The Most Valuable Brand? Your Own.
By Angie Ash, Executive Vice President
We see it all too often. Retail jewelers getting hung up on the brands they carry. And we get it, especially if they offer a generous co-op program. Of course, you want to utilize those dollars when it makes sense. However, keep this in mind. The vast majority of jewelry brands are unknown to the vast majority of people. Only the really big ones that spend millions of dollars advertising come to mind. Ask a stranger what jewelry brands they know and most will say Tiffany, Rolex, maybe David Yurman, and perhaps Cartier. You’d be hard-pressed to hear many others unless those designer names are spoken from the mouths of true jewelry aficionados.
There are also other prices you pay as a retailer, beyond the obvious money, when you advertise brands. Logo equality is one of them. How often do you receive co-op materials from brands where your logo appears in miniature? And you’re lucky if you can include your street and website address on them. When there is no logo equality, it begs the question. Will drivers traveling at 65 mph plus on the highway even notice your logo when they go whizzing past your billboard? And if they don’t, what is the true benefit to you as a retail jeweler when you’re paying thousands of dollars a month for that space and vinyl?
I am not here to hate on brands or billboards. As an ad agency specializing in the fine jewelry business, we understand the value, sales, and foot traffic some brands bring to your store. However, and by far, the most important brand in your store is your own. Your integrity, reputation, and what you stand for are the things that will be left when everything else falls away. In fact, I am willing to bet that if you ask some of your customers what makes them shop with you, you’ll hear some of the following, but not the mention of a brand you carry:
“I always feel welcome here.”
“The store is inviting.”
“The jewelry is beautiful.”
“I like and trust the people.”
“I came here once and received excellent service so I don’t want to go anywhere else.”
“My parents shopped here, so I want to as well.”
“The owner/associate goes to my church/school, etc.”
“I want to support a local business.”
“I checked out the reviews and liked what I saw.”
Some of our best store branding projects put the retailers front and center. People see their faces and get to know their names and personalities from tv commercials and radio spots. They feel like they’re part of the conversation when they watch videos featuring the retailer giving them advice. When the consumer feels like they know you, and what to expect if they shop with you (at least a little), they’re not as hesitant and intimidated to walk through that door. Their in-store experience is up to you!
So with my apologies for sounding like the advice found in a self-help book, when you plan out 2022, imagine putting yourself first. You’ll be glad you did!