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Brand Portfolio: Marquirette’s Exquisite Jewelry




AFTER 20 YEARS in the design and manufacturing side of the business, Lyle and Marguirette Fields opened Marquirette’s Exquisite Jewelry in Montgomery, AL, in 2003. The store opened as a 750-square-foot boutique. Marquirette’s has since grown to 4,500 square feet and in 2007 did $5 million-plus in sales. How did the Fields do it? ?Everything we have ever done the last six years has been about branding the name Marquirette’s,? Lyle says. ?What we did not do is probably the best thing we did do. We avoided all brand-name designers’ co-op ad money. Even though we put a few branded lines into our store, we never sacrificed our ads for their name ? instead always promoting Marquirette’s. We do not even use their signage in our store. Instead, we have fancy glass in-case plaques that say only ?Marquirette’s.’ As a result it is vary rare that a customer asks for a national brand name, but consistently asks for items that Marquirette’s made.? 

Marquirette’s builds on its brand with its slogan: ?Marquirette’s … How do they do it? They make it. They really make it!? The line is used in radio and TV spots and consistently appears in print ads. 

Lyle calls their marketing philosophy ?supersized.? From the large, glitzy pieces in the store’s cases to two- to three-year advertising contracts that go year-round, from the large cookies and flowing champagne served ? the store has its own liquor license ? to its annual party that drew 3,000 people in November, everything about the store’s image is on a big scale. 


Lyle says that newspaper ads work only ?so-so? in Montgomery. To get the most impact, Marquirette’s runs a 1-1/2-inch strip ad across the newspaper’s front page more than 300 days a year. The ads range from giving jewelry-buying advice to notifying readers of special events. 


Cards sent to customers on birthdays and anniversaries maintain the consistent Marquirette’s look. 

A uniformity of design and the repetition of the store slogan make Marquirette’s print ads successful. 

By hosting the store’s annual holiday gala on Nov. 12, Marquirette’s begins its holiday sales season two weeks before many stores. In 2006, 1,500 people attended a New York-themed party. ?Oh, we really blew the budget,? Lyle says, ?but the sales that night alone ? including a 9-carat engagement ring, which was presented in front of live TV cameras ? more than paid for it.? More than 3,000 attended the 2007 event, which featured a Beatles tribute band. 

Marquirette’s has stayed with the same TV ads from the start. A consultant once advised the Fields that if you find something that works, stick with it. So the store runs the ads consistently throughout the year, substituting new images of jewelry. All ads feature the store’s slogan, and Lyle says it’s become so well recognized that he’ll go to dinner at a restaurant and have someone come up saying, ?They make it! They really make it!? 

Instead of featuring Duratrans of brands that Marquirette’s carries, all in-store signs underscore the store’s own image and brand. As a result, customers tend not to ask for name brands.



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Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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