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“I am still learning” ~ Michelangelo at age 87
The Spring, 2017 Atlanta Jewelry Show is successfully in the books, and what a great event it was! From the flawlessly executed day of 25+ Pre-Show Conferences, produced by the Atlanta Jewelry Shows newly minted and extremely talented Director of Education & Sponsorships, Cindy Chandler, to the last tweet I sent out for the show on Monday at 3:00 pm announcing the show was closed and inviting attendees and exhibitors back for the Fall, 2017 edition, August 12 - 14, and everything in-between, it was a show to remember.
I was blessed to be asked to participate in the LOUPE 10X Speaker sessions that were held during the Spring, 2017 edition, so I created a short session titled “ The 4C’s for Business: Create, Communicate, Collaborate & Customize .” I received a lot of excellent feedback on that session, and wanted to share some of the highlights here with you as well.
The essence of the session was to give my audience fresh ideas on maximizing business potential with creative twists on things retailers do and use every day. We explored each of the “C’s” in bite-sized pieces (the session was only 15 minutes) and afterwards, attendees were free to speak with me at length if they had a topic or question they wanted to explore further.
Here are my tips on Creating a better 2017:
- Create a clear message with brand consistency that can be easily translated across all selling channels in 2017.
- Retailers who create and promote product quality, transparency and sustainability will flourish.
- Personalization will become increasingly important to consumers. How will that look to you and your store in 2017?
- Create an entertaining environment to shop in. Use special events such as trunk, fashion and bridal shows or a special Mother’s Day event to create excitement.
- Help your local school plan a field trip to your store for a grade school science class to learn about rocks and minerals.
- Hold a book signing for a local author.
- Pair up with a chef or local bar/restaurant to create a dazzling dish or drink for your favorite local charity, church or auction.
Here are my tip on Collaborating a better 2017:
• Rethink your current arrangement with your existing vendors. If you expect your vendors to supply most of your merchandise on memo, then be loyal to them and sell their merchandise first. If you purchase in cash or pay on less than 30 day terms, then ask for more from them. Stop shopping vendors based on price alone and find vendors who can offer you great service, a great selection (for your needs) plus reasonable prices and develop those relationships!
• Reassess your employee relationships. How are they working for you?
• Find new partners with innovative products and services to help grow your business. Need some recommendations? Here are a few! If you haven’t joined the Jewelers Helping Jewelers Facebook Group, you’re missing out on valuable advice from your peers! Find it online at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JewelersHelpingJewelers/
You might know Chuck Koehler for the funny and insightful columns he writes every month for Southern and Mid-America Jewelry News, but did you know he also owns a company called Touched Impressions that produces custom fingerprint, footprint and paw print jewelry? Touched Impression rings and charms make perfect gifts for your customers. Call Chuck, set up a wholesale account, and add this great item to your merchandise offering today! You’ll find more information about Touched Impressions online at: http://www.touchedimpressions.com/
- Create referral networks with professionals such as lawyers and financial planners and provide them with materials that they can pass along to their clients which detail your services, including appraisals and (if you do it) estate work.
- Find ways to collaborate on marketing projects with traditional media such as print and radio. Sponsor contests with merchandise dollars (for retail value) rather than hard marketing dollars to make your budgets go farther.
Here are my tips on Communicating a better 2017:
- Get ready to move beyond social media and into social messaging. Until recently we’ve put our focus on social media and networks, but in 2017, companies are going to start investing heavily in social messaging. Social messaging applications have a wide audience and offer online shopping support. WeChat, Viber, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, the four main messenger apps, together have a larger community than Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, which are the four main social networks.
- Evolve and refine your existing market, rather than looking for a revolutionary idea to propel you into a new one. What does that mean for you? More repairs? More add on bridal business (bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc)? Find the niche and dig deeper into it.
- Organic Social Media success is a thing of the past. Create your own metrics (standards) to measure and optimize by.
- Content is and always will be king. Think quality over quantity and begin to add video (live and on-demand) into your mix of text and photos.
- Storytelling has always been a key component to effective marketing and selling within the jewelry industry, long before social networks even existed. Sell the sizzle, not the steak!
Here are my tips to Customize a better 2017:
- Customize your merchandise to your market and your clientele. Is the “bead” fad over in your area? Reduce the price to move the stock, or sell them at a discount on Jewelers Helping Jewelers. Use opportunities such as the upcoming Fall, 2017 Atlanta Jewelry Show (August 12 - 14) to find your next, best, “hot sellers” and move old, dead merchandise out.
- Customize your skills to your market gaps. Find the holes and fill them. Do you do repairs for other jewelry shops in your area? Start marketing yourself as “The Jewelers, Jeweler” Don’t name names, but let people know that your shop and skills are in demand. Are appraisals your thing? Give a talk to a local group or seniors center about the differences in appraisal “values” (estate, insurance, replacement, etc) and watch your business grow!
- Customize your selling “style” to your personality and your sales staff. Find the style that works for you. Laid back and relaxed? Buttoned up and Professional? Whatever it is, be consistent and carry it through in everything you do.
- Develop a loyalty program that works for you and your customers. Where is your best opportunity to get customers back in your store? Is it watch batteries? Beads? A particular dollar amount spent? Identify it and translate that into rewards your customers can appreciate.
- Customize your website content to reflect your current stock and service offerings. Make sure your site reflects your store and save yourself and your customers needless aggravation.
- Customize your messages to reflect holidays, events and themes that your customers can identify with. And while we’re talking about events, if you’ve ever considered using an event marketing company, please check out TK Enterprises, Inc. The Retail Event Marketing division of TK Enterprises Inc. provides a service specifically designed for jewelers who are looking to increase event traffic. They make phone calls to existing customers, personally inviting them to store events such as:
- Brand specific events (LeVian, EFFY, Pandora, Simon G., Roberto Coin and more)
- Estate & Trunk shows
- Seasonal Events (Summer Clearance, Ladies Night, Black Friday and more)
- Designer Appearances
- Clienteling (Birthdays, anniversaries, warranty & repairs)