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Eileen McClelland

7 Quick Tips From the Stuller Bridge Conference

It took place July 21-23.

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EVERY YEAR HUNDREDS of Stuller’s retail customers make the trip to Lafayette, LA, to attend one of Stuller’s interactive Bridge conferences. Classes include deep dives into issues such as repair pricing, bridal merchandising, inventory management, and new directions in customization technology.

Attendees pick up tips and tricks from Stuller experts as well as fellow jewelers.

Here are just a few of many I picked up from this week’s session:

WELCOME TO MY STORE. Include a photo of your storefront on your website, along with text-based directions. It makes it easier for shoppers to find your store and eases threshold resistance.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME. If you’re taking photos of jewelry for social media, zoom out. That will give you the ability to use one photo across all platforms and crop it to optimize the size and shape for Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

BUILD YOUR BRAND VOCABULARY. Begin to craft a brand identity by choosing three words that best describe your company. Imaginative? Resourceful? Purposeful? Adventurous? For example. Involve your staff in that exercise.

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GOOGLE YOURSELF. A first impression online is critical. Take control of your content and the ability to interact with reviewers by verifying your Google business listing at Google.com/MyBusiness. Check your name, address and local phone number, URL, store hours and photos. Fill out every single field on this form with as much detail as you can. Verify location with a phone number or postcard verification.

REFRESH YOUR EXPERIENCE. Design intentional experiences that delight your customers. Don’t be afraid to draw on inspiration from other types of businesses. Sephora for example allows customers to interact with products. Saks Fifth Avenue emphasizes the importance of an open feeling and unobstructed, uncluttered sight lines. Starbucks has changed the vocabulary of ordering coffee from small, medium and large to tall, grande and venti! Take a fresh look at your store and rethink the status quo.

ELEVATE THE STANDING OF GROOMS. Bring men’s wedding bands out into the light. Don’t treat them as an afterthought to languish in a drawer or a corner. Men want to be included in the romantic symbolism of commitment.

OFFER ALTERNATIVES. Think stacking is just for fashion? That’s no longer true. The stacking trend has become very popular in bridal, too. Some brides are even opting for a stack of diamond bands instead of a traditional engagement ring.

Bridge is a three-day conference offering business insights, networking opportunities and more held at Stuller’s headquarters in Lafayette, LA. Bridge is free for qualifying customers of Stuller. Upcoming Bridge dates in 2019 are Sept. 22-24 and Oct. 20-22. For more information visit: stuller.com/bridge

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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Eileen McClelland

2019 Big Survey: 10 Times When Jewelry Store Employees Left the Job in Dramatic Fashion

Results of the 2019 Big Survey have been rolling in. Here’s a sample.

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WE ASKED SURVEY respondents to share the most epic ways they’d seen someone quit or be fired. Dealing with employees on their way out can be touchy. Sometimes these unfortunate encounters even culminate in award-winning dramatic performances. Read on for the most memorable ways employees have parted ways with jewelry stores:

Top 10 Countdown

The award for best dramatic performance goes to the employees who:

10. Screamed at the top of their lungs, “I QUIT”

9. Showed up in pajamas, had a breakdown, then quit and walked out.

8. Threw rings at the boss while asking for a raise, then quit.

7. Threw a crystal piece through a showcase shelf.

6. Hit the jeweler in the head with a bag of bananas.

5. Threw his key at me.

4. Came in wielding a pipe wrench screaming that we were liars.

3. Ran out of the shop, arms raised in the air, saying “he’s trying to kill me.”

2. Got drunk at a charity event we were sponsoring, hit on one of the ladies and pulled her skirt up. Police were called.

And the No. 1 best dramatic performance goes to:

1. The employee who hired a marching band to quit.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 North American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.

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Eileen McClelland

Diamond Producers Association Takes Consumers on The Diamond Journey in Time for the Holidays

Marketing campaign kicks off on Oct. 15.

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LAST WEEK THE DIAMOND Producers Association announced the details of its new Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond consumer marketing campaign, designed around a cinematic telling of the natural diamond story in a mesmerizing, three-minute film called “The Diamond Journey.”

The multi-channel media campaign will launch on Oct. 15 with a presence in Conde Nast magazines, the New York Times and Sports Illustrated, along with a social-media and television presence leading up to the holidays.

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DPA research reveals that most consumers don’t realize diamonds are the oldest thing they will ever touch or own. The campaign chronicles the transformation of a rough diamond from discovery to finished jewelry. A 2-carat cushion cut diamond engagement ring, set in yellow gold, becomes the symbolic star of the show by crossing time and culture to represent love, commitment and meaningful moments.

The campaign was developed in partnership with creative agency BBH London. The film was directed by Ian Pons Jewell, whose commercial portfolio includes Nike, Audi, Lexus and Michelob, and features music from Oscar winning musician, Atticus Ross. The film will live on Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond’s website at www.realisadiamond.com. Retailers can find more resources and tools at shop.diamondproducers.com

Here is a Q&A with Kristina Buckley Kayel, DPA’s managing director, North America, about the significance of “The Diamond Journey”:

INSTORE: In the video, what is the significance of the same diamond ring style displayed across time and various cultures? What message does that convey?

DPA: The same diamond ring appearing across time and various cultures conveys the heirloom quality of natural diamonds. It positions diamond jewelry as a cherished part of a family’s history and also speaks to the enduring value of a natural diamond. We chose to feature a classic design that has eternal appeal and feels just as relevant in the past as it does in the future.

INSTORE: How does the new campaign dovetail with other recent campaigns, and what sets it apart?

DPA: The new campaign builds on the objective of the Real is Rare platform, which is to revitalize the diamond dream among new and millennial consumers. ‘The Diamond Journey’ explores the human connection to diamonds much further than we have in past campaigns, with less focus on product and more focus on the story itself. This campaign also shines a spotlight on rough, which we haven’t done in the past. But now more than ever we need to celebrate rough, and the distinctive qualities of natural diamonds.

INSTORE: The target demographic is 21-39 year olds? Is it meant to appeal to both young men and young women?

DPA: Yes, we’re targeting both men and women during their engagement research journey.

INSTORE: Based on your research, how important is a diamond’s origins to today’s engagement-ring shoppers? And why is that such an important message to convey?

DPA: DPA consumer research has revealed that people develop a deeper appreciation and attach different meaning to diamonds when they understand the reality of diamonds, that they’re a finite natural resource, born of extreme conditions billions of years ago. And because of this, they’ve become an enduring symbol of love and human connection. It’s an important message to convey because it’s a part of the diamond story that consumers don’t know. Most are very surprised to learn that diamonds are older than life on earth.

INSTORE: What should retailers take away from this campaign when learning how to relate to young consumers?

DPA: Now more than ever, consumers, especially young consumers, want to know where the products they’re buying come from, and the story behind those products. This is especially true for luxury purchases. It’s vital for retailers to become true storytellers in order to reignite the diamond dream for younger generations.

INSTORE: What has the reaction to the Real is Rare campaign been to date and how successful has it been in conveying that message?

DPA: The Real is Rare platform has been very well received by the industry as a whole. Our last Real is Rare campaign, ‘For Me, From Me’ has been one of the most successful programs DPA has embarked on. It has helped mobilize the retail sector around female self-purchase, which represents 1/3 of all diamond jewelry sales. We’ve heard from many jewelers that the campaign has helped drive sales, and today it’s being executed in nearly 1,000 doors across the country. It’s a seasonless campaign, and one that is complemented by ‘The Diamond Journey’.

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Eileen McClelland

Could ‘Another Piece of Your Story’ Be the Next ‘Got Milk?’

Jewelers of America raises $300,000 to test a consumer-facing marketing campaign for the jewelry industry.

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JEWELERS OF AMERICA has met an initial fund-raising goal of $300,000 with support from industry associates, including INSTORE, to test a jewelry-marketing campaign that organizers hope will become as widely recognized by consumers as the ubiquitous “Got Milk?” campaign.

The announcement was made during the JA National Convention in New York this week by JA’s Amanda Gizzi, director of public relations and special events, and Molly Fallon, director of marketing and communications, along with Mark Smelzer, industry consultant and JCK magazine publisher.

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The goal is to promote the national jewelry industry as a whole and focuses on the potential of the female self-purchase market. Testing will begin on a targeted group of women in Los Angeles in mid-September. The five zip codes in the test market were selected based on their volume of JA member stores as well as the number of women who fit the demographic.

The tagline for the initiative is “Another Piece of Your Story,” developed by ad firm Cramer-Krasselt based on the idea that there’s an emotional connection with jewelry that’s far different from how consumers relate to any other luxury product. So much so that each piece of jewelry a woman chooses to wear becomes another piece of her identity. “No one ever cried when they got their Grandma’s cell phone,” Smelzer says.

The campaign will be tested on 30-something, married-with-children jewelry enthusiasts, who represent 8 percent of the population and have a combined income of over $100,000, as well as on 20-something women, who are single, make less than $100,000 and have been indifferent to jewelry. They represent 11 percent of the population.

Companies that have supported the effort thus far were recognized as being a part of the Pioneer Program. “The purpose of the campaign aligns with INSTORE’s core mission to support independent fine jewelers,” says INSTORE Publisher Matthijs Braakman. “Collaborative initiatives assure that our industry evolves and grows to meet new consumer demands. We encourage all stakeholders to learn more about the campaign and contribute where possible. INSTORE is proud to be a pioneer sponsor.”

Pioneer Sponsors also include independent retailers H. Watson Jewelry Inc. and Krombholz Jewelers as well as Jewelers of America, The Plumb Club, American Gem Society, Ashi Diamonds, Artistry, Ltd., Emerald Expositions, Forevermark, Gemological Institute of America, Gumuchian, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, JCK Industry Fund, Midas Chain, Rahaminov Diamonds, Royal Chain Group, Shy Creation, Silver Promotion Service, Synchrony, Chow Tai Fook North America, Hearts on Fire, Memoire, Gabriel New York and Greenland Ruby.

The next step is to work toward creating a large-scale industry campaign for early 2020, for which more funding will be required.

For more information about the initiative, contact agizzi@jewelers.org or mfallon@jewelers.org.

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