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By Ellen Fruchtman, President Have you heard about the best way to build your brand? It’s through salience. The word by itself according to the Oxford Dictionary means “the quality of being particularly noticeable or important; prominence”. In marketing, it has everything to do with becoming top of mind when the consumer is making (or considering) a purchase decision. Now, we have been hearing much about a brand needing to tell “its story”. But, what does that really mean? And, as a retail store (or brand), what do you need to do to make sure your brand is salient? In the world of retail, telling a story is easier said than done. Not because it’s a difficult proposition to actually do, but because getting a brand or retail store to buy into the notion that it isn’t about what you’re selling, specifically (product), is that important. It starts with being noticed. You can be noticed in many different ways. You can be downright distinctive. But, look around you. Heck, just walk around the floor of any jewelry show. What is really that distinctive on your showroom floor? What do you offer that is truly different? Case-in-point. You can buy eyeglass frames in an optical store, in many department stores, etc. Then here comes a company by the name of Warby Parker who sells eyeglass frames but offers them in a very distinctive way. They are a distinctive eyeglass purveyor. In the jewelry business, you pretty much do and offer the same thing the jeweler does down the street. So how do you expect to stand out? You can bury the notion that you are not selling those things in your showcase. It is not just about the product attributes, or worse yet, price. To be noticed, you have to first build a message (and strategy) that is different! One that will be inexplicably memorable. You are not selling those diamond stud earrings. You need to get at the heart of what those diamond stud earrings represent. How will they make the recipient feel? The story, if you haven’t come to that conclusion already, is about getting to the heart of the emotion of the product. It is that emotion that will be memorable! To you, it might seem risky to not show a 1-carat engagement ring for $4,995. It should be noted, according to Motista, a company that specializes in working with national brands on emotional targeting, emotionally connected consumers spend up to two times more with preferred retailers and brands. If that doesn’t sway you to consider a new strategy, what will? If there was ever a product or category that can tug on your heartstrings to leave a lasting impression, it’s got to be fine jewelry. Once you take the step out of your comfort zone, it is important to stick with it. Short-term thinking will not yield a long-term gain. We see it all the time. Clients who want to know when they will see sales gains the minute we deploy a new creative strategy. It just doesn’t work that way. Emotional storytelling goes beyond one well-written, illustrated book. It’s a forever series. You should not second-guess the campaign you’ve agreed upon with your creative agency. Trust in the process. Leaving a lasting impression also involves thinking about how your brand extends beyond the advertising message. Can your emotional story reach into your community in some way? Can you get behind initiating some change that also has meaning? And, you don’t need to pat yourself on the back about it or have a charity send emails about your support, it should just be for the better good. Otherwise, it is not authentic. What are the takeaways to be a salient brand? Be emotional in your storytelling. Be authentic and consider where it can also lead you. Create messaging that is relevant to the person you want to walk in your door. And, then stick with it! So, what’s your story?
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