Tiffany Reminds Consumers (And Costco) That Their Brand Isn’t Just A Setting Name

A few months ago, a federal judge found in favor of Tiffany in a years-long dispute between the jeweler and warehouse club Costco. At issue was the name “Tiffany,” which the warehouse club was using as a generic term to describe a style of ring, and the jeweler claims as its brand identity. Now a new ad campaign from Tiffany is nominally aimed at brides, but might as well be mailed straight to Costco’s lawyers.

The case isn’t over yet: the court still has to determine damages to Tiffany. Financially, Fortune magazine points out, this case didn’t hurt TIffany all that much: maybe $10 million worth of rings were sold at Costco, but the global brand is worth more than that. If “Tiffany” becomes simply the name of a setting that can be purchased anywhere, then the actual Tiffany brand loses some cachet.

The ad as framed as a wedding-like vow from one of Tiffany’s jewelers to their customers, I guess. “I WILL craft a setting so flawlessly that the exquisite diamond it holds seems to float,” the ad reads. “Just as it was done 130 years ago.”


By emphasizing craftsmanship and heritage, Tiffany is playing up exactly what whoever is cranking out rings for the display case at Costco doesn’t have. Genericization is a danger for any brand, and most of Tiffany’s brand is built on prestige.

This New Tiffany Ad Campaign Is Also a Salvo in a Legal Battle [Fortune]