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Tiffany feted for unmatched digital marketing: L2 Think Tank

October 19, 2012


Jeweler Tiffany & Co. is outdoing its competitors in the digital space as the only brand to receive a genius ranking on L2 Think Tank's new Digital IQ Index: Watches and Jewelry.

On the heels of its No. 1 ranking in last year’s report, Tiffany seems to be consistently favored for its What Makes Love True digital campaign that captures the emotions behind a purchase. However, high-end watchmakers and jewelers, as a whole, need to improve their chances of getting noticed on digital through search marketing and on-site user-submitted reviews.

“Watchmakers and jewelers continue to lag behind all other industries on most digital dimensions, but the category is coming into a digital adolescence,” said Adrienne Ronai, research lead at L2 Think Tank, New York.

“Several factors are, for the first time, beginning to make ecommerce both achievable and attractive – deteriorating distribution through third-party retailers and an increase in vertical distribution channels, industry consolidation and growth, increased full-priced sales on luxury sites, and increasingly digital-savvy affluent consumers,” she said.

“The watches and jewelry industry has a long way to go on digital, but we expect conditions are right for the brands in our index to accelerate their digital competence in the coming years.”

The Digital IQ Index: Watches and Jewelry ranked the digital strategies of 47 prestige brands on more than 675 data points. Strategies were ranked 15 percent on mobile, 15 percent on social media, 30 percent on digital marketing and 40 percent on site.

Marketers were given Genius, Gifted, Averaged, Challenged and Feeble rankings.

Out of the blue box

Tiffany came in at No. 1 in the Digital IQ Index, maintaining its rank two years running.

In last year’s report, Tiffany was the only brand to receive a gifted ranking and was lauded for its mobile application and microsite What Makes Love True along with its Engagement Ring finder app (see story).

Tiffany was also one of the marketers that rounded out the top 20 in the 2012 L2 Think Tank Facebook IQ report released in June (see story).

The jeweler is consistently adding to its What Makes Love True campaign with various efforts.

For instance, photographers and consumers could upload candid photos that signify what true love means to them as part of a new campaign installment earlier this year (see story).

True Love in Pictures homepage

More recently, the True Love in Pictures program invited consumers to upload images of themselves and others in love for other users to comment and “like.” The effort took the interaction to the next level with physical postcards that were mailed to consumers across the country (see story).

Tiffany’s Facebook page

Additionally, Tiffany is present often on the mobile channel.

Last quarter, the jeweler looked to direct affluent New Yorkers to its new SoHo property through geo-targeted banner ads on the Weather Channel mobile app (see story).

Tiffany ad landing page

In addition, the brand pushed a new collection by in-house designer Paloma Picasso and its mobile commerce-enabled site via an advertisement in the Pandora iPhone app (see story).

Tiffany seems to be successful in its efforts since it is engaging across all platforms.

Meanwhile, Swarovski, David Yurman, Tissot, Cartier, Montblanc, Pandora, De Beers and Victorinox followed in the ranking. These brands fell into the gifted category.

Marketers including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Movado, IWC Schaffhausen, Longiness, Omega, TAG Heuer, Baccarat and Van Cleef & Arpels received a ranking of average.

“Watch and jewelry brands traditionally inspire deep feelings among consumers – they sell high-value items that are meant to last a lifetime, or even be passed down several generations, and that usually commemorate happy, highly emotional occasions,” Ms. Ronai said.

“Unsurprisingly, they draw the highest Facebook engagement levels of any industry L2 observes every year,” she said.

“Watch and jewelry brands are thus uniquely well-positioned to leverage the enthusiasm and goodwill they have historically enjoyed across several different points of contact such as Web sites, email, mobile and social platforms, which are a particularly effective vehicle for consumers to share, express and build their already-strong emotional bonds with brands.”


The Digital IQ Index: Watches and Jewelry also uncovered the missing links in these brands’ digital strategies.

Most brands – 96 percent – are on Facebook. Rolex and Patek Philippe do not have an official brand Facebook page.

Watch and jewelry brands are also increasing the speed of adoption on emerging platforms, per Ms. Ronai. Fifty-five of the brands studied are on Pinterest, 45 percent on Google+ and 43 percent on Instagram.

However, brands are missing out on a few key digital strategies.

For example, the average brand in the study owns 25 percent of the search results for their brand terms on the first page of Google. Sixteen percent own the first-page search results on YouTube.

“This leaves significant search real estate open to undesirable owners such discounters and competitors,” Ms. Ronai said.

Also, 47 percent of these brands offer ecommerce. This is up from 31 percent in the 2011 report.

Brands with ecommerce register 49 percent greater year-over-year traffic growth and more than 1.5 times as many Google searches as brands that are not selling online, per L2.

Furthermore, 25 percent of the 28 jewelry and watch brands present in the study since 2010 offer gift finders. Seven percent have product ratings or reviews on their sites.

Approximately half of these 28 brands give directions to retail locations on their site.

“Site features that seamlessly hand the consumer off to a store for purchase are largely absent,” Ms. Ronai said. “For example, robust geo-local store locators with easy-to-access directions are infrequent in the industry.

“Of those 28 brands in the index since 2010, only 14 percent offer a Web form for customers to arrange a viewing or consultation,” she said.

“Brands that do not sell online should be particularly mindful of how they direct consumers to stores – without a clear, uncomplicated path to purchase from Web sites, brands are incorrectly treating their sites as brochures.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York