About 2 weeks ago, one of my bead suppliers informed its customers that Swarovski had changed the name of its crystal components. From now on, crystal beads and pendants sold by Swarovski would no longer be called Swarovski, but rather Crystallized – Swarovski Elements, or just Crystallized for short. Only the completed pieces sold directly by the company are to be called Swarovski crystals.
So by Swarovski rules, when I buy crystal beads made by them, I am buying Crytallized and I when I list what components I used to make a piece I am to list them as Crystallized.
Wow! What a bad business idea! (in my humble opinion)
I thought companies wanted name recognition! Especially when the name is associated with luxury, elegance and conveys status.
At the moment, people pay a premium to buy pieces made with Swarovski crystals. Do you think they will pay a premium price to buy a piece made with Crystallized crystals? Do you think those that make jewelry will want to pay a premium price to buy crystal beads called Crystallized if their customers don’t make the association with Swarovski and don’t want to pay premium price? Will anyone actually list them as Crystallized – Swarovski Elements in their description? The whole cachet of Swarovski is just not there with Crystallized!
And could they have picked a more generic name?! Crystallized?! I was in a Michael’s store about a week ago, looking for scrap-booking paper and happened to walk by a crystal bead display. I saw Crystallized on the packaging and thought “Wow! they have totally re-branded their look!” And not in a good way… And then I looked more closely and saw it said Crystallazzi… So not the Swarovski stuff, but easily mistaken for their new name.
So two weeks later, I’m still amazed, (and somewhat aghast) that Swarovski was willing to just throw away their name like that for a part of their business. In an age when so many companies are going through branding exercises and trying to achieve international name recognition, Swarovski just walks away from a name with high recognition factor and that conveys a sense of status. And they did so for one of the most generic names I could have imagined for a company sellings crystal components.
What were they thinking?