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TSL’s path from gloom to glory

TSL has always been about memorable TVCs: whether it was back in 1992 with Aaron Kwok and Charlie Yeung exchanging necklaces or their latest one telling the story of a pianist proposing to his hearing impaired girlfriend, the jeweller always leaves a romantic imprint.

But the brand’s journey was not a walk in the park. In the early 2000s, a huge influx of international labels penetrated the Hong Kong market, dazzling buyers with promises like Italian designs or American heritage.

“TSL’s structure just stopped; we were pushed into a crisis-management mode,” admitted Lambert Chan, chief operating officer of TSL Jewellery. “The international players have a set of marketing strategies very different from our own; we were in a bit of financial trouble.”

But he knew the brand will have its glory days again. The first step? Going back to its roots: craftsmanship.

To compete with the changing society, TSL knew it had to mesh the old with new: its product range increased from necklaces and bracelets to include iPad covers, Bluetooth speakers and even jewelled nails.

In the past two years, TSL has even linked arms with acclaimed designers and jewellers to put its name back into the spotlight.

On the service front, it revamped its store front, provided training to all the staff and included the iPad as a demonstration tool just half a year after its initial launch in 2010. For its matrimonial clients, TSL now has wedding ambassadors to help the groom-to-be on wedding planning tips, proposal ideas and choosing the rings.

But its rebranding finale wasn’t until November 2012, when it launched a TVC that realigned its label to persistence, romance, and innocence.

“Love, no matter portrayed in whatever brand, is always something that’s happy; it’s dreamy, innocent,” said Chan. “But we want to show that it’s not always perfect: the journey always has its challenges, but true love will and should be everlasting – thus the new slogan: Keep on loving.”

Prior to the TVC of varying lengths, teasers were launched online and in print for viewers to stay tuned. After the debut, posters were put in high-traffic MTR stations along with links on Facebook as well as on Apple Daily and TVB mobile apps.

After the campaign, the jeweller saw a 23% increase in overall sales in December and a 40% increase during Chinese New Year. Compared to the product launches of the same time, the 2012 product line saw a 500% year-on-year growth.

“Steve Jobs once said, ‘innovation is the difference between a leader and a follower’,” added Chan. “I am not a big Apple fan, but that’s something I truly believe in. I want people to know that TSL continues to be a brand of innovation.”

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