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.”

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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]