Case Study: The Unlikely Hero in the Journey of a Tiffany’s Diamond
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Jack Morris (@doyoutravel) is someone you might think of as “the cute boy next door.” The 27-year-old travel influencer is frequently pictured barefoot and shirtless with a bandana around his head as he savors the stunning scenery that surrounds him. The boyish charm really comes to life in action shots such as Morris swinging on a rope in the Philippines, skateboarding through the hills of Turkey, and jumping from ocean cliffs in Greece. With images like these, it isn’t hard to see why Jack Morris has amassed 2.8 million Instagram followers.
Morris’ casual, boy-next-door appeal makes him an obvious candidate for promoting millennial-focused brands with products for millennial-sized budgets. Less obvious is Morris’ fit as an influencer for luxury brands, so it may come as a surprise that he recently collaborated with high-end jewelry retailer Tiffany and Co. But look a little deeper and you’ll see plenty of reasons why Morris and Tiffany’s is an unlikely match made in heaven.
Why Jack Morris Is Tiffany & Co.’s Perfect Protagonist
First and foremost, what does Tiffany look to gain by partnering with influencer Jack Morris? Morris is a millennial and therefore the vast majority of his audience likely fits in the same demographic. Does Tiffany have any business marketing to millennials? To put it more plainly, can millennials afford Tiffany goods? The answer is in fact yes. Tiffany offers an array of affordable jewelry and products, which can be easily be found by visiting tiffany.com and navigating to items “$250 and under.”
That this may come as a revelation speaks to Tiffany’s success in establishing itself as a purveyor of luxury goods. Nevertheless, the lack of awareness of its affordable products presents a problem. And therein lies the solution of Jack Morris.
By tapping millennial Jack Morris for an influencer marketing campaign, Tiffany can in turn reach and raise awareness with millennials and broader audiences in general.
Tiffany’s approach to the campaign, in keeping with its high-end image, was less about promoting its affordable goods and geared more towards connecting with its audience on a deeper level. Specifically, Tiffany designed Jack’s journey to highlight its brand values and chiefly, the values it shares in common with Jack – and likely, his audience.
Second to the question of, "Can millennials (and Morris' audience) afford Tiffany goods?" is the question: Does Morris' audience care about luxury goods? At first glance, Morris' Instagram page connotes the awe-shucks mentality of a young traveler enamored by new experiences. Upon closer inspection, he demonstrates a clear interest in luxury goods and experiences through consistent stays at five-star hotels and villas among the likes of the Four Seasons Bora Bora and the Ritz-Carlton.
His portfolio of past sponsorships is also a strong indication of his high-end taste and includes partnerships with Omega, American Express, and Land Rover. Morris himself, and likely his audience, value luxury. As an ambassador for Tiffany, he presents a human face who appreciates the finer things in life, exactly the type of person his audience and others are likely to relate to.
As such, Jack's journey with Tiffany begins at a charming terrace in Belgium, where the brand's diamond grading facility is located. His experience in Belgium emotes both Tiffany's sophistication as a brand and his own affinity with high-end experiences. Morris tastes decadent Belgium chocolate and discovers, as he describes it, "...exactly what goes into the early stages of evaluating a rough diamond."
Not only is Morris' appreciation for such a luxurious experience in line with Tiffany and its consistent marketing strategy, his Belgium stay is the type of experience followers visit Morris' Instagram page to see and live vicariously through. Evidently, Morris cares about luxury and likely his audience does as well, positioning them as a relevant demographic for Tiffany.
The fact that Tiffany & Co.’s story is told from Morris’ perspective is crucial. A 2017 study found that people increasingly distrust brands, with 36% of consumers reporting they trust big business “very little.” Morris endorsement of Tiffany & Co. is effective in that he is a voice his audience trusts and appreciates.
He and his following value high-quality goods and Morris emphasizes that this is a value also shared by Tiffany & Co. through phrases like, “It was inspiring to learn about the positive impact and how much individual craftsmanship goes in finalizing these diamonds.” In doing so, Morris humanizes Tiffany & Co. by presenting the luxury brand to his audience on the basis of shared values.
The Values Tiffany & Co. & Jack Morris Share
Jack Morris and Tiffany & Co. align across three shared values:
- Environmental Responsibility
- Social Good
The jewelry company exists by creating high-end goods and has publicly advertised its social and environmentally responsible manufacturing practices. Jack Morris’ Instagram feed shows an investment in all three values by way of prior partnerships with upscale brands, frequent stays at five-star villas, and trips to local communities and animal shelters.
As part of its commitment to protect the environment, Tiffany established the Tiffany & Co. Foundation in 2000, which focuses on sustainability initiatives such as responsible mining and coral conservation. The jewelry retailer no doubt saw a kindred partner in Jack Morris, whose environmental values are often evident, whether mentioned casually in an Instagram caption or demonstrated directly through his work in wildlife preservation.
Thus naturally, Jack’s journey included an inside look at Tiffany’s responsible sourcing, a process that starts with mining diamonds and metals from only environmentally-compliant countries and recycled sources.
As Jack points out: “Not only did we learn about the grading process, but also about the sustainable sourcing and traceability of every Tiffany stone which is so important to promote social and environmental responsibility.”
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In conjunction with its environmental initiatives, Tiffany has also made concerted efforts to serve the local communities where its diamonds are sourced and manufactured through its own charitable giving program. The brand regularly makes enormous charitable contributions and in 2015 donated $3.2 million to nonprofit foundations. Similar to Tiffany, Jack is a philanthropist on a much smaller scale and regularly engages with the local communities of the countries he visits.
As such, Jack traveled with Tiffany to spend time its workers in Mauritius. During his stay he not only observed and took part in the diamond polishing process, but, “...took a boat out for the day with a few locals to learn more about the Mauritian culture and soak up some sun,” as he puts it.
His interest in social good is a value shared by many millennials. A study even found that 91% of millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause and 62% would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. In visiting the communities important to Tiffany and important to his values, Jack accentuates their shared interest in social good. Even more subtly, he gives his followers another reason to choose Tiffany over other equally affordable jewelry options.
From a purely quantitative standpoint, the luxury brand marketing campaign has performed impressively for Tiffany & Co. In total, Morris’ three sponsored Instagram posts have garnered more than 234,000 likes and 1,600 likes. In addition, the sponsored YouTube video has amassed upwards of 39,000 views to date and generated nearly 3,000 comments.
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July 2, 2018 By Mediakix Team