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Small-Town Jeweler Builds Successful Cause Marketing Campaign

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The Love of Life launch that revealed the 2016 ring design, “Prevailing Overpass,” with ring creator Gary Wyant (second from left)

EVERY YEAR for the past 12 years, jeweler Gary Wyant of G.C. Wyant Fine Jewelry in Indiana, PA, (population 14,055) has designed a platinum and diamond ring valued at $13,000 for a philanthropic raffle. Proceeds from the raffle are donated to the Indiana Regional Medical Center Women’s Imaging Center.

the IDEA

Cause Marketing Finds an Outlet

“After losing her grandmother to breast cancer, my wife Stacy and I wanted to do something to give back to cancer research,” Wyant says. “A client of mine worked with the Love of Life campaign, and she approached me about being a part of it.”

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the EXECUTION

Raffle Evolves into Other Creative Events

“Prevailing Overpass” ring showcases a 1-carat. marquise-cut diamond and pavé set round brilliant-cut diamonds in platinum.

Wyant employs two public relations staffers to handle much of the planning throughout the year, including the social media awareness campaign. The piece is unveiled during a July house party, after which $10 raffle tickets are sold at the store and online up until the drawing in late November. The Wyants draw the winning ticket during a Light Up Night event downtown in late November, bringing extra attention to Wyant’s business at the beginning of the crucial holiday shopping season. The design of the 2016 ring, called “Prevailing Overpass,” was inspired by the symbolism of bridges. The ring features two curvilinear bands pavé set with 20 round brilliant-cut diamonds. The bands are separated by a negative space that’s bridged by an asymmetrical overpass of high-polished platinum supporting a bezel-set 1-carat marquise-cut diamond. The overpass, or bridge, is symbolic of man’s ability to create solutions, connect communities and overpass danger, Wyant explains. The raffle has evolved over the years to include other events leading up to it, which create more excitement. For Cream Puffs for a Cure, in early November, Six Hand Bakery plants pieces of jewelry donated by Wyant in each pastry. The first 200 people are eligible to purchase a $10 ticket for a cream puff. Most contain $10-$40 themed charms and bracelets in sterling silver. The grand “cream puff” prize is a pink diamond necklace valued at $1,000. “They line up around the block for hours to buy a cream puff,” Wyant says. There’s also a 5K race, which attracts thousands.

THE REWARDS

Everyone Benefits

Funds raised are used to promote the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. It also helps fund Bernie’s Closet, which provides patients with wigs, makeup and a support group. Wyant has been able to invest in a cause he feels strongly about, raising nearly half a million dollars. He also has been able to virtually eliminate his traditional advertising budget.

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Creatively Build a Local Cause Marketing Campaign

  • Identify your cause. If you find something meaningful to you and to your family to work on, it won’t seem like a chore.
  • Plan your cause marketing. Instead of having a scattershot approach, find a cause you believe in and become known for it.
  • Get the word out. Use social media to support your charity-focused events.
  • Collaborate: Wyant and a local baker teamed up for the Cream Puffs for a Cure, which has proved wildly popular.
  • Use your expertise. Design a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry to define your theme.

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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Wilkerson Testimonials

Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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