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Andrea Hill

When Planning Your Marketing For 2021, Make Tradition And Comfort Priorities

These are the feelings working for consumers in today’s climate.

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IT MAY SEEM LIKE 2020 will never draw to a close, but it will, and it’s time to start planning your 2021 marketing. A few interesting themes have emerged during 2020 — themes you’ll want to consider when planning your merchandising and messaging in the new year.

The first theme is tradition and comfort. Consumers are buying things that make them feel stable and secure. In the grocery aisle that means soup, but for a luxury goods business, that tends to translate into classics. Diamond studs, pearl earrings, straight line bracelets, and simple diamond pendants are flying off the shelves, and will likely continue in their popularity until after Mother’s Day 2021. A good guideline for 2021 is, if Jackie O wore it, it’s likely to sell.

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Beyond product selection, plan to convey those feelings of comfort and security in your marketing messages as well. From a copy standpoint, you may want to talk about your store’s history, tell feel-good anecdotes from present and past, share testimonials from customers, and highlight reassurances such as your product and service guarantees. Keep imagery fairly soft, and colors on the lighter side. Greens, yellows and pale blues are the palette of tranquility.

The second theme is responsibility. Across all demographics, consumers are reporting increased concern about the environment, sustainable practices and responsible behaviors. People are paying attention to what it means to be good citizens, and independent jewelry retailers are perfectly poised to take up that message, because of the important roles so many of you play in your communities.

Share stories about community involvement, publish your Corporate Social Responsibility statement on your website, and talk about the things you do to reduce plastic and paper use in your store, reduce electricity consumption, or reduce transportation costs. If you are doing any activities to make your supply chain more responsible, share those things. Talk about your designer lines that use recycled diamonds or recycled metals. Carry a designer who works to provide provenance on colored gemstones.

Don’t get caught up in the worry that you have to have 100 percent responsible practices before you can talk about being responsible! Just share what you do now and talk about goals you have for the future. Most consumers aren’t all-or-nothing when it comes to responsibility — they just like to know you’re paying attention and making some progress.

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Depending on the progression of the pandemic, group events may still be a ways out. But you can create other ways to engage with your customers. Consider hosting a fund drive for a local benefit. Offer Zoom parties with an inspirational guest speaker, a jewelry historian, or an expert on simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Think about experiences you can offer your customers that will feed their need for comfort, stability, wholesomeness and community.

Every jeweler has a story about a customer who was convinced they bought something from them, only to discover that they really made their purchase from a jeweler down the road. People often don’t remember what they buy. But they always remember how you made them feel. In your marketing plan for 2021, take pains to provide the comfort consumers are craving. They’ll remember that, so they’ll remember you.

Andrea Hill is owner of Hill Management Group, with three brands serving the jewelry industry. Learn more at hill-management.com.

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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