“Connecting with American Millennial Men”

Company History
Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier and grown into a worldwide luxury jewelry and watch house by his grandsons Pierre, Louis and Jacques. In 1904, Cartier received its first royal warrant as official jewelry purveyor to King Edward VII of England who named Cartier “Jeweler of Kings, Kings of Jewelers.” Cartier’s iconic watches include the world’s first modern wristwatch designed for Brazilian aviator, Alberto Santos Dumont (1904) and the Tank watch (1917), both born out of passion, determination and a pioneering spirit that propelled watchmaking into a modern era. Today, Cartier continues to be driven by these same values and dedicated to craftsmanship, creativity and innovation. Part of the Richemont Group, Cartier NA is led by Mercedes Abramo who was named President and CEO in 2014.


The Challenge
Young men sometimes perceive Cartier as a feminine watch brand and oversee Cartier’s longstanding watch history. The “Connecting with American Millennial Men” project explores the values, behaviors and perspectives of Millennial men towards the luxury watch market. The project objective was a new concept and a combination of strategies and tactics that Cartier could implement to build awareness, change brand perception, and increase customer acquisition and retention among Millennial men.


“Connecting with American Millennial Men”
The eight-person team from Parsons The New School for Design and Columbia Business School developed a strategy and a set of in-store, print and digital tactics for Cartier to engage American Millennial men in a generationally relevant way. Initially, the team performed secondary research, mystery shopping, and primary research with the target market, including an online survey and focus groups, to study their perceptions and expectations towards the luxury industry, specific luxury watch brands, habits and attitudes toward wearing watches, and reactions to current watch marketing communications.

The team distilled the elements of Cartier’s brand DNA that particularly resonate with the target audience and developed concepts to elevate Cartier’s longstanding history as a watchmaker, and build on the perception that Cartier is different and allows Millennials to celebrate a trailblazer’s distinction. They created the concept “Live with Distinction,” which reflects both Cartier’s perception as a distinct watchmaker and the male Millennial’s aspiration to ‘march to the beat of his own drum’ and be respected by his peers. The team designed a 360-degree marketing plan that blends Cartier’s heritage with a contemporary and innovative lifestyle. The campaign includes advertising, adventurous videos, engaging social media initiatives, technological in-store installations, dynamic website content, and a loyalty club with dedicated events and content-driven emails. The recommendations seek to position Cartier as a distinct, dynamic and masculine brand that is relevant for Millennial men within the luxury watch industry.


The Team
Gianna Do, Parsons The New School for Design
Jessica Givens, Columbia Business School
Mandy Hjellming, Columbia Business School
Ashim Joshi, Parsons The New School for Design
Cherilyn Knaupp, Columbia Business School
Kortni Lane, Columbia Business School
Sandra Li, Parsons The New School for Design
Rachelle Tai, Parsons The New School for Design