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Engaging the right target customer for Tiffany.

The Cultural Challenge:

The decision maker isn’t who you think.

Tiffany wanted to sell engagement rings to the Japanese market. But the Western cultural assumption that an engagement ring is chosen solely by the man meant their copy wasn’t speaking to the real decision maker. In Japan the choice of a ring is made by the woman, often before a man even enters the picture. In fact, Japanese women invest the time it takes to become expert in recognizing a diamond’s clarity, quality and cut. Communication that takes this cultural difference, and the knowledge of the target into consideration are more likely to end with the words “I do.”

RCS Capabilities:

Cross-Cultural Strategy, Trans-creation

What we did and how we did it…

The Idea:

Tiffany originally intended for their work to simply be translated—however, we presented a case for transcreation by showing an analysis of their copy, detailing how it was based on American social norms. This included ideas related to marriage, romance and relations between the sexes as well as historical allusions that were unintelligible to the Japanese audience. Transcreation would solve this issue.

The Execution:

Once Tiffany realized merely translating their existing campaign would not connect with the real consumer, they tasked RCS with transcreating their existing work to be relevant to the real Japanese decision maker, including all web content and collateral.

The Results

By speaking to the right target with culturally relevant information, our initial campaign for engagement rings was so successful that RCS was engaged to relaunch Tiffany’s Japanese website and produce all local collateral materials. Our successful work for Tiffany developed into a long-term relationship, during which time Japan became their largest overseas market, accounting for 14% of their global sales.