We at Vivid Brand have been watching Swarovski’s brand and style evolution from the 80′s, when they were known primarily for their cute but slightly tacky crystal collectibles (who doesn’t need a crystal hedgehog after all?) to their current incarnation today, as fully fledged sparkly style setters and an aspirational, premium brand renowned for their stunning crystals.
Swarovski’s have just launched a new TV/Cinema Ad and we at Vivid Brand are divided. On the one side, it is seen as lacking credibility and relevance for the Swarovski brand and on the other as a breathtakingly ethereal masterpiece, both beautiful and forward thinking. We were particularly impressed by the scale of the production and the art direction that is reminiscent of the acclaimed photographer Tim Walker.
The ad was integrated with a Treasure Hunt in London, to promote the featured ring used in the TV and press campaign. Those competing could win a holiday to Florence and a visit to the Austrian Swarovski factory. Vivid Brand registered, but were unable to take part as we did not have the right phone and operating system and so could not download the app. A great shame, as I imagine plenty of their target customers also have a Blackberry, so this was a surprising error. If you took part -- we’d be interested to hear your views on this experience!
Watch a video of the treasure hunt here:
The brand has been evolving since it’s inception in 1895 in Austria, when Daniel Swarovski established the brand as the most premium, precision cut crystal available. Skip to the 90′s when the brand had a major makeover, spearheaded by Swarovski’s great, great grand daughter. The brand mark of the swan remained intact, but this era saw the introduction of high profile designer collaborations, such as with Designers Tom Dixon and Tord Boontje in lighting and the development of aspirational catwalk led jewellery collections and designer crystal fashion.
Watch a calaboration between Philips Consumer electronics and Swarovski:
These endorsements have helped to put Swarovski on the fashion radar and make the brand stylish and premium again. Clearer segmentation of their target markets -- bridal, spiritual, volume, etc. has helped to focus the business. 2006 saw the introduction of the Crystalized stores -- a concept that allows consumers to mix and match crystal jewellery or buy off the peg creations from fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gualtier and Azzaro.
Today, the company, still based in Wattens is family-owned and run by 4th and 5th generation family members. It has a global reach, with some 26,000 employees, a presence in over 120 countries and a turnover in 2008 of 2.52 billion Euros.