Valuation: $5,5 billion
Business model: shop
Tiffany jewelry has become iconic. Many celebrities love wearing them at pompous events. For the time being, their brand symbolizes luxury and poshness. However, its story began in a small shop which didn’t seem to be fancy at all. Let’s see how Tiffany became a high-class brand.
In 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young spent $1 million to open a paper store in New York. Though it wasn’t a good time for business: it was the beginning of a severe financial crisis. The assets of the banking sector decreased by 45%. Regardless of the economic instability, the shop kept developing.
Tiffany’s success was based on proper marketing solutions. In the 1830s, prices weren’t fixed but formed after negotiations between a seller and buyer. However, the company didn’t bargain and clearly set their prices instead. This way they emphasized its uniqueness and high quality.
The next step towards success was the refusal to sell goods on credit unlike other companies at that time. Tiffany&Co accepted only cash payments. It positioned itself as a stylish jewelry shop that doesn’t settle for less.
Ultimately, the company attracted the richest customers in the city. They were willing to pay much money for classy jewelry. Some of the most famous Tiffany’s clients were Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Steve Jobs.
In 1866, Tiffany introduced the first stopwatch in the country. Besides, Charles first made an engagement ring with a diamond which became globally classic.
In 1902, after Charles Lewis’ death, his son began to run the business. Lois Tiffany became the first art director of the company.
In 1940, Tiffany’s shop appeared in a famous movie — Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The movie brought worldwide fame to the brand and made it a jewelry icon.
The jewelry house gained popularity after purchasing and importing precious stones of European aristocrats. The press called Tiffany ‘a brilliant king’.
The hallmark of the brand — a blue color patented as Tiffany Blue. Charles selected the color since brides of that time, traditionally, gave turquoise brooches to guests.
In addition, the company supplied battle flags, sabres, and surgical equipment during the Civil War in the USA, which helped them gain new customers.
In November 2019, a French conglomerate made the largest deal in the jewelry industry ever. LVMH acquired Tiffany&Co for $16,2 billion. Recently, the company has presented the most expensive jewelry in the world.
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