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How Tiffany's used true love stories to boost its brand

"Omg is that a Tiffany’s ring?" could now rival, "how did he propose?", as one of the most exciting, and flattering, engagement questions to be asked thanks to Tiffany & Co’s (Tiffany’s) #WhatMakesTrueLove campaign.  Linking the desire for all things Tiffany’s with true love, Tiffany’s launched the campaign encouraging couples to share how, when and where they experienced true love.

But why did Tiffany’s want its customers to share their stories publically? Quite simply, by letting their customers take charge of the narrative, their customers instantly became promoters of the brand, building a sense of loyalty and advocacy. And, after all, it’s always better to have someone brag about you than blowing your own trumpet!


6 steps to creating a customer story-based campaign

1. Set your goals

First of all, you need to understand why you are creating such a campaign and what you want to achieve. For Tiffany’s & Co, success was measured by sharability. The more people sharing their "True Love" picture, the more successful the campaign would be.

2. Find out what interests your customers

It is important to have a clear understanding of what exactly your customers have in common and what interests them. You can then use this to motivate them and create brand advocates.  In the case of Tiffany’s, "true love" was something which consumers would be able to relate to, this helped develop the ‘WhatMakesTrueLove’ campaign.

3. Create a microsite

Once you are clear on what you are asking your customers to do, consider whether you need to create a platform where they can share their story – in addition to social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Using a microsite allows you to keep control of your brand as well as making your customers feel like they are in a safe environment making them more willing to share their stories.

4. Show them how it’s done

Before sharing their story, customers want to see something that they can relate to, which will encourage them to share their story. Just as the "WhatMakesTrueLove" campaign was based on love, Tiffany’s used "Will you marry me?", which featured couples in New York City who shared their love stories – and featured the Tiffany’s ring of course! 

5. Give them a reason to share their story

Your customers need to be motivated to share their story. Remember they are familiar with common social media acceptance through "likes", "shares" and "comments", therefore you need to give them something to feel good about. Tiffany's found that being featured on the luxury brand website would in itself create a sense of satisfaction for the customer. Photos could also be ranked by popularity which was another motivating factor.

6. Set the stage

Now your customers are ready to share their story it is important that they know about the various touchpoints where they can share. Tiffany’s ensured their mobile app resembled their online platform making all touch points work seamlessly together.

So there you have it! 6 steps to creating the perfect customer story-based campaign. Consumer empowerment through social media is here to stay whether we like it or not, therefore it’s time to put the book down and let your customers do the talking!

This blog is based on the research article "Storygiving as a co-creation tool for luxury brands in the age of the internet: a love story by Tiffany and thousands of lovers" from Journal of Product & Brand Management.