Executive Summaries Dec 10, 2021
Tiffany and Co.’s Blue Box.: Story of an Iconic Trademark
Holiday season is just around the corner and presents are slowly starting to pile up. The wrapped boxes all look the same and it’s impossible to tell what’s inside. But if you saw a little robin’s-egg blue box, would you recognize where it came from? Chances are you would, as this iconic blue box from Tiffany and Co. is definitely one of the most well-known trademarks.
The Emblematic Little Blue Box
The Tiffany and Co. jewelry store was founded in New York in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and has come to represent style and sophistication, thanks in part to the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn.
A few years after its opening, the jewelry store began packaging its products in robin’s-egg blue boxes. It was an instant hit, so much that some customers would come into the store only hoping to leave with a blue box. And, just like that, the box became the company’s main trademark.
As a matter of fact, the colour of the boxes alone is now so famous that consumers can easily tell where the source of the products inside of it. Furthermore, in 1998, the distinctive colour of the packaging was added to the Pantone colour chart. The custom colour Pantone created for Tiffany and Co. is called “1837 Blue”, referring to the company’s founding date.
Tiffany and Co. has also made sure to protect its trademark in many jurisdictions, including the United States, where several types of robin’s-egg blue packaging have been registered as marks, such as boxes and bags. In Canada, the famous box is also covered by a non-traditional trademark registration, which protects the colour positioning of the robin’s-egg blue and the white colours as applied to a box and a ribbon. Canada allows non-traditional trademark registrations, which also include sounds, textures, scents, tastes and colours.
A Trademark That Creates Value
Two years ago, LVMH Group, a world leader in the luxury goods industry, bought the New York jewelry company for around $15 billion. That same year, Brand Finance, an independent consulting firm, valued the company’s intellectual property assets at $5.8 billion. Undoubtedly, the little blue box’s value as a trademark played a key role in this transaction.
It may not be your company name or your slogan that will become your most important brand. Perhaps a colour, a particular sign or the way your products are packaged will be what sets you apart from your competitors in the marketplace, just like Tiffany and Co.
For more information, you can contact our trademark team who will be pleased to guide you through the identification, protection and registration of your trademarks.
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