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Tiffany's

Image by Jill Clardy via Flickr

We all know a Facebook friend or two that spouts on about undying love and affection for a significant other in the not-so-private forum of social media. Feeling free to express such emotion is a great thing. I will admit, though, that I have been tempted to hide such posters when the frequency of “I love you!”, “No, I love you more!” noise began to monopolize feed updates.

Emotions abound in the world of eCommerce, especially when it comes to product reviews. Buyers happy with a purchase are the newest and biggest fans, while those suffering from buyer’s remorse can be downright caustic when posting their regrets in a product review.   It’s been mentioned many times that a negative review can actually boost positive consumer actions, but I think most eCommerce vendors would like to avoid these if possible.

Product-centered emotional response is a powerful thing and can hold sway over potential buyers. Being able to go through several product reviews, including those of my friends, is invaluable to me during the purchase process. What if truly powerful and personal emotions, that don’t necessarily have anything to do with a product, could be encouraged by a brand and included within the buying experience?

Tiffany & Co. Jewelers, the iconic New York based jeweler, recently launched a web site that has several customer stories about their personal relationships. There are several sections of the web site that have love stories, timeless romantic melodies and films, and a place for folks to pinpoint their loves on a map.  What Tiffany’s has done, by implementing this social tie-in to their site, is cement the Tiffany’s brand together with these strong emotions front-and-center.  This clever content marketing approach appeals to customers on an emotional level. Tiffany’s, realizing that jewelry purchases are an emotionally motivated decision, combines high-quality images, interviews and music in an engaging experience that is unique to their brand.  They are effectively communicating that their brand is about romance and love, not just about jewelry.  And as a consumer who better to buy from than a jeweler that understands the emotions that may be driving a purchase?

In the luxury goods market, the largest differentiator between products is the brand image.  Social media has become a very important part of marketing and many leading brands have moved into territory that leaves the “like” button in the dust.  Increasingly important is leveraging social media to differentiate the softer aspects of brand identity.  Effectively communicating these aspects in a social media context and figuring out how such social content plays a role in an overall marketing strategy are key to accelerating public acceptance of a brand’s identity. What Tiffany’s has done with this site is prove to the consumer that they truly understand the underlying reasons why people purchase jewelry in the first place.  For Tiffany’s, that type of differentiation is what made them, and keeps them, an iconic and alluring brand.