Breaking a Brand Strategy Rule.


A few years ago I worked with a single store retail engagement ring outlet to develop a brand strategy. After much digging, discussion and thought it occurred to me that for this particular brand “amazing engagement rings are born (not bought).” That was the idea.

The target on my brief was “couturing brides to be” because they were not the type to want an off-the-shelf ring.  They were more emotional, even fussy. For them the ring was a deep symbol of their love.

This ring purveyor had developed a process that was broken down into three stages – which I liked to a baby’s birth: conception, gestation and delivery. The one hour conception or consultation stage was like foreplay, filled with desire and intimacy. The gestation period included stages of viewing, understanding and nurturing – between woman and designer. It included trying on wax ring molds for fit, stone placement and style. And delivery was a celebration of the actual casting and stones. Always ready for complications, the birth of the rings was seen as life-changing. Amazement was key to this part of the process.

The brand strategy claim (amazing engagement rings are born) and planks (conception, gestation and birth) focus on  a process. The strategy positioned around a process.

Mostly when I talk about brand strategy, I talk about care-abouts and good-ats. This one was unique. Though the process was a brand good-at, consumers weren’t sure it was a care-about. Sometimes you have to go off-piste in brand strategy. This was one of those times.