Extending Brands and Causes

Jewelry initiative leverages packaging partnerships to raise money for charity.
Brand extensions are a way to reach new markets, deepen relationships with consumers and redefine long-established name brands. Moving from a core product to clothing, fragrances, fashion accessories and jewelry has helped reinvigorate such brands as Calvin Klein, Mercedes Benz, Dolce & Gabbana and even Harley-Davidson.
Key to the success of any extension is communicating the premium quality of the core brand while ensuring a uniform essence of what the brand extension represents. This includes product design, style and packaging.
A brand extension can also be a way to give back to the community. In essence, by lending its equity to products that raise awareness and money for a good cause, a brand creates the opportunity to reach target demographics in a new and exciting way.
One such project began with Perrier-Jouët champagne and brought together a boutique jewelry designer, a celebrity and a number of high-end packaging suppliers. The end result was a limited-edition jewelry piece sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue to benefit the charity Share Our Strength (www.strength.org).
The project leveraged the strength and tradition of the Perrier-Jouët brand, the celebrity status of actress Mary-Louise Parker, and the skills and material expertise of packaging suppliers ICG Holliston, a covering materials specialist, and Bufkor, creator of high-end jewelry packaging and displays.
Brand blossoming
“Bijou de Printemps”, a floral brooch designed by Parker and created by renowned jewelry designer Alexis Bittar, was commissioned by Perrier-Jouët to celebrate the release of the brand’s newest vintage—the 1999 Fleur de Champagne. The limited-edition brooch captured the essence of the iconic bottle and its springtime release.
“The bottle was designed in 1902 by master glassmaker and Art Nouveau figure Emile Gallé,” says Perrier-Jouët’s Joanna Garland. “We wanted every aspect of the project to reflect the artistry of the champagne, and its history.”
The world famous brand also wanted to use “Bijou de Printemps” to raise money and awareness for Share Our Strength and its effort to fight global poverty and hunger. Available for a limited time through Saks Fifth Avenue, the proceeds of this creative collaboration directly benefited the non-profit organization, which, since its 1984 inception, has allocated more than $200 million in grants to 1,000 hunger-related organizations around the globe.
“This project celebrated the introduction of the 1999 Fleur de Champagne while also offering us the opportunity to connect with consumers in another way through Share Our Strength,” says Garland.
The campaign extended through to the packaging for the brooch as well. U.S.-based ICG Holliston and Bufkor donated time and materials to create the package for this unique product.
The package
The box for the brooch is a simple, elegant white design with a foil-stamped image of the Perrier-Jouët logo. Designer Charisse McAloon chose ICG Holliston’s Luminaire as a covering material for the box. The light-infused, 100-percent-cotton material is coated with a pearlescent aqueous acrylic coating. It retains the traditional look of a woven fabric, but interacts with light in a subtle way, giving the packaging a slight glow.
“Luminaire is a wonderful material to work with because it is so simple from a distance, but it draws you in closer with the way it interacts with light,” says McAloon. “It’s perfect for this type of application because the essence of the jewelry and the Perrier-Jouët brand is understated elegance. When the consumer touches the box and examines it closer, the light play and texture communicates the complexity and quality of what’s inside.”
Linking brand elements, such as jewelry and champagne, is no accident. ICG Holliston worked with box supplier and creator, Bufkor—whose team created a tailored application for the relatively limited release of the product.
“Covering material is a very flexible way of communicating a brand,” says ICG’s Sandy Rabin. “Savvy brand owners understand the importance of carrying their messages into every element of their customer communications, from advertising to packaging, labels to hang-tags.”
In addition to high-quality foil stamping and custom application of the covering material to the box, other small details came through—such as the decision to extend the covering to the inside of the entire box.
“That may seem like a small detail, but we felt that it was essential for the brand integrity to extend all the way through the packaging,” says Rabin. “Perrier-Jouët is a premium brand that invests in hand-painted bottles to reinforce its quality and history. We wanted to reflect the essence of Perrier-Jouët throughout this entire project.”
Bufkor worked with ICG Holliston and the designer McAloon to create the box for “Bijou de Printemps” and also supplied a leatherette pouch that housed the actual brooch. And while quality was important, the entire project was under a tight deadline. The team was challenged to turn around a customized package in 10 days, just in time for the official launch of the champagne in New York.
Ready for the red carpet
There are deadlines, and then there are deadlines. And March 21, 2007, was the real McCoy, red-inked and double-circled on everyone’s calendar: The launch event was serendipitously slated for the first day of spring.
Amidst camera-wielding international media, Mary-Louise Parker and a bevy of A-list celebs, Perrier-Jouët executives and VIP guests gathered in an indoor, spring garden paradise replete with orchids and fountains to enjoy bottle after bottle of the star bubbly.
It was big time, high-stakes, and it put the packaging team under pressure to deliver quality with no room for error. The Perrier-Jouët brand extension shows that an integrated approach can not only open new markets, it can also open new opportunities to support a good cause. Bringing together a brand, an event, celebrity talent and packaging, the “Bijou de Printemps” project shared the strength of everyone involved; and, ultimately, a package that delivered for a worthy cause.
Where to go for more information...
Covering and packaging materials. At ICG Holliston, call 800.251.0451 or visit www.icgholliston.com
Jewelry packaging and displays. At Bufkor, call 800.365.9991 or visit www.bufkor.com