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The Cartier Mystique

The Power of the Panther

2OPINIONATED apologies for the belated announcement of our “Pick a Box” poll. The clear winner, with 55% of the votes, was Cartier. It was definitely the most favoured box to go under Christmas tree for 2011, followed by Hermes and Tiffany & Co. Surprisingly, Gucci or Louis Vuitton did not receive any votes! Is that because we all wanted jewelry for Xmas?

Cartier still manages to maintain an element of exclusivity in an era where luxury has become commonplace. We’re not sure of if it’s because Cartier never goes on sale, or if it’s because they control their distribution by only selling through their boutiques. Cartier manages to tell a consistent story across all it’s brands marketing channels, such as advertising, PR, editorial, digital marketing and in-store experience.

The Holiday 2011-2012 print campaign above plays on the traditional Cartier motifs. Below is a photograph of a Cartier advertisement circa 1950

(Click the link Read More  below to view Cartier Commercials and Store Displays)

‘I’m a sucker for anything to do with cats so I adore both these images…I’m giving them a Perfection ★★★★rating. On a more serious note… Cartier is owned by the Richemont Group whose sales jumped 24% in Q3, (as reported by WWD). Given the consistency we see in the telling of the Cartier story we’re not at all suprised by these results’.  – Hannah Brooks

‘Numerous luxury brands concerned with their current share price, focus on increasing global market share for short-term gains. The focus has been on producing the “IT product” for the season, that does not necessarily support or develop the long-term story of the brand. On the other hand Cartier seem to produce products that you would for want for life. Advertising, editorial and PR might drive traffic into the store but what makes a customer, is the in-store experience. This experience will often determine if you purchase the item or if you walk away being an advocate of the brand. Often this an opportunity missed to promote the brand to customers face to face, with a memorable consistent story that is supported through marketing channels. Have we forgotten that customers talk? With the rise of blogging it’s not just one or 5 people we will tell but potential thousands. Personal recommendations and reviews of in-store and product experiences can damage or grow a brand.

With customers fluxing from one brand to another, how relevant is a consistent message? I believe that it is. A good and memorable story is retold and enjoyed by its audience. They can find comfort in knowing and understanding it. The relevance of the story is how you tell it. After all there is an art in story telling. By adapting the story to your audience you let them identify with the tale yet you stay true to the moral and outcome of the story. Cartier tells the story well, by using the Leopard in the images creates continuity and identification with the brand just as much as with their red packaging. At the same time the current campaign images have a contemporary modern feel to them and pay homage to previous campaigns.

In the 1950’s the Leopard was trying to get into the store and now he is happily surrounded by Cartier presents. Ah, the joys perseverance and being a cat!’ – Perfection ★★★★★ Olya Bell

When you then look at this you tube link it actually consolidates the Cartier story. It celebrates tradition, profiles Paris and makes a subtle reference to the exclusivity of the brand.

Released last year, this clip controversially uses elegant seniors to demonstrate, in an oh-so French way that a single Cartier purchase you actually leads to a lifetime of Cartier purchases.

‘I love the way this clip makes a reference to all things French including the Place de l’Opera. It reminds me of the supper I had with you and David in the courtyard there in September Olya…I only wished you had presented me with a red box rather than a glass of red’. – Hannah Brooks

Furthermore, the Cartier Facebook page above…brings the Cartier message home for a whole new generation of potential Cartier consumers.

Cartier Singapore – Ngee Ann City boutique

The image above clearly demonstrates how this campaign is then translated in store with the ever-present Cartier leopard.

We see so many examples of luxury brands who’s left hand doesn’t appear to know what the right hand is doing…their digital strategies appear to be at complete odds with the image the brand is depicting in the traditional media. All too often the story fashion brands tell in social media is at completely contradictory to the brands heritage. Perhaps Cartier won this poll because their brand strategy is consistent with the Cartier brand message.

What are your thoughts…much as we would all love a Birkin for Christmas…is Cartier doing a superior job at telling a compelling story?

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. There’s something just soo special about cartier. I feel the same about Hermes. Tiffany, whiile I love the store itself and the people that work there, just doesn’t have the same feel.

    Also, I feel like Tiffany kind of ruined itself with all that ‘return to tiffany’ stuff.

    January 22, 2012
    • I remember when Tiffany first came to Australia – it was so exciting. They just don’t seem to have maintained their cache in this market. These days it’s more exciting to get a red box than a Tiffany Blue box

      February 2, 2012
  2. Thanks for every other magnificent article. The place else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such information.

    February 2, 2012

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