Business Week in NYC : Tiffany & Co

The need for an investor relations VP appeared 30 years ago when Tiffany & Co became a public company. Mark Aaron took on the challenge and successfully conducted the company’s IPO (Initial Public Offering).

Today, we had the honour of hearing Mark Aaron presenting his job and explain why Tiffany is such a historic and successful company.

What is investor relations? His title says it all: he communicates with the investors, private and public, about the firm’s strategy and long term plans in addition to providing reassurance whenever needed. Credibility and consistency are key in this position. But if the external investors relations are crucial, part of his job is managing good relations with the Board of Directors as well as with the employees of the company.

Tiffany’s success over the years comes from a very strong growth strategy focused on five main directions: innovative designs – like the new and very successful affordable T-collection-, targeted marketing, internal manufacturing, enhancing of the customer experience and worldwide expansion of stores. Their range of products goes from affordable silver, platinum and gold jewellery, to very high end diamond pieces and many other products. Also, Tiffany has lately focused on corporate responsibility through the Tiffany foundation, which seeks to preserve coral ecosystems and promote responsible mining.

Tiffany cannot be reduced to a strong growth strategy; it is also a historic institution where many would like to work. The tiffany’s brand has a glorious past: first created in 1837, it became a timeless brand for jewellery. Your diamonds are certified for life and meet the upmost quality. In fact, only 1% of the world’s diamond meet Tiffany’s standard. The famous Blue Box brand has ensured the jewellery’s iconic image and the multi-generational jewellery that will be passed from Grandmother to Granddaughter ever after. Not only are they known for their high quality, they have also entered American history by designing and making the Superbowl cup. Simply put, Tiffany is a brand full of stories, which are still being written today.

But don’t worry, GEM students are welcome with open arms to join their team: be both passionate about their products and very meticulous in your work!

Until the end of the nineties and the beginning of the new millennium, Tiffany & Co, along with its different competitors, used magazines, semi-annual catalogues and brochures as its main forms of communication. All of their products were presented to the public in paper form. However, this period was disrupted by the surge of new technology. In consequence, companies had to adapt to these changes. In the wake of these disruptions, Tiffany & Co created its website in 1999. However, the digital changes has not greatly impacted the way that companies in this sector sell their products. Indeed, most of the time customers go to a store and buy the jewel on site. 94% of Tiffany & Co purchases are carried out in a store. What has changed is more the way in which customers access news about the company and search for information. Technology has facilitated convenient tools that all companies should adopt. From brick and mortar, they become brick and click companies. Even if very few purchases are made on the website, less than 6%, it enables Tiffany & Co to maximize customer relations. Contrary to many firms, it is not in Tiffany & Co’s tradition to advertise on television or to benefit from events such as sport competitions. However, the company made an exception for the 2017 SuperBowl in which Lady Gaga presented Tiffany & Co’s latest jewellery in a TV ad.

Now, more than ever, Tiffany’s mission is to enrich the lives of its customers by creating enduring objects of extraordinary beauty that will be cherished for generations.

Article By Dorian Durand-Bidaou, Dylan Labi and Arthur Virte

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