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Benchmarks: Make Merry

The holiday season demands your advertising stands out from the crowd.

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THE WINTER HOLIDAYS aren’t the time to mess around. Most jewelers do a huge chunk of their business around Christmas, and high-quality advertisements or promotional tools can substantially improve on what should already be a big sales number. The ads, ideas and events included here made the season merrier both for customers — who ended up with some nice jewelry as a result — and for the stores that sold to them.

Benchmarks: Make Merry

Snowman? Yes, Ma’am!
St. John & Myers Jewelry, Lexington, KY

Their graphic designer put a nice twist on St. John & Myers’ royally elegant logo, turning it into a snowman, and the store soon adopted it for winter holiday ads and packaging. It’s smart and artful, and, says owner Olivia Johnson Scholz, “I like it because it’s not just for Christmas. We can use it from November through January, and it’s more inclusive.”

Benchmarks: Make Merry

Cultivating A New Tradition
Luisa Graff Jewelers, Colorado Springs, CO

With the 2011 Christmas season approaching and a brand-new store to show off, Luisa Graff wanted to do something special. A tree lighting ceremony fit the bill, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to chop down a conifer every year. So instead, she had a 16-foot tree planted on the store’s lot — a tree “that could grow with our store.” Local high school choirs sang to a crowded parking lot on the first cold night that kicked off the new tradition.

Benchmarks: Make Merry

Picking and Pampering
A&E Jewelers, Neenah, WI

At A&E Jewelers, filling out your holiday wish list is a big event. The store invites other local vendors in for the “Dreams and Wishes” event, held over the course of an entire Saturday. Ladies can come in and, while making their lists, move from station to station getting massages, consulting with beauty experts — “anything that involves pampering,” says owner Corinne Meyer. One year even featured a psychic who did readings on dogs. “She was actually really good!”

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Benchmarks: Make Merry

A Verse For the Gift-Averse
J. Morgan Ltd., Grand Haven, MI

There’s nothing like a riff on a classic, and J. Morgan’s take on Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas is a solidly catchy piece of work. The hyperbolic tale of a husband desperate to find just the right Christmas gift — lest his wife enact her lethal revenge — this radio spot gets the rhythm right and reminds the guys listening that there’s still time and a store they can count on to help.

Benchmarks: Make Merry

Big Audio Dynamite
Tara & Co., Searcy, AK

Mobile device giveaways aren’t uncommon, but this ad for Tara & Co.’s Black Friday and Saturday Spectacular is uncommonly well produced. At the outset, a recording announces: “This should be played at high volume, preferably in a residential area,” and the remainder of the dialogue is smart and punchy. Owner J. Van Simpson says the promotion, which offered free iPhones and iPads to those who spent enough, was “moderately successful.”

Benchmarks: Make Merry

Good Tidings We Bring
Virtu, Chicago, IL

The charm and utility of this postcard lie in its simplicity and attractiveness. The front is beautifully designed, mingling soft blues with reds for a twist on the typical Christmas palette. And the back features a list of items on sale at a range of price points, with suggestions about who might like what. Virtu emailed it as a PDF and put printed versions in gift bags at events.

Josh WImmer has been a contributor to INSTORE since 2006. He has coordinated the annual America's Coolest Stores contest for several years. The job mostly involves pestering jewelry store owners to start their contest entries, pestering jewelry store owners to finish their contest entries, and figuring out computer problems over the phone from hundreds of miles away.

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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