Corporate Eye

Tiffany – Brand Longevity in a Blue Box

There is perhaps no other brand as closely tied to a color as Tiffany & Co. On September 18, 1837, Tiffany & Co. opened its doors for business and shortly thereafter, the iconic Tiffany blue color was selected to represent the company’s brand image as one built on solid craftsmanship and quality.  Now, almost two centuries later, the Tiffany blue box is one of the most iconic brand symbols in the world and instantly conveys a brand promise that few people are not familiar with.

It could be argued that the Tiffany blue color and box are stronger identifiers of the Tiffany brand than the Tiffany logo, itself, and that’s probably true.  The logo remains a simple wordmark and takes a back seat to the powerful perceptions that the Tiffany blue box generates in consumers’ minds.  It’s a one-of-a-kind story that succeeded for one primary reason: consistency.

The Tiffany brand has remained consistent throughout the past 150+ years, which means that blue box has remained a constant, trustworthy indication of what consumers can expect to get when they take out their hard-earned money and buy an item that comes in one of those boxes.  There is no confusion or question that the item in the box carries the Tiffany brand promise of luxury and quality.

The three main steps of brand building are consistency, persistence and restraint.  The Tiffany brand is a perfect example of a brand strategy that has successfully navigated all three steps of brand building.  At a time when companies are constantly updating logos to modernize them, make them more Web-friendly, and so on, Tiffany remains consistent, persistent, and restrained in its own brand identity initiatives.  Consumers can rely on the brand and the tangible representations of the brand promise.

Can you think of any other brands that can say the same?  Certainly, there are examples of brands that can claim similar successes thanks to their logos, but is there another brand that can claim brand consistency and success in whole or part to a color to the extent that Tiffany & Co. has?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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