Sep 17, 2007
Tips from Tiffany’sBy Connie

In the world of retailing, few items are as recognizable as the turquoise Tiffany box wrapped in a white satin bow. And — not coincidentally — even fewer American companies have enjoyed close to two centuries worth of growth and appeal as this venerable New York institution.

Tiffany has survived and prospered because its management always welcomed new talent, trends and marketing techniques. While the competition remained change resistant, Tiffany & Co managed to retain an aura of quality and elegance while embracing the evolving tastes of its customers.

The Tiffany we know today began in 1837, when Charles Lewis Tiffany and his brother-in-law, John Burnett Young, opened a small “stationery and fancy goods emporium” in New York. Their first day’s sales totaled $4.98; today, the company’s annual sales are close to $1.6 billion.

It was a marketing stroke of genius to have the jewelry company’s image become instantly identified by the shade of blue used for its gift wrapping, boxes and bags. The iconic color originated with French painter Jean-Marc Nattier, who used the color that ultimately became known as “Nattier blue.” This shade was a favorite of Marie Antoinette. And it was Empress Eugenie’s favorite for her wardrobe and furniture while she and Napoleon III ruled from 1853 to 1870.

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