Credit to Yuxuan Li, Marketing specialist for Asia

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At first, I was assigned to do this research, Stephane offered a question to check myself: Could it be possible that the stores of Tiffany & Co in Japan are more than those Mcdonald? With an incredible face looking but immediately I went to the Macdonald site and located my place to Japan, “Wow, 831 stores and most including the franchisees showed up in my search engine.” Considering Japan as the second-largest market in Asia, the unique market policy and the consumption habits there, the figure was already amazing even Mcdonald’s for a long time as a leading yum brand. As follows, the same method, the consequential data went to 55 for Tiffany & Co. It seems like a release to me, otherwise, it would break down my knowledge of the Japanese market as a similar Eastern background girl.

While just an intention for doing this, I’m willing to share personal senses about how I know Tiffany & Co grew in Japanese market and the reason they do, even not much visible information is able to survey and somewhat this based on me as a native Chinese to look into our close neighbor that facing each other just across a narrow strip of water.

Japan is a quite inclusive society and one good combination between the western and eastern part, it’s developed based on the spirit of Dahe nationality. It’s common for a brand to enter into a different culture, in addition to maintaining the core concept of itself and should take adaptations to suit the local market.

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Tiffany manages its brand by designing the store to reflect Japanese youth culture and by releasing limited edition jewelry. Their stores are located strategically based on the demographics of the area to be served, consumer demand and the proximity of another luxury. Tiffany conducts its operations across five geographical segments: America, Asia-Pacific, Japan, Europe, and others. The company largely distributes through its physical stores followed by its online stores, B2B and wholesale distributions.

“The Tiffany & Co. brand is the single most important asset of Tiffany. The strength of the brand goes beyond trademark rights and is inherent in consumer perceptions of the brand. Tiffany’s management monitors the strength of the brand through focus groups and survey research. Tiffany’s management believes that consumers associate the brand with high-quality gemstone jewelry, particularly diamond jewelry; excellent customer service; an elegant store and online environment; upscale store locations; “classic” product positioning; distinctive and high-quality packaging materials (most significantly, the “blue box”); and sophisticated style and romance.”

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One of the most popular Tiffany designs is the familiar sterling silver screwball keyring and tag stamped with the message, “Please Return to Tiffany & Co. New York,” along with a registration number. Introduced in 1969, this everyday accessory has become a symbol of the jeweler’s high standards of quality and customer service. Except for the classic designs and outstanding “Tiffany Blue”, according to TrueFacet, to mark its 175th anniversary, Tiffany & Co. released its 1837 collection which featured its new proprietary metal Rubedo, a combination of gold, silver, and copper. The New York jeweler was the first to use the British standard sterling silver purity in their designs. The warm pink Rudebo metal was a fresh trend that delighted longtime fans of the brand. Those are the best sellers not only in Japan but also in the world, given the tourists go around worldwide and Japan is one the most popular touristic countries, so it’s largely affected by consumers from foreign countries.  

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And with the recent breaking news, LVMH’s official website issued a statement confirming that it has reached a final agreement with Tiffany & Co. to acquire Tiffany at a cash price of $ 135 per share for a total of $ 16.2 billion. This will be LVMH’s largest acquisition, exceeding the group’s $ 7 billion acquisition of Dior in 2017, and it will be the largest M & A transaction in the luxury industry. By the time writing this article, I considered that Tiffany & Co and LVMH made a win-win situation, for the American jewelry seller long time never stopped to empower himself, Tiffany’s has demonstrated, time and time again, the value of providing physical and creative value to trusted brands as a mean of establishing his own worth.

But with Tiffany’s stock now trading near LVMH’s offer of $135 per share, there’s probably no real reason for investors to start fresh positions? If you’re reading as an investor, the fact may seem rewarding while if you’re doing as a jewelry industry marketer, Tiffany & Co still worth attention as a part of the luxury band. Starting a few centuries ago populaces with the most disposable income resulted in the creation of a more widespread and higher vanity index, fueling what is now the legacy of the world’s luxury market. “Disposable income = high vanity index = availability = creation and stimulation of luxury markets. ”

Japan nowadays is still remarkable as a jewelry market, in particular, work for the value Tiffany & Co cherishes, “High service standards and commitment to quality and innovation”. Here in Japan, women mostly care about what the media and marketing machine lead them to believe, sets them apart from mature ‘high-end’ markets, where women are inherently cultured to understand luxury and make purchase decisions based on their own preferences and understanding of the historical and artistic value of the material. On the basis of this, we marketer need to enrich knowledge about Japanese culture and at the same time encouraged to be a mastered online communicator and trader.  

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Resources:

https://map.mcdonalds.co.jp/

https://www.tiffany.co.jp/jewelry-stores/store-list/japan/

(https://www.statista.com/statistics/857587/number-of-tiffany-and-co-stores-by-region-worldwide/)

https://brandtiffanyandco.wordpress.com/business-strategy/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/01/04/how-tiffany-and-co-built-a-marketing-empire/

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/forget-tiffany-co.-signet-is-the-jeweler-to-watch-in-2020-2020-01-24