A brand is the embodiment of all of the emotions and knowledge associated with a company or product. Your brand tells potential customers what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates you from your competitors. You want your brand to create an image in your customer's mind about your company and your product. You may want your jewelry brand to be known for exclusivity, expertise, glamour, romance, innovation, high quality, great value, or other features. Make sure your brand conveys this.
Branding for Jewelry
J. Russell Krueger, chief executive officer of Acquire Marketing, which specializes in the retail side of the jewelry businesses, has this advice for retailers: “To be a successful store brand, you must identify your target audience and cater to them with products and services that best appeal to their needs and desires.”
Branding leads to strong brand equity and adds value to your product. This usually comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment and allows you to charge more for your product than identical unbranded products. A brand creates an identity for your company and allows customers to develop a personal connection to your store and your diamond jewelry.
Michel Hogan, founder of the branding consultancy firm Brandology, says that people seek out brands not only for the product, but for the prestige it carries. For example, giving or receiving a gift from Tiffany’s, wrapped in their signature blue box, carries a certain cachet that an identical piece of jewelry, without the Tiffany label, doesn’t. For some, Tiffany’s robin egg blue box symbolizes centuries of design and elegance. For others, it promises distinctive jewelry of high quality. The real magic of Tiffany’s blue box is that it sparks an emotional connection.
Pandora is another example of successful branding. They entered the international market slowly, beginning with their signature charm bracelet, which had already proven successful in their home country of Denmark. Their branding strategy and long-term vision was to become the world’s most-loved jewelry brand, and to make their name synonymous with their mission of making high quality, personalized jewelry, affordable and accessible. The Pandora brand promises individualized, personal pieces of jewelry that allows each wearer to tell their own story. "Pandora's feminine universe offers vast opportunities for personal expression. Consistently designed from our strong brand DNA, Pandora offers a wealth of charms, bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces and pendants, allowing women to express their personal style."
Good branding influences buyer behavior and customer loyalty. Hogan said in an article about jewelry branding in JewelerMagazine.comthat “Consistently meeting expectations with your customers is the number one way to build brand strength.” She also cautions that your brand is a promise to customers that you need to be sure to follow through on. So if you're going to make a promise, you have to keep it.
Not So Good Branding
It is crucial to bear in mind that everything you do and say reflects on your brand image. A cautionary tale is that of Gerald Ratner; During the 1980s he built Ratner’s into one of the world’s biggest jewelry brands, and in 1991 he damaged his brand with a couple of sentences. In a speech to the Institute of Directors in London, he commented: “We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, "How can you sell this for such a low price?", I say, "because it's total crap." He compounded this by going on to remark that some of the earrings were "cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn't last as long." Ratner's comments have become textbook examples of the folly in contemptuously mocking customers. In the furor that ensued, customers exacted their revenge by staying away from Ratner shops. After the speech, the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million, which very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse.
As more companies enter the marketplace and the fight for customers intensifies, a strong brand is invaluable in setting you apart from the competition in the minds of potential diamond jewelry customers. You need to invest time and effort researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is your promise to your customer. It's a vital piece of your marketing strategy and one you do not want to be without.