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How Regional Jeweler Meets Customers Where They Live

Lately, the company is focused on data-driven geo-fencing.

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Bernie Robbins’ iconic butterfly packaging.

BERNIE ROBBINS JEWELERS’ marketing strategy, fueled by a savvy, full-time staff of four, is ever-evolving. Lately, it’s focused on data-driven geo-fencing. “We’re trying to be more relevant to the audience we want to attract,” says CEO Harvey Rovinsky.

Geo-fencing is, in essence, a virtual perimeter drawn around any space. Potential clients within that geo-fenced area can be targeted for certain events, such as bridal events, in the store. So Bernie Robbins can concentrate on a geographical area they believe has a strong potential for bridal customers, and then the marketing department will know in real time whether or not it’s working. They’ll be alerted when someone they’ve targeted walks into the store. “We are a brick-and-mortar location, so return on digital ads is usually an impression or a click,” says Peter Salerno, digital marketing manager. “But in this circumstance, we can see that someone is walking into one of our physical locations because of it.”

In the past year, geo-fencing and behavior-targeted social media advertising have become a larger part of the company’s media budget. Shifting the advertising to be more data driven has increased the ability to deliver advertisements to people who will actually be interested in them. “Every day, we grow our database and develop a better understanding of our potential customers,” says Cristin Cipa, director of marketing. 

“I can’t overestimate the value of marketing,” Rovinsky says. “We commit very significant resources to it. We look at ourselves as a marketing company that happens to sell jewelry.” One staffer in the marketing department spends two days every week taking professional photos of jewelry to use on Instagram and the website. 

Says Rovinsky: “We still do clienteling by telephone and text. Here’s what we’re not doing: newspaper and TV. We still do radio, outdoor, and we do one city book. Other than that, it’s all things digital.” 

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Billboard

“Our clientele is busy and on-the-go; they are looking for visual and easily digestible content,” says Cipa, citing the example of a co-op Cartier billboard. “Regional billboards are still a large part of our media budget. With five locations across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we cover a large geographic footprint and believe that strategically placed billboards continue to reach our geographic targets.”

Influencers

Bernie Robbins has increasingly engaged with “micro-influencers,” people in a range of age demographics who live in the community, have strong social followings, but also have a real relationship with a network of potential local customers. Influencers are recruited for their authenticity, a word Salerno describes as the big, sexy word for 2018. 

Print

A co-op Forevermark ad in Philadelphia Style magazine focuses on a classic engagement ring that, thanks to clean branding, is allowed to simply pop off the page. “Forevermark engagement rings are stunning and we loved aligning with their elegant language, ‘It’s a long journey to become the one,’“ says Cipa.

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Social Media Strategy

Bernie Robbins adapts its brand voice to its social media audience. “We know we have to have a strong presence on Instagram to engage with our younger customers,” Cipa says. “Our brand voice on Instagram is slightly younger and tends to be more playful. We are selective and only post professional, clean-looking photos.”

Regional Promotion

Leveraging key regional happenings is key to the company’s marketing strategy. Bernie Robbins owners Harvey and Maddy Rovinsky, lifelong fans of their hometown team, the Philadelphia Eagles, offered fellow fans a dream proposal story by giving away two tickets to the 2018 Super Bowl LII to the first couple who purchased an engagement ring valued at $50,000 or more. The giveaway launched on a Monday, and by the end of the week, they had a winner — Bob Wanum of Doylestown, PA. Married for more than 30 years to the love of his life, Teresa, Bob proposed a vow renewal during the big game. 

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Butterfly Packaging

The signature butterfly packaging, which represents joy, hope and love, has been an iconic part of the brand for 50 years.

Branded Champagne

Bernie Robbins’ branded champagne is served for special occasions and during events.

Chic at the Shore

Bernie Robbins has hosted the event series, Chic at the Shore, in the Somers Point, NJ, location every summer for years, publishing a magazine to highlight the events and the jewelry. In 2017, the marketing department bolstered the branding by sending out email blasts and launching a digital flip book, which lives on their website and allows consumers to browse at their convenience. “Our loyal consumers love the weekly events hosted all summer long,” says Cipa.

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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Brand Portfolio

This Reno Jeweler Learned That Being Himself Was the Key to Building an Unforgettable Brand

“Extraordinary, never ordinary,” is their tagline.

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When Britten Wolf opened his own jewelry store with his wife, Michelle, in 2013, he just wanted to be himself. The store specializes in custom, unique and handcrafted jewelry, and in 2015 became one of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores.

“Extraordinary, never ordinary,” which became his tagline, is the message he strives to convey consistently. He realizes, though, he had veered off message for a while in his marketing, and began to promote other jewelry brands along with his custom design services. Custom design makes up at least 80 percent of his business.

But Michelle — and everyone else who knew Britten — urged him to refocus on custom design, which is what he had become known for. What helped him get back on track was the non-profit Small Business Alliance, which had helped Wolf launch his business with a $150,000 loan. Since then, the group has also deployed college students studying economics and business to help him fine-tune his marketing plans.

“The best advice I got was be you,” Wolf says. “What I realized when they told me to be me, was that you have to stick with what you built your business on. I was trying to be that other jewelry store as opposed to being me. But when you hear that from a lot of people, finally, it clicks.”

Wolf has a non-traditional approach to advertising. “Jewelry is visual, and so I’ve never thought radio would be that good. And TV is expensive,” he says. So he targets online, mobile, SEO and web advertising, and uses analytics to keep track of what’s working best. One of the hashtags associated with BVW Jewelers on social media is #GettingHitchedInReno.

In 2017, the advertising budget was 6 percent of gross sales. It was also the year that BVW Jewelers hit its $1 million mark.


Advertising Vehicle

Wolf bought a 1952 GMC pickup, added the store’s logo to it, and uses it to attract attention in a variety of ways. “We keep a stack of business cards in it and pass them out like candy,” Wolf says. “Wherever we drive it, people follow; it’s a great conversation starter and quite often, we see them in the store at a later date.” They also enter the truck in Hot August Nights, the region’s largest special event, which attracts more than 6,000 registered classic cars and more than 100,000 attendees. “Family and friends hop in the back and we toss out Mardi Gras beads, attached with candy, as well as buttons with our logo and information, all while cruising up and down parade routes. It’s awesome! You can hear people all the time talk about the truck when you drive by.”


Social Media

Wolf handles marketing himself, arriving at work at 7 a.m. each day to begin social media tasks. He and his team use mobile apps to post to several outlets at once to maximize their time and effort. Although it seems daunting, the solo approach isn’t impossible for a small-business owner with a clear-headed strategy and the motivation to make it work. “If you get into a routine, you can do it in about an hour a day, but if I try to do it in the middle of the day, it doesn’t work.”


Reviews

Positive reviews are rolling in. Wolf encourages Google reviews by giving clients a reminder card and a 15 percent discount on their next purchase. His current Google rating, based on 54 reviews, is 4.9 stars. On Yelp, 98 reviewers have given his business an average rating of 5 stars. “We have had more positive reviews on Google and Yelp than any other jewelry store in northern Nevada by offering contests and support via mailings, emailing our customers and working with partners,” Wolf says.


The Tagline

The tagline, “Extraordinary, Never Ordinary,” isn’t all about BVW Jewelers. It’s also about his clients. “With our brand, we want to show that everyone should be extraordinary, meaning unique,” Wolf says.


 

Jump Start an Artist 

Community outreach and events are a big part of the BVW marketing package. BVW Jewelers implemented a “Jump Start an Artist” program, dedicated to helping one up-and-coming jewelry designer realize her dream each year. From rendering to completion, Wolf facilitates the manufacturing of the piece or pieces, including packaging, advertising and development that leads to a viable and profitable line. Once produced, BVW Jewelers offers case space to the line for one year. Jump Start allows an artist who has unique ideas and has not had their designs created an opportunity to construct their pieces while learning what each process of the production entails.


The Logo’s Book

The logo’s fleur-de-lis style represents a floral pattern that for Wolf symbolizes growth. And it’s memorable. “Having a logo with patterns sticks in the mind more than just bold letters … I like to think it’s a bit more elegant,” Wolf says.


Philanthropic Philosophy

In 2016, BVW Jewelers auctioned off a 14K white and yellow gold necklace with diamonds and rubies, sapphires and emeralds, for which 100 percent of the proceeds were donated to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. BVW Jewelers also supports the Food Bank of Northern Nevada consistently by donating a percentage of all art sales and 100 percent of the proceeds from all watch batteries sold, to support the Back-Pack Kids program. The Back-Pack Kids program at the Food Bank helps provide weekend food for children who are homeless or chronically hungry.


Marriage Equality Campaign

In 2015, Britten and Michelle Wolf launched an ad campaign promoting marriage equality in their city with a 30-second spot shown in local movie theaters. They received overwhelmingly positive reactions to the ad, in which two young women become engaged with a traditional diamond ring from BVW Jewelers and celebrate their love and commitment with a kiss. The first weekend it appeared on social media, it generated more than 20,000 impressions on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. “The day after it ran, we had a couple come in after seeing the video and basically pay for the commercial” by ordering custom rings, Wolf says. “My wife and I have always had a belief in equality.”

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Brand Portfolio

How a Big Advertising Spend is Producing Big Results for New Jeweler

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Last year, after reaching $1 million in revenue, Jennifer Farnes was recognized as owning one of the fastest-growing businesses in Colorado. Her growth has averaged 32 percent each year since she opened in 2013.

She credits her background in marketing and her advertising philosophy for her success, combined with her strong focus on custom design. She believes in spending 15 percent of gross income on advertising, a belief she has put into practice consistently since she opened.

She urges others to do the same, but recognizes it can be scary to take 15 percent of your hard-earned money, seemingly throw it at something, and hope that it sticks. In her case, she started out small with Google, added Facebook and then experimented with commercials at her local movie theater. Next came radio and TV. Because of her high profile in the community, Revolution Jewelry Works was approached for what turned out to be a wildly successful cross-promotion with a local TV station, the arena and Cirque Du Soleil.


Promoting the Revolution

Farnes — a Ron Paul fan — liked the theme of his 2008 presidential campaign, “Join the Revolution.” She wanted to revolutionize how clients perceived jewelry stores. As someone who hadn’t grown up in the business, she perceived jewelry stores and the people who worked there to be stuffy, overdressed and snooty. She wanted a place that would appeal to her: laid-back, open and casual, with a knowledgeable team focused on custom design. She also wanted to avoid commission battles after she had watched two associates at a chain store argue in front of her about who deserved credit for the sale of her wedding set. She came up with a sit-down environment that invites clients to get comfortable and a profit-sharing approach that encourages team selling. She also simply asks the clients directly if they have a budget in mind. The logo, designed by one of her best friends who is a graphic designer, expresses her revolutionary fervor perfectly.


Traditional Radio and TV

Farnes’ approach to radio advertising is breezy, conversational and relatable. She prefers to advertise on stations that she and her staff listen to or watch. “We wanted to focus on trying to bring in an audience that relates to us, because then it’s easy to have something to relate to — like, we listen to the same music — when they come into the store,” she says. “Try to attract people who are like you.”


Building Trust on Local TV

Farnes appears regularly as a guest expert on a local TV show specifically geared toward moms to offer tips about caring for jewelry. “That has been a business driver for us by building trust,” she says.


Social Media

In addition to advertising promotions, Facebook is a perfect showcase for a variety of custom design options and for encouraging holiday gift giving.


High Profile Cross-Promotion

Revolution Jewelry Works’ high profile in the community attracted the attention of Cirque Du Soleil, which reached out to Farnes as a partner for a promotional ticket giveaway for their show, Crystals at the World Arena.

The promotion involved a scavenger hunt for 2-foot-tall crystal sculptures hidden in plain sight near landmarks, biking trails and public parks around Colorado Springs. It was organized by a local TV station, which offered hints to their locations. Each sculpture included instructions for their finders to visit Revolution Jewelry Works and trade the sculpture for free tickets to the show. A total of 160 $60 tickets were up for grabs; a pack of four was awarded for each of 40 sculptures brought into the jewelry store.

One of the sculptures was marked with a special symbol that indicated its finder had won a crystal pendant that Farnes designed.

Aside from that effort, “All we had to do was swap sculptures for tickets, take photos and post to social media,” says Farnes, who went all out on the social media campaign.

The giveaway drove 40 new potential clients into the store — each of whom had their photo land on Revolution Jewelry Works’ Facebook page — and piqued a lot of curiosity about her operation as well. “We made quite a few sales from people coming in and loving our studio,” she says. “We are so active in social media that it improved their ticket sales. It gained steam very fast.” As a result, the World Arena plans to work with Revolution Jewelry Works on future cross-promotions, such as Dancing With The Stars.


Community Involvement

Farnes works with a local high school that has a CAD class, where she is often recognized as “the lady from the movie-theater commercials.” Students design charms for bracelets that are auctioned for fundraising. All of the charms are designed by students and the themes are chosen by the individual teams. A “Space” bracelet and an “Ocean” bracelet raised a total of $1,800 for the school during the live auction.


Movie Theater Commercials 

Farnes works with a local company to produce TV commercials that get prime-time exposure on local movie theater screens. It’s turned out to be an incredible way to reach millennials, she says. Movie theaters are trying to lure in viewers early to watch those commercials by offering them prizes like free popcorn if they link with the movie theater’s website. Meanwhile, every time her contract renewal is up, Farnes works to move her commercial up as close to the start time of the movie as possible to reach the largest audience available. “You can be on every screen every showing every day of the week and the cost per screen gets lower and lower. Movie theaters are ridiculously successful,” Farnes says.

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Brand Portfolio

Brand Portfolio: Wixon Jewelers

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By

WIXON
JEWELERS

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INSTORE.


Wixon Jewelers has a 4.8-star
Google rating. But what makes that
statistic really impressive is that it
is based on 64 reviews. On Yelp, its
average rating is 5 stars. The consensus
on both sites, in a nutshell:
“I couldn’t have asked for a better
experience at Wixon.”

What’s not surprising — considering its
stellar reviews and quality website — is that
Wixon has a full-time, in-house marketing
director, Jayme Pretzloff, as well as a graphic
designer.

In-house marketing allows for flexibility
as well as consistency. “We’re a two-person
show doing the bulk of everything
in-house,” Pretzloff says. “Our web agency
does the hard programming on the website’s
back end, but copy, graphics and web
design are all done in-house. You know your
product better than some ad agency and
you have creative control and execution.
You can get everything out on time and you
can turn on a dime to adapt to changes.”

Pretzloff, who has been on staff for three
years, says his first assignment was to focus
on the digital side of the branding package.
Before 2012, Wixon’s online presence was
negligible; now it’s outstanding.

“It’s always tough with reviews,” says
Pretzloff, “and it seems that you tend to
hear from the negative people — that’s the
nature of the beast. If they’ve had a bad experience,
they want to tell everyone about
it.” The only way to circumvent that is to
make sure they don’t have a sad tale to tell.
“Our goal is to provide an incredible experience
whether they’ve come in to have their
watch battery replaced or they’re having an
engagement ring designed.”

Wixon’s staff encourages satisfied customers
to write a review and hands them
a reminder card, but it doesn’t offer them
incentives to do so. “In everything we do, we
take the approach of doing it the right way,”
Pretzloff says, “rather than using gimmicks
or tricks. Where some companies would
do a big push for reviews we wanted it to be
organic and come across that way.”


BRANDING ELEMENTS AT WIXON JEWELERS

Futuristic jewelry display cases at Veloce jewelry store

RADIO STRATEGY
Copy is written specifically
for each radio station. “If we
know a certain demographic
is very conservative, we know
how to craft the message for
them,” Pretzloff says. The
message will be targeted to
how the demographic would
use the store — engagement,
service, watches, etc.
The morning host of the
local CBS news talk radio station
talks about his experiences
at Wixon Jewelers. “He’s so
important to his listenership
that whatever he says is really
gold,” Pretzloff says. “He’s
really able to talk in a personal
sense. That’s the way we want
the message to come across.
People can see through all the
smoke and mirrors in marketing.
When you do have a brand
that has that true sense of service
and is doing all the right
things for all the right reasons
that comes through.”


After-hours party at Veloce jewelry store

SOCIAL MEDIA
Wixon does still advertise frequently in print
ads targeting the affluent, on radio stations and
outdoor displays. Online, they’ve perfected their
SEO to drive traffic to their website. They’ve spent
money on Google ads and time on social media.
“Instead of having each piece work independently,
when you have a holistic plan, you’re able to
leverage all of your media spends to build off each
other,” Pretzloff says. “We need to be where our
clients are.”



MAGAZINES
All magazine ads and website photos are
shot in-house. “I realized we didn’t have consistent
images available and there wasn’t always
a front shot and a side shot,” Pretzloff says.
“Some were vendor images. We needed to find
a way to cost effectively do photos in-house, to
have consistency but not have it be ridiculously
time consuming. In retrospect, all of the time
we invested in that was well worth it. Now we
don’t have to pay several hundred dollars an
hour to have a pro shoot it, and we can have any
angle we want — and details of each piece.”


Vendor promotion from Velocé jewelry store

CUSTOM
CHAMPAGNE
BOTTLES

When a client picks
up an engagement
ring purchased from
Wixon, they are surprised
with a bottle
of champagne. The
bottle features a front
label with a large photo
of the engagement
ring and is customized
with the couple’s
names. The back label
also has a customized
message on it. Some
couples use it to celebrate their engagements, some
save it for their first anniversary; others display it
in their house. The bottle is often featured on social
media posts. “We always look for ways to differentiate
ourselves from other jewelry stores,” Pretzloff
says. “It wasn’t our original intent, but it’s good
marketing, too. Response from clients has been
overwhelming.”


Interactive jewelry display at Veloce jewelry store

OUT OF THE BOX EVENTS
Store events always deliver
signature cocktails and a
crowd-drawing surprise. The
Wixons flew in a multimillion-
dollar Bugatti supercar
for a recent watch event and
their garden party featured
human garden statues, painted
white — so convincing, they
caused a few spilled drinks
when they moved. (Unlike
Greek sculptures, these models
were fully clothed.)


Brand-focused events at Veloce jewelry store

PRINT ADS
Pretzloff oversees all of the store’s branding
to ensure it reflects the message of luxury and
reaches the target demographic — ages 35 to 65
and most often male. “We are a huge jewelry store,
but we don’t talk about our size,” he says. “We try to
connect with our client. That’s what gets difficult
as you grow. Especially within print, our approach
has been witty. If you can get someone to laugh,
they are more likely to remember your message.
We don’t want our marketing to be dry and matter
of fact, because that’s not fun.” Pretzloff says people
will save print ads and bring them in five years
later. “They’ll say, ‘Now is the time to design my
ring, and this is the one I want.’”


Celebrities are featured on Veloce's social media accounts

WEBSITE

Wixon launched a new website
in May 2013, which received terrific
feedback from clients and industry
associates. It features “responsive
design,” meaning that the web pages
adapt to whatever device the visitor
is using for the best possible browsing
experience. So it looks completely
different on an iPhone than
it does on a computer screen. All of
the content on the website’s education
section is produced in-house.
“Even if the visitor doesn’t buy from
us, it’s important that they get their
questions answered, so that they
can make the most informed decision
possible,” Pretzloff says.

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