and a look into the craftsmanship (see story).
The common thread in Boucheron’s overall marketing strategy seems to be its history. The brand is pushing its heritage, craftsmanship and brand standards through both its fall catalog and new Web site.
But it seems as though the goal of the catalog is to conjure awe for the products. Boucheron assumes that consumers know where to go for more information.
“Like other luxury jewelers, Boucheron’s new catalog focuses on beautiful product images rather than descriptive details and information,” said Elizabeth DeMaso, managing partner of Brenes Co., New York. “It takes the assumptive position that this audience is familiar with the quality and craftsmanship inherent in the products and that cost is not a barrier.
“With the holidays fast approaching, we can expect to see a push from luxury marketers as shoppers search for the perfect, show-stopping gift,” she said. “Beginning with a piece of direct mail that celebrates the beauty of the jewelry is the first step in the process of choosing that gift.
“Typically, this mail will be followed up with additional messaging to stay top-of-mind and drive the purchase.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York