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Brainstorms

You Won’t Believe What This Jeweler Did to Make His Community Love Him

A jeweler gives every Christmas a real meaning.

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Siegel’s Jewelry in Paso Robles, CA, walked the Christmas walk last year. On Christmas Eve, they put a tree outside their front door with approximately 50 gifts worth $10-$50 each for anyone in need of a present but who couldn’t afford one. “On the following Monday, all the gifts were gone and a note under our door said how nice it was that people like you are still around,” said owner Ken Siegel. Such were the feelings of goodwill generated by the gesture that Siegel’s decided to up their generosity: “This year we will be doing our gift tree each night for seven nights before Christmas,” Siegel said.

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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

Get Rid of That Hairy Arm!

A proven strategy to combat those people who always insist on last-minute changes.

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Ever had a client or even a manager interrupting and delaying jobs by insisting on last-minute changes? Then you may want to consider this strategy employed by advertising artists known as The Hairy Arm Tactic. According to the mythology, a graphic artist named Joe had a client who was forever insisting on “stupid changes.” Then something odd started happening: each time the client was presented with a newly photographed layout, he’d encounter the image of Joe’s arm at one edge of the frame, partly obscuring the ad. The client would look at it and yell: ‘What the hell is that hairy arm doing in there?’“ Joe would apologize for the slip-up. And then, as the client was stalking self-righteously away, muttering, “You gotta watch these guys like a hawk,” Joe would say: “When I remove the arm, can we go into production?” And the client, content to have made his mark, would call over his shoulder, “Yes, but get that arm out of there first!”

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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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