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David Squires

How “Captain Underpants” Can Teach Jewelry Stores About the Power of Repetition

Use repeating elements — your own “schtick” — to help build you business identity.

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FOR A COUPLE MONTHS, I have been reading the “Captain Underpants” series of books to my two smallest kids (7 and 5). We’re now on book number six out of (I think) ten. They really, really enjoy it. Every night, they beg for an additional chapter … or two … or three.

Side benefit: our nightly reading sessions have become a power tool of parental leverage when the kids are acting badly and I threaten to cancel that night’s Captain Underpants. BAM!!! Instant compliance.

One reason they love the books so much is the way they use repetition to create familiarity and comfort.

Each of the “Captain Underpants” stories is structured the same way, with story beats, graphic elements, and catch-phrases all repeating themselves from book to book (e.g. the “Flip-o-rama” sections, “truth, justice and all that is pre-shrunk and cottony”, and the way that all the books end with someone snapping their fingers — a portentous act in the universe of the series.)

This kind of repetition, or “schtick”, is something that jewelry store owners might think of implementing to help build your business identity.

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Your schtick could be as simple as a fashion accessory. (Harry Friedman once said that if he was starting in jewelry sales today, he would wear a red bow-tie to work every day. Reason: he would thus be known as “the guy in the red bow-tie”. Instant identity.)

A couple other ideas:

  • Challenge yourself to remember one joke every day to share with your customers. I bet a bunch would drop in every day to hear your latest.
  • Brainstorm wildly over-the-top compliments for your female customers and distribute freely. “Mrs. Johnson, you are a ray of light piercing the morning gloom” or (to an elderly couple entering) “And who is this enchanting nymph you have brought into our store?”

What about you guys? Any ideas for repeatable elements or characteristics that can become part of your personal identity, or your store’s?

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