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Jennifer Farnes: The Dos and Don’ts of Advertising

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Jewelry advertising advice from Jennifer Farnes

Do be friendly to sales reps, don’t fall for cheap ads, and more.


This article originally appeared in the March 2015 edition of INSTORE.

Advertising is something you must do if you want to grow because no one knows who you are until you tell them. But doing advertising right is not easy. Before opening my own jewelry store, I worked in advertising for over a decade. Here, is my starter “Do & Don’t” list to help those struggling with advertising.

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Do set a budget. Advertising can get away from you quickly, just like shopping with a credit card. Lock in an amount you are comfortable with and stick to it. While there isn’t a magic number, the SBA advises that businesses with under $5 million in gross sales (with a 10-12 percent profit margin) spend 7-8 percent of their revenues on marketing.

Don’t give money to anyone without a contract. Most media outlets have an established protocol and will bring a contract to the first meeting. If your media rep forgets the contract but says they will e-mail you — they still shouldn’t leave with any money from you. If the sale is important, they can always come back for the check with a contract in-hand.

Do advertise to what you know. If you watch the morning news on one channel every day, start there. If you listen to the radio on a particular station when commuting, start there. The best way to attract customers with a mind like yours is to advertise in the media you frequent.

Don’t feel pressured to sign the first contract. If there are questions, be sure to ask and expect complete answers to be provided. If changes need to be made, make notes directly on the original contract and keep a copy.

Do be friendly to everyone who approaches you about advertising. Sales people get shut down every day in a variety of brutal ways. Being the one kind person they talk to in a week will stick in their mind. The next time they have a media sale, they will call you. That can mean big savings in advertising, even if you have never spent money with them before. Even better — that friendly connection can lead to free promotional opportunities and a new client in the form of the advertising rep who walked into your store in the first place!

Don’t take the rates as non-negotiable. In advertising, everything is up for negotiation! It never hurts to ask for better pricing or freebies (traffic sponsorships, weather bugs, web ads). There is always a way to sweeten the deal. Stations are coming to you asking for your money.

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Do focus on frequency. If you have $1,000 to spend, don’t buy one commercial in prime-time TV. Buy volume where the price is right. Take your $1,000 and buy two spots a day for one week in your morning drive-time radio, or a few key ads in the local paper every Sunday for a month. The more people hear/see your message in repetition, the better chance your message will sink in.

Don’t blow your entire budget on broad-rotation commercials because the price is cheap. Money is better spent targeting a single day-part (morning, midday, evening) than being scattered all over the map. Broad-rotation spots should be used only as campaign support to boost frequency.

Do ask for free production. With many media companies, a six-month to one-year contract is standard for the station to be able to offer free production. Your commercial might not win any awards, but the media company will produce a nice spot for you because they want you to come back and buy more.

Don’t let media outlets inundate you with demographics and explanations of their rate card. Everyone can skew a printout to make it look like gold. Lock in on your target demographic and tell the media representative to bring in only information that matches your demographics.

Do ask your customers how they heard about you and track the responses (a simple clipboard with hash marks will do).

Don’t be afraid to walk away. You can always change your mind before you sign a contract.

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Jennifer Farnes is the owner and master faceter at Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO.

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Vegas Must-Haves #8: Long-and-Lean Earrings Are Everywhere

They’ve been popular at awards shows and on international catwalks.

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Heading out to Vegas for Jewelry Week? Here are some of the trends we are predicting you will see and that you might want to bring into your store. Some have been going strong for a few seasons, while others have been evolving for a couple of years. All are popular from the red carpet to the ready-to-wear runways to the jewelry design studios. So, why not try your luck with this trend or the others we will be showing?

From the red carpet to the runways to the design studios, all styles of earrings continue to be strong. One style that we saw at all the big awards shows this past season as well as on the international catwalks was the long and lean look. The earrings can range from sticks of diamonds to streamlined and linear with more movement, traced with enamel and/or popped with colored stones, and can go from mid-length to shoulder-skimming.

Lili Reinhardt in Swarovski earrings at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards Photo: Shutterstock

GiGi Ferranti Gia Deco 14K stick earrings with Zambian emeralds and diamonds. gigiferranti.com. $5,200

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EF Collection 14K gold diamond and enamel Stripe Bar Drop Earrings. efcollection.com. $650

Harwell Godfrey 18K gold articulated black and white diamond stick earrings in yellow gold, harwellgodfrey.com. $2,700.

Effy Pave Classica 14K White Gold Diamond Vertical Earrings, 0.35 TCW effyjewelry.com. $1,095.00

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Vegas Must-Haves #7: Attention-Grabbing Gold Chains That Mix New and Old

They’re being linked and looped together in creative ways.

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Heading out to Vegas for Jewelry Week? Here are some of the trends we are predicting you will see and that you might want to bring into your store. Some have been going strong for a few seasons, while others have been evolving for a couple of years. All are popular from the red carpet to the ready-to-wear runways to the jewelry design studios. So, why not try your luck with this trend or the others we will be showing?

Gold chains are back as a statement and a staple for your customer’s jewelry wardrobe.

I first started noticing the trend to weightier and gutsier chains in 2016, and they are being linked and looped together in creative ways. Many of the modern links take their cue from antique bold gold curb and paperclip watch chains and/or long vintage 70s large rectangular and oval links. Your clients can wear these alone or add charms and medallions. Foundrae is a perfect example of showing different lengths, styles and widths of chains and connector links to add their meaningful pendants. Add different charms or teach customers how to wear the longer versions doubled or creatively as lariats or elongated Y necklaces.

Tod’s Fall/Winter 2019/20 Runway Show

Jemma Wynne 18k gold Toujours emerald necklace with diamonds $15,750 jemmawynne.com

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Sylva & Cie 14K rose gold diamond oval link chain with champagne diamonds approximately .90 TCW sylvaandcie.com. 9,750.00

Foundrae 18K gold mixed oversized clip choker. foundrae.com. $14,995

Brent Neale 18K gold textured chain link necklace. brentneale.com $9,850.

Marla Aaron heavy sterling silver curb chain with baby 14K lock. marlaaron.com $682

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Editor's Note

This Year’s INSTORE Design Awards Winners Followed In a Stellar Tradition

With 25 categories, many designers had the chance to shine.

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EVERY YEAR, I’M consistently impressed by the ingenuity displayed by the jewelry designers who enter the INSTORE Design Awards. Two years ago, Hisano Shepherd of Little H made a splash with her fresh take on pearls, slicing them open and encrusting them with gemstones. Last year, Katey Brunini won three categories with three separate pieces from her intricate and colorful Eating Watermelon In The Black Forest collection, while TAP By Todd Pownell took two other categories with their striking, nature-inspired use of diamonds.

This year, with so many more categories (25, as opposed to eight last year), lots of designers made their mark. Adel Chefridi won two categories and a Retailer’s Choice award with his geometric matte designs. Thorsten placed with three different show-stopping wedding band designs. Manufacturers Gabriel & Co. and UNEEK Fine Jewelry each had multiple winners. The mesmerizing Sultana ring by Annamaria Cammilli Firenze cleaned up across several categories. Then there was our Grand Prize winning piece: the VIVAAN cuff (featured on our cover) with nearly 30 carats of natural fancy color diamonds that won over both our judges and online voters.

When you’re shopping the Las Vegas trade shows, start with the winners of this design competition. If they’re turning heads among our judges and online voters, they’re sure to turn the heads of your clients as well.

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • When displaying men’s jewelry, opt for timeless elements like antique fly-fishing reels, old toy cars or old sports items. (Ask Instore, p. 91)
  • Longer ad copy yields better results, as proven by Google. (Jim Ackerman, p. 90)
  • Always display in odd numbers; it’s more aesthetically pleasing. (Three Things I Know About, p. 94)
  • Ask questions that elicit a “yes” from the woman in order to close the male buyer. (Shane Decker, p. 92)
  • When retirement is in the near future, start maximizing net profit to build the value of your business. (David Brown, p. 94)
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