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Brand Portfolio: Eugene Glam

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Brand Portfolio: Eugene Glam

BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND

Published in the May 2013 issue.

H Boutique
Eugene, OR

These days, Vegas, New York and LA have got nothing on Eugene, OR, when it comes to stylish fun. At least that’s the marketing message behind the hip new H Boutique brand.

Tobey and Sean Ritchie, third-generation owners of Harry Ritchie’s Jewelers, an Oregon-based family chain founded in 1957, recently took a detour from tradition to open their first H Boutique in the lobby of the hot new Inn at the 5th Hotel.

“We focus on keeping the H accessible, relevant, fun, personal — just completely different from any typical jewelry shopping experience most people are familiar with,” says Tobey Ritchie, VP of marketing for Harry Ritchie’s. “At the essence of everything we do to promote the H Boutique, we strive to convey our brand personality and love for fashion, jewelry and art — and how they can all come together in this shopping experience that we believe is unlike anything else in Eugene or the jewelry industry.”

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H Boutique staff, called “stylists,” provide a concierge-style shopping experience, offering espresso and champagne, styling services and advice (including makeup touch-ups at the Belle Bar), tips for surprise proposals, and spa-like treatments for guests’ jewelry at the Sparkle Bar.

From their rooms, hotel guests can call the H and charge purchases to their rooms, browse in-room service menus and jewelry previews, and use branded H Boutique jewelry pouches to store jewelry while at the hotel.

The Ritchies have emphasized events and social media in their marketing campaign while also employing traditional advertising, such as magazines (including airline magazines), billboards and direct mail.

STORE INTERIOR

H Boutique’s minimalist advertising clearly reflects the elegant and artistic boutique ambience of its interior. “We want to give Eugene a place where you can get both accessible fashion jewelry and fine jewelry in a fun and approachable space,” Tobey says.

THE MESSAGE IS FUN

“To us, jewelry and fashion are an art form,” Tobey says. “We tie this philosophy into our marketing by using the unique themes from our store design and custom-made watercolors in our print advertising and our website, www.hboutique.com. Rather than pushing a sales-driven message, we focus on the message that jewelry fashion is accessible and fun.”

COOL GIFTS

Other retailers in the shopping center adjacent to the hotel provide gift cards and gifts for special events. “We’ve had a good relationship so far with the neighbors,” Tobey says.

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GRAND OPENING

Since opening its doors in August 2012, the H has specialized in throwing in-store VIP events, complete with a red carpet, gift bags and DJs. The grand opening Block Party drew 600 people to an adjacent courtyard space set up with DJs, outdoor bars and a Carlo Viani trunk show; no one left until they had to — at 10 p.m. — to let hotel guests sleep. “We had VIPs, jewelry try-ons, professional models. We wanted to bring a little Hollywood, a little New York, a little Vegas — an exciting cosmopolitan feel — to Eugene,” Tobey says.

SOCIAL MEDIA

The company uses its Facebook page to promote events while offering a chance to win a $500 gift card. H Boutique adapts to ever-evolving social media opportunities, including Pinterest and Instagram. “Our goal with H Boutique’s social media presence is to build a community of fashionistas that love jewelry and accessorizing and who want to celebrate their own unique sense of style,” Tobey says. “We also strive to keep our fans and followers in the know on what’s hot and inspire them to bring their friends to the H to enjoy a unique shopping experience.”

STYLE TIPS

TV spots and social media offer style tips. “No one’s really focusing on style tips and there’s a real need for that here,” says Tobey. “We created actual segments that are running on cable and network TV, that were shot in the boutique with models.” Tobey is also featured in the ads: “It puts a name with a face, a personality with H Boutique.”

REFRESHMENTS

H Boutique serves free H macaroons (made in the store’s colors of teal, pink and gold) every day. They also partner with a local restaurant and serve a signature sparkler, espresso or hot cider every day. Customers can order food in the boutique, too.

CROSS PROMOTION

H Boutique is known for its glitzy gift bags given away at events, which often include gifts from its retail neighbors, such as a gift certificate for the hotel spa, Gervais. During one H Boutique promotion, spa gift cards of $25 were given to those who spent $250 or more and $50 for purchases of $500 or more. Clients of Gervais, on the other hand, are offered a “spa treatment” for their jewelry at H Boutique’s Sparkle Bar.

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