Columnists Suzan Alexander Weir Reach out to Millennials – Part II

Reach out to Millennials – Part II

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In Part 1 of this series we discussed who are the Millennials and how can an individual Jewelry Professional/Store use their assets to reach out to broaden the Millennial’s experiences towards career choices.

This article is intended to provide ideas or guidelines you may want to explore on what and how you or your store can attract Millennials to your business in general and as a career choice. Perhaps you have already incorporated some of these ideas and can share back with us any successes you have had with Millennials.

What do Millennials need to know to be interested in jewelry and your store?

Millennials have access to so much more trend information than past generations and yet they still seem to want more. They also want to know how those trends relate to them and you can become their resource for this information. By offering a comfortable environment to explore and learn in, these Millennials will frequent your store to get the most up to date information and they will freely share it with others. A store presence in the social media realm, Facebook, Twitter, etc. will remind them of what you offer as well.

Millennials as a group have a strong passion for social consciousness messages such as Green Initiatives, Charities, and Diversity. While you probably participate in these areas, you need to be proud of these messages and promote them for Millennials to appreciate your attention to these social issues.

Consider a free or lower paid internship to further education and learn life business lessons within your store. Millennials traditionally respond well to the mentor environment and thrive in small groups on projects or decision making.

What Store Environments offers Millennials a comfort zone and how can you involve them?

Relax. This is not about remodeling your store. These are some subtle things that you could do to enhance your store to make the Millennials visiting stay more engaged.

When displaying your merchandise, do something unexpected, think today! It’s November for instance. Someone may create a display of the Birthstone Citrine making up the yellow brick road leading to an Ipod... and let them ask you why. Give them vintage with a new twist.

Your overall store environment can include some of the following and you may just simply ask some of the millennials that frequent.

  • Music - Perhaps it is today’s top 40 or possibly themes, ask them! Perhaps you have a “music happy hour” where certain music is played.
  • Magazines - Youth oriented with fashion use of jewelry - it could be clipped, marked, or framed to locate it quickly.
  • Marketing - Could be as simple as adding the Facebook logo so everyone is aware you are on Facebook.
  • Polls/Surveys - Conduct in store polls on Fashion likes and dislikes, and then post to your webpage or Facebook.
  • Full Length Mirror for a complete look.
  • Targeted Round Table Discussions - Discuss fashion in jewelry and what they want.
  • Trend Reports - Assign a younger staffer/apprentice to make a trend report:
  • Have them write copy to place paid ad in local school paper
  • E-mail out trend report to mailing list

Another target with your local area is different Events at local Schools and Tech Schools. An idea is to offer to donate 1 piece of jewelry but offer perhaps 3 different items to choose from by voting in store. A minimum of 100 votes needed – results posted daily on Facebook page encouraging more participation and driving young people into your store. The ideas are endless and we would love to hear about your success.

How can we connect and reach them?

The in-store face-to-face experience is one of the strongest ways to connect with this generation and they value your expertise. Listen to them and offer solutions. They will appreciate the attention.

Roundtables have been a staple for gaining a solid circle of information gathering that leads to increased interest in our business. Why not take it to the Millennial group for ideas on different topics from Merchandise to décor?

Technology is our future! We have all heard it but have we embraced it to the fullest? I am not speaking as a technology expert here, however having attended many seminars on these social cyber topics, I am merely sharing some suggestions as it pertains to attracting Millennials to our business.

Facebook still dominates with 500 million plus users. If you are on Facebook already, great! You are one step closer. If not, make this your first step towards relevance in today’s generation of Millennial connections.

Whether to enhance your existing Facebook interactions, starting a Facebook account, or beginning other cyber choices like Twitter, blogging or foursquare, consider some of the following to enhance your cyber existence.

Recruit an Apprentice/Intern/Associate to write Status updates:

  • My favorite new item and why on a weekly/monthly basis.
  • Seasonal Trends
  • Celebrity Spotting of Specific Jewelry or Trend
  • Product Trivia Knowledge

By choosing a Millennial, or several Millennials to head this cyber project you will be giving them ownership in a part of your marketing business. They will take this seriously and appreciate the opportunity. Maybe they are paid for this or given credit of some sort. I can only speak for myself; I would have jumped at a chance to do this when I was this age.

Millennials know the most up-to-date phrases. Likely, they will tell others who will join/like you and follow your business and what this person is reporting. Let the networking begin.

Perhaps even connect it to the roundtable of Millennials to decide the content distribution of how often to post, what interests them the most and least, and then use that information. They will feel empowered, valued and more comfortable in your store. Who knows, the person with the most relevant ideas may be your next marketing person!

You are an incredible source of teaching for these young people. Reach out to local groups like the Boys and Girls Scouts of America and offer your expertise. Girl Scouts actually have a jewelry badge and perhaps you can have them come to your store for a planned activity or donate to this project. Your local big box hardware stores do it on every category they sell to the community.

For older Millennials, a class that shows them how you design, cast and finish a piece would be an educational experience they would remember for a lifetime. Have your diamond grader do a class on how diamonds are graded and how to buy diamonds and engagement rings. Anything your business does well, from trends to business practices, you could conceivably have a class on it if there is interest. Maybe that is another poll topic on which you can ask your community for feedback.

What is your Legacy?

Perhaps you will Mentor the person who will one day buy your store from you or take over as Management as you move into retirement. Maybe you foster a great passionate selling professional, Gemologist or Jeweler. Or possibly you created a darn good customer who sincerely appreciates our industry values. A win-win in my book!

What will you do to foster passion in today’s Millennials for the future of the Jewelry Industry? I would love to hear from you.

Suzan Alexander Weir is a Graduate Gemologist, GIA, DCA Graduate and has a BFA in Metal Design. Her career includes corporate training and development for jewelry industry leaders developing and delivering sales, product and trend materials. Suzan is the owner and designer for Alexander-Weir Designs, LLC and can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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