The Little Turquoise Box.

Richard Nulman


For all the years I ran Pace Advertising Agency, our client Christmas gift of choice was an item from Tiffany’s. They not only had an excellent, easy-to-use Christmas gift system – all you basically had to do was send them the list of recipients, their addresses, and the gift each was to receive – but every gift came inside that magical azure box.


The perceived value of something doesn’t always match the true cost of that thing. This is so utterly true of Tiffany’s. The item in question, a desk calendar or business card holder or keychain only cost $40 or $50. But when the client in question received that turquoise box, with the beautiful grosgrain ribbon tied around it, his or her value perception was dramatically enhanced. The $50 desk calendar was now “worth” well over $100. It’s why the ad agency has always sent holiday gifts from Tiffany’s. The blue box immediately connotes quality, class, beauty and lasting value.

There are two take-aways from this little story. One, if you believe my words about the Tiffany box are true, is that you will acknowledge that there is real value to the notion of “branding.” And two, if you don’t believe it, there are several books I can send you that demonstrate beyond a doubt why you are completely and irredeemably wrong.



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