A new way to think about BRANDING

Posted on by Jimmy DeGroot Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

All the big advertising firms have their definitions of branding that leave us jewelers lost in woods of big marketing words. Here is what branding is boiled down: Branding is what people think of you when they hear the name of your business. It’s that simple. The things that you have done throughout the years to make impressions on people… charitable events, ads, mailers to customers, social media… in all of these things we have left some type of impression on people. Good or bad. Confused or definite.

TiffanyThe big question that I asked a few hundred jewelers at the IJO show in Tampa is this; For all that money you’ve spent in the past number of years, what do you own? What part of people’s brains do you own? What do people think about when they hear the name of your store?

  • Snobby, fancy, I can’t afford a thing in that store.
  • Hey, I like those guys. The next time I need a diamond, I’m going to them.
  • I really don’t know what they have or what they’re about, but I’ve seen a few of their ads.
  • Never heard of ‘em.
  • They do great custom work…. Look at my ring.
  • I love these guys. I’ve told all my friends about them.
  • They’re that place my parents go to, but I can’t afford anything in there.
  • They have Pandora.. but that’s all I get there.

In order to get the most of your marketing, your messages and activities should be purposeful and have a singular continuity. You can start by answering the question; “What do I want people to think of when they hear the name of our store?” Once you’ve answered that, you’re on the right road. From then on, make sure every single message you put out has something to do with the answer to that question.

Quick note: I’m sitting in Starbucks in Appleton writing this and just asked the two gals next to me where they would buy their next diamond. One said a local jeweler that they hear on the radio and tv “All the time.” And the other said Tiffany’s in Chicago. When I asked them why they answered the way they did, they both said that they like what the stores stand for. Hmmmm. Sounds to me like some definite branding is going on here. I can help YOU with that.  Call me at 920-492-1191.  I’ll answer.

Narrow your marketing aim with your budget

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Birdshot target
Most independent jeweler’s marketing budgets have way too many line items on them. If your budget has a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you’re talking to a bunch of people a little bit here and a little bit there, you’re throwing your money away. Sure you’re reaching them, but not effectively. Now of course if your budget is huge… knock yourself out and buy a ton of media, but whatever you buy…. Own it.

So we end up spattering around our message, using different messaging from vendor co-op ads to locally-made ads to pre-created ads that you’ve tagged with your logo. With no-continuity in messaging and the incorrect frequency of ads to a particular audience, the message is not held in long-term memory. A good way to measure the success of your marketing is to get out of your store and ask 50 people where you should buy a diamond in this town. When you get away from the people, jot their responses down on a pad. The store that comes up the most is winning. I hope it’s you. If it’s not, there IS a way to make it you.  Learn how. 

I’ve seen too many ad budgets that spend an awful amount of money but are relatively ineffective. So please, narrow your budget and spend more dollars with one medium or one station or one show. It’s very likely your marketing dollars are not too few, they are just spread too thin.

How To Avoid Guilt Marketing

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“We’re having a silent auction and we’d love to have a piece from your store.” “Would you be interested in being one of our major sponsors for the wine and cheese event?”   silent auction

It happens almost daily in our stores and we’re torn because we’re constantly wondering if it makes good business sense (Will I capture enough new customers?) and our benevolent hearts for charity. Every charitable donation should be done for one of three reasons: You will create great goodwill for your existing customers. You will gain enough NEW customers to justify the expense. Or you are giving out of the goodness of your heart and the return doesn’t matter.

Include charitable events in your annual marketing budget. When it’s out, you’re done. Better yet, define the charities that mean the most to you and your staff in your budget. One way to reduce the number of inquiries is to tell them that you review all your charitable donations in January and all requests must be submitted by then. This will weed-out many of them and encourage the more serious charities.

Sometimes charitable giving just makes good business sense because they’re talking to the right crowd. Consider OWNING the entire event or doing nothing at all. The attention can quickly be drawn away from your store if another jeweler has offered a cooler or pricier item.

Create a form for every charity to fill out. Don’t give something to someone immediately when they walk in. Make them quantify and justify your contribution and have a review committee of two or more people. This will help you make better decisions and takes the blame off one person’s shoulders.

Finally, you may want to consider putting all of your eggs in one basket and concentrating on one single charity but in a big way. This way you will “own” the entire audience and you can make a substantial contribution, this being much more effective than spreading your financial corn among many chickens.

How to own bridal in your market & 50 YouTube video ideas jewelers can do on their own!

Posted on by Jimmy DeGroot Posted in Blog | 1 Comment

I sure enjoyed spending time with you all at the Tampa IJO Show. It’s really neat talking with so many of you who can relate to the independent jeweler marketing dilemma. In this post I’ve included my presentation notes which are represented as a PDF file of my slides. Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions about any part of the presentation. Click here to download.

In the presentation I discussed a list I made of 50 YouTube video ideas that jewelers can shoot right in your store with a simple video camera. With YouTube being the #2 search engine in the world, this is a fantastic opportunity for jewelers to show themselves as REAL and do some neat videos that you can host on YouTube and then forward them on your Facebook and Email blasts. Click here to download.

If you haven’t signed up for your IJO Show Special of a FREE MONTH OF VIDEO TRAINING, do it now!!!! Your promotional code is AF31MF5Z13. Sign up here. IT’S FREE FOR YOU TO TRY FOR A MONTH but the code expires at the end of this week!

Finally, I am talking with several of you about doing in-store consultations where I shop the competition and create a marketing plan that will grow your business over the long haul. JimmyRight now I’m booking into May and June. If you’re interested in getting me in your store, give me a call now so I can get you on the books. I’d like to get your marketing plan in full swing so we can maximize 2013 and have a great 4th quarter.

Have a fantastic week!


IJO Show Special – Your Free Trial Month of Store Video Training

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Jimmy The Jewelry Marketing GuyLast week I had a blast speaking at the IJO Show to over 200 jewelers about the importance of training your staff on a regular basis in order to grow your bridal business. Proper sales training of your associates can be the key difference in whether or not your store grows in volume.

We have put together an amazing training series to help jump start your store’s success. These weekly videos are available to you and your staff anywhere, anytime. Whether on their laptops or mobile devices, or in a staff meeting in your store, your staff can watch these meetings and grow in their sales-ability, diamond knowledge and general store operations.

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, we’ve made it even easier to sign up. Through the rest of February, get an entire month free to test drive our training program.

Sign up today and enter this promo code to get your first month FREE:

You’ll be able to watch every video I’ve ever done and you can cancel at any time. I know you will find these very informative and your staff will enjoy their brevity and content.

With each video comes assisted notes and a quiz that they can hand in to you or your sales manager. Sign up now and watch your staff blossom!

FREE month promo is only valid through the end of February so sign up today!

How to be the cool guy at the party

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Facebook is a party. And you can’t show up at that party with your trench coat full of jewelry.
Roy Williams confirmed my feeling about Facebook in a recent memo. “FaceBook, for business, is a mirage. Can it successfully gather a crowd to hear a band perform at a bar? Absolutely. Social media, social event. Can it successfully be used by a physically-existing retail or service business as a substitute for mass media? No. It cannot”  sad facebook

I feel it crucial to bring this up because there are jewelers out there with a hundred-ish “friends” or “likes” and they feel confident that this is the new marketing plan for business growth. The reality is that it’s more important to have a local marketing presence and brand recognition. This actually supports Facebook awareness and not the other way around. You need to give people a REASON to include you in their social realm. Otherwise you’re just that annoying jeweler out there posting pictures of your latest jewelry with the caption, “What do you think of this?”

Tell your story. Post videos about unique things in YOUR business. Show people that you are real and have a personality. Show them all the neat things about your store just like if you were giving a tour to a friend. This will create interest and be more likely to be reposted or go viral.
Here’s a neat example of something of a video my buddy Doug Meadows did at David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta GA featuring his designer Abby.  Anyone can do this.


A little fun

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I don’t know if you’ve seen this already but watch it and have a little laugh today. This is a great example of a company that wanted to send a message to people, but do it in a way that would capture their attention and be entertaining. It has 37 million views. I don’t think it would have that many if they did a video showing their empty facility and talked about service, quality, value and how many years they’ve been in business. I’m not suggesting you write a song and animate it, but I DO encourage you to get out of the proverbial marketing box and think about touching people in an emotional way. Enjoy.

The Jewelry Marketing and Sales Growth Solution

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For years I’ve searched for people that could help me market our independent jewelry store.  Here’s a quick video of my story and why I love helping jewelers finally market their stores for long-term, consistent growth.

A Fun Valentine’s Day Ad

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Here’s an ad we did to focus on fun bridal, but we can easily change the voiceover and close up shot of the ring to include YOUR voiceover and jewelry. It can be a great Valentine’s Day ad and I recommend it to promote entry-level and price point bridal. Remember, Valentine’s Day is a $100 to $200 per item day for most jewelers. This ad is available for purchase at CreativeEdgeAds.com

Fun Bridal Ad from Creative Edge Productions on Vimeo.

A great Real Estate investment

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Human Brain

My friend Alan owns a great deal of psychological real estate in a lot of people’s minds. His store does millions. I guess that’s what advertising people would call top-of-mind awareness. I call it great real estate to own.

Alan understands that marketing his jewelry store is a marathon and not a sprint. Over the years he decided whatever he spent his advertising dollars on, he was going to own. He chose to be the only jeweler people heard from, whether it was a time frame, a specific show, a newspaper section or neighborhood for billboards.

When you take the approach of owning a specific group of people rather than trying to reach the entire world, then you can affordably reach them with the correct amount of frequency. And yes there is a proper amount of frequency that works. Any less and you’re flushing money away. Don’t flush money away. When you’ve done that with a great message, well then my friend you are the proud owner of psychological real estate. Once you own it, it’s very difficult and expensive for someone to come and take over.

All said and done, Alan patiently invested over the years in a plan. He didn’t quit, screaming, “I tried that and it doesn’t work!” He now enjoys an extremely profitable jewelry store that continues to grow. His customers are extremely loyal and as a result, he enjoys a wonderful referral business.

What psychological real estate do you own?  Would you like to create a game plan for owning a bunch? Let’s get started!   Email me at jim@jewelrymarketingguy.com or call me at 920-492-1191.