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Jones Bros. Jewelers

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PEORIA, IL

[dropcap cap=D]espite three years of double-digit growth following a move to a new location and the adoption of a bridal-focused format, Bob Woolsey and his mother, Betty Schlacter, weren’t satisfied. Their marketing just wasn’t keeping pace with the other changes at Jones Bros. Jewelers in Peoria, IL. “We felt we were butting up against a lid and that we needed to try something fresh and dynamic,” Schlacter says of their decision to seek new marketing help. [/dropcap]

DOUBLED BUDGET: The pair turned to Freshley Media Inc., which recommended they double their ad budget as part of a gambit to become the predominant jewelry presence on local radio. The onset of the recession made the decision risky but also meant they could buy cheap radio time.

SIX STATIONS: In March 2009 they rolled out their new campaign across six radio stations with Bob as the friendly, inviting and “believable” voice of the store.

SMART CASUAL: Inside the store, the idea that Jones Bros. is a fun, relaxed environment “where the customer is allowed to make the decision” is underscored by the casually dressed staff (Hawaiian shirts in summer, smart casual in winter but no ties or suits). Freshley also worked with the mother-and-son team to bring the same “good time” ethos to their monthly events (mostly bridal), to drive more traffic to the store.

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SALES SURGE: The results were impressive. Sales surged 26 percent in 2009 to over $4 million; December sales alone were up 48 percent year on year. And this in the depths of the recession. “To be sure the annual gain was helped by an exploding gold business, but that was also part of the media strategy. Gold and bridal were the perfect one-two punch,” says Bruce Freshley.

MARKET DOMINANCE: “If you dominate your market, if you control the last mile, you will grow your business …. In most markets, radio is still the most cost-effective way to reach the most active consumers, especially young adults,” Freshley says. “Every jeweler in your town has a website, but only one jeweler can be the dominant radio advertiser.”

[span class=note]This story is from the September 2010 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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