RIGHT CHOICE: TCMPi debuted a new Choice Events, a corporate-event, gift-giving concept, featuring lifestyle brand Alex and Ani, at the Promotional Products Association International Expo 2013 in Las Vegas in January.
Cranston-based jewelry company Alex and Ani and a Providence-based supplier of brand-name items for loyalty programs recently announced an expansion of a partnership that’s relatively rare among local businesses.
The Corporate Marketplace Inc. has been offering Alex and Ani products to clients since 2011. The partnership kicked up a notch recently when TCMPi announced it now is offering Alex and Ani as a Choice Event program product.
Choice Events, which TCMPi began in early 2011, combine reward programs with a sort of shopping experience.
In the program, that so far has focused on accessory brands Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses and Tommy Bahama watches, corporate guests are able to try on and select their gift from a product assortment, instead of being given a bag with pre-selected gifts at such events as client or board-of-director retreats.
“There is an aspect of ‘I can try it on, look in the mirror,’ ” said Tom Stearns, director of marketing for TCMPi. “It was an experiment and we’ve had very steady growth so we continue to expand it. We ironed out all the kinks and got very, very good at this.”
Moving to offer Alex and Ani bangles was seen as the next natural experiment for both companies that also presented an opportunity to further their relationship, which Alex and Ani largely entered into based on TCMPi’s Rhode Island connection.
Alex and Ani in the last year has moved to nationalize its brand built on the “power of positive energy” concept tied into its trademark bangles. The company recently has focused on diversifying by opening its Teas and Javas coffee shops, the Alex and Ani University, and the purchase of Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton as part of a “main street” approach to reinvesting in Rhode Island.