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Brainstorms

Take a Page from Toilet Paper Producers for This Themed Event

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Each year, Quilted Northern sponsors a Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest in which entrants – there were more than 1,500 last year – create designs using nothing but tissue, tape, glue and thread. According to the sponsors, the contest highlights “what is truly possible when toilet paper is crafted for greatness.” It also does a fantastic job of reframing the way people may think of Quilted Northern’s products to stress quality and attention to detail. (And let’s not forget the media interest in such a bizarre contest.) Is there something you could do that is as clever? How about teaming up with a paper clip maker with a promise to make a winning ring design in real gold? A competition for necklaces made of soda can pull-tabs? Earrings made of …

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Gene the Jeweler

It Was Hawaii Day at Gene the Jeweler’s Store … Or Was It?

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s satirical Gene the Jeweler series, Gene learns that it was Hawaii Day at his store. At least that’s what his employee, Jeremy, says. But Jeremy’s answers aren’t quite adding up. It’s hard to say what this “Hawaii Day” was really all about.

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Brainstorms

Sow Seeds of Disharmony In Your Customer’s Jewelry Box

A shiny, bright new thing can make everything else look dull and in need of replacement.

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The diderot effect refers to the way a newly purchased product fails to deliver on the happiness it promised, and instead causes our other possessions to suddenly look timeworn and in need of replacement. It takes its inspiration from an essay by the enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot, in which he laments how a new dressing gown has made his other clothes look like rags and he suddenly feels “discordant.” How to put this psychological weakness into play? In much the same way Ikea or any home goods retailer does: through suggested add-ons. (“Now that you’re ordering that new dining table, shouldn’t you consider those glasses and plates, too?) Is it manipulative? We’d argue not. It’s not your fault that stylish new fashion ring is making her 20-year old engagement ring look a little dated and in need of an upgrade. 

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Brainstorms

Here’s How to Get the Most Out of Employee ‘Collisions’ In Your Store

Three ideas to boost the likelihood of serendipitous encounters.

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Tony Hsieh, the entrepreneur who found fame and even greater fortune with his shoe company Zappos, is a big believer in “collisions” — serendipitous encounters where workers randomly run into each other and share ideas. He told Entrepreneur magazine he’d even shut down a bridge linking his office’s parking garage to force workers to walk through a common area before they could get to their offices to encourage such collisions. Your staff may not be large, but could you shake things up to spark similar innovation? Occasionally get a bench jeweler out on the sales floor, insist sales staff take turns having lunch with other employees they don’t normally spend much time with, ask a new employee to review your procedures after their first two weeks, force yourself to strike up a conversation with that interesting-looking stranger at the Las Vegas show sandwich bar?

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Brainstorms

Why Alliteration Could Jazz Up Your Jingle

When you need a phrase to stick in the mind, try this trick of sound.

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“Alliterate or die!” That was a poster a former colleague saw pasted to a newsroom wall. Alliteration’s power to make words stick owes itself to the repetition of sounds. It’s something a lot of jewelers already know, hence “Wine Wednesdays” at Erik Runyan Jewelers in Vancouver, WA, or “Free Cleaning Friday” and “Saturday Style” at Fakier Jewelers in Houma, LA. Manic Mondays, Too Good to be True Tuesdays, Fried Food Fridays … once you get started using alliteration to jazz up your work week, it’s really hard to stop.

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