I subscribe to every jewelry industry news related email, feed, or social profile that I come across. It's a lot of information daily and I admit that I can't consume it all, but I do look at the headlines. When I see something that would be of interest to my clients I take the time to read it.
I usually read the INSTORE Worksmart emails every morning because they are short and I like to see what they are recommending. Sometimes the daily tips are good, most of the time I find that they are simple reminders of what jewelers have already heard at trade show seminars.
Reminders are good.
Sometimes those Worksmart tips are bad, and I usually just shake my head.
Today's tip (shown below) was so bad that I had to stand up and say STOP! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING!?
The recommendation today is to pick a single type of advertising and keep sending the same message out until your message sticks. Yeah, maybe this seem like a good method of "branding" but they use "radio" and "billboard" in their tip, which implies traditional advertising media is what you should should be sticking to!
It really upsets me that a magazine, which should be looked upon as a leader in the industry, should imply that retail jewelers need to "brand" themselves in a particular advertising medium.
Let me switch gears a minute and say that on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, JBT reported that the number of retail jewelers/repairers filing for bankruptcy in the United States declined by 12% in 2012 from 2011. Many jewelers are trying to scrutinize their advertising in hopes to find the best immediate ROI in order to prevent them from sliding closer to bankruptcy. Typical independent retail jewelers can't handle the long term advertising commitment to wait for "branding" to kick in.
From 2005 - 2009 I worked with many retailers from the IJO group that all tried to brand themselves in their local market. Even with dovetailing off the efforts of IJO, the local branding took too long to stick, and retailers could not afford to keep doing it.
INSTORE is so wrong today to even suggest this tip. In this recovering economy their suggestion is a surefire way to take one step closer to that going-out-of-business sale.
Retailers today should be rethinking their advertising budgets and not get locked into long term advertising contracts. Every penny of advertising needs to lead toward some goal. Sometimes that goal is not to make a sale, but every form of advertising should at least help to build a legitimate following that can be directly tracked.
I spend so much time and energy trying to educate jewelers that they need to take 1 step forward in their advertising techniques, and a message like this one today from a market leader basically tells retailers to take 5 steps back.
Follow INSTORE's advice today at your own peril.
Please think for yourself, question authority.