Founded in 1982, Danish jewelry manufacturer and retailer Pandora Jewelry has shown truly remarkable growth. Started as a family run jewelry shop in Copenhagen, Pandora has evolved into a major international brand to become the world’s third-largest jewelry company in terms of sales. Charisse Ford – Chief Marketing Officer, Americas – has been a major contributor to this startling transformation.
From her first day on the job, Charisse found herself challenging the convention set forth by PANDORA’S global headquarters. She was at the forefront at an organization looking to speak to the North America market in a voice that is more relevant to the consumer. Aside from ensuring that the visual and tone of a new campaign reflected the diverse women of the US market, she made changes to the type of consumer PANDORA was going to approach and the environments where they would be reached.
By championing research that supported a target which spoke to the spirit of a woman, Charisse moved Pandora’s marketing analysis beyond the standard demographics and psychographics. She also looked to align Pandora with iconic fashion and lifestyle partners and brands by choosing high quality over quantity. This not only signified a change in a brand that had been historically thought of as a “charm bracelet” to a leader in the affordable luxury space but it put them in the same conversation as well-known luxury jewelry brands.
Charisse challenged convention once again by engineering another significant change in the overall marketing plan: running a campaign fully dedicated to speaking to men. While a large integration reaching men in a sports environment with a humorous tone was a big risk, it proved to be highly successful. And despite it being a large departure from anything PANDORA has ever done in the past, they are looking to continue and grow this partnership into 2016.
Additionally under Charisse’s tutelage, PANDORA has begun to actively brief the 10% within the 70/20/10 model. As a result, they will be moving forward with a first to market, custom technology solution that can be used across all of their on-site activations which include Disney’s Tinker Bell half marathon and Coachella. (Another opportunity to signify change as PANDORA is now the official jewelry brand of Coachella and has even partnered with fashion designer Nanette Lepore for her Coachella inspired fashion show.)
Charisse has been an advocate of responsible brand building by moving to significantly increase research and analytics to gain a better understanding on how media and marketing impact the business. By utilizing a highly sophisticated econometric model to create a zip code level trading radius, PANDORA has not only become more efficient in their ways of working but also in maximizing sales and ROI. This has led to a more collaborative relationship with the retailers, ensuring everyone is working together to achieve a common goal.
A true Internationalist, Charisse is inspired by the idea of change and innovation. To drive this change, she is pushing into building long term brand equity versus falling prey to short terms sales messaging which degrades the brand.. She is focused on brand health and want they are striving to achieve in terms of both broadening and upgrading their sales approach. But in the spirit of collaboration and bringing others into the process, Charisse has an openness that allows others to think freely and strategically, ultimately bringing the best marketing product to the consumer.
By Deborah Malone