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Shane Co. Asks Customers What They Want to See In Marketing

The answer? They want to see themselves.

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Shane Co.’s new ad campaign, “Made to Shine,” features real couples and parents with their actual children.
Shane Co.’s new ad campaign, “Made to Shine,” features real couples and parents with their actual children.

FOR 50 YEARS, Shane Co. has stood by the tagline, “You’ve got a friend in the jewelry business.”

With its latest marketing campaign, “Made to Shine,” the largest privately owned jeweler in the U.S. with 21 locations is keeping the tagline but turning the spotlight on customers who incorporate jewelry into their everyday moments and activities.

One major goal is to lower the intimidation factor of fine jewelry, which can be inadvertently reinforced by advertising campaigns depicting perfect couples and perfect situations, says CEO and president Rordan Shane, who is based in Denver.

“The idea of jewelry historically has been one of important moments and adorning yourself and feeling beautiful and special,” Shane says. “But the high price tag that can be associated with some jewelry as well as some advertising campaigns raises the intimidation factor. This campaign is based in the most meaningful parts of everyday life. It makes the customer the hero, focuses on individuality and brings in a new psychographic.”

“Made to Shine” was inspired by Shane customers, who wanted to see more of themselves in advertising. It’s shifting the company’s perspective from “all about us” to “all about you.”

Shane says it’s a natural evolution for the company, which he describes as customer-focused and authentic. As he grew up in the family-owned business, which was founded in 1929, he learned the value of authenticity from his father, Tom, who doesn’t allow anything “not real” in the stores. Fittingly, in the new campaign, couples are real couples and the parent and child are real, too.

Shane heard an endorsement of the new campaign from a highly regarded source. “Even my mother said, ‘It is so nice to see people my age I can associate with and feel relevant with in the advertising.’ To me, that really hit home. As an authentic review from my own mother who is a fan and a critic, hearing that made me think we really hit the mark. It doesn’t feel like perfect models.”

Shane Co. Asks Customers What They Want to See In Marketing

Marketing staff, with help from a consultant, talked to more than 1,000 customers in focus groups to figure out not only how the customer perceives the company, but also what they want.

“The big shift was that historically we did focus on us as a brand, as a company, on what we do for you, and what we provide to you, and this shift is getting down to our core roots of our first day of training.

“The first thing everyone learns, and the first thing I learned, is the customer is the boss. This is an evolution to focus on our customer. That’s what they wanted.”

Shane Co. launched the “Made to Shine Real Stories” nationwide contest in July, inviting customers and jewelry enthusiasts to share their personal stories of how jewelry has profoundly impacted their lives for a chance to be featured in one of their radio ads. Twelve people who enter their stories in the contest will be randomly selected to receive $1,000, as well.

Customers were invited to share stories about jewelry that brought them confidence or represented a special moment in their lives.

The campaign will continue to be featured in all forms of advertising, including digital, outdoor, TV, radio, email, the website and in the store.

“I truly feel that Made to Shine is a complement to our more than 50 years of brand positioning as your friend in the jewelry business,” Shane says. “This is a logical evolution of our historic friend campaign.

“Making people feel seen and special, that’s what jewelry does. It recognizes important moments in people’s lives. These are lifetime physical objects with intangible memories attached to them.”

Or, as the 30-second commercials put it, “You don’t need an occasion. You and your life are the event. Everybody is made to shine.”

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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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