Jewelry Branding is a term you hear tossed around quite often.
But what exactly is it and why do you need to concern yourself with it?
You need to concern yourself with branding becuase that's what will separate you from the millions of other jewelry craft artists out in the marketplace.
Ultimately, the goal of the jewelry branding segment is to have you start thinking about what qualities make you a unique, talented, one of a kind jeweler and how this translates into the branding and presentation of your work to the public so that they recognize your work instantly as something they can’t live without.
“Jewelry Branding is about associating your jewelry business with emotions that are unquantifiable in monetary terms.
It’s about what customers think, feel, and tell their friends about your jewelry." ~Oran
A Sum of Parts
Branding is what your company offers as a whole, beyond just goods. It is just as much about design principles, customer service, perceived value, visual identity, and market differentiation as it is about the unique necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that you sell.
Made up of a sum of parts, your jewelry brand can be broken down into 4 areas that you can work on to develop your jewelry branding package: Story, Visual Identity, Perception, and Market Differentiation.
Who are you?
In the handmade marketplace, what ultimately sells your work is you!
People who buy handmade are fundamentally interested in how you as a craftsperson are able to magically transform everyday objects with your creativity, instinct, life experiences and hand skills into something that will enhance their lives on a practical, aesthetic, and emotional level.
They want to get a glimpse of how you see the world, and they get that by buying your necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
“Essentially, what they want is to experience a little bit of the magic that is you!"
Take a look back at your artist statement. In that statement should be some sort of jewelry branding story you can communicate to your customers about why you make jewelry.
Try to work this story into your sales pitch, your website, and marketing materials such as postcards, social media, and look books.
What makes you stand out visually from other jewelry designers?
Most people often think of visual identity as a logo that is stamped all over the place, but a good visual identity goes beyond just logos.
You may also want to think about the materials and colors that you use to design, present, and promote your necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Do your jewelry photographs have a vintage feel to them or is it modern and crisp?
Maybe you are an enivironmentally conscious company and use this to guide designs and presentation of goods, down to, say, your upcycled packaging and business cards printed on recycled paper?
The key here is not to have one or two things like a logo and color to identify your company, but rather to come up with a visual language from which you can present and promote your business to the world.
What do you want people to remember and think about your company?
Diamonds, for instance, are never literally sold as diamonds.
A crystal composed entirely of carbon, diamonds aren’t the rarest gemstones in the world and they certainly weren’t always the most popular. That however, changed just before the start of the Second World War. You can thank the clever advertising agency of N.W. Ayer and Son (with generous funding from Harry Oppenheimer of De Beers fame) for their clever jewelry branding strategy.
If you think about it, diamonds aren’t exactly something your body needs in order to function properly. They are, for the most part, sparkly rocks. Diamonds will not save your marriage, potty train the kids, walk the dog, cook dinner, massage your achy feet, or remind you to call your mum every weekend.
And yet, this advertising agency was able to turn that around through creative jewelry branding and associate in people’s minds that diamonds are the ultimate expression of love, self-worth (two months’ salary, anyone?), and a basic human entitlement. All of which was crowned with what Advertising Age Magazine awarded the best slogan of the 20th century: “A Diamond is Forever.”
Why should people buy from you?
In the internet age, access to handmade designers has become as easy as the act of bead stringing itself.
And let’s face it: it doesn’t take much to string beads, or to put together a set of earrings.
Nor does it take much to make a ring, or melt some glass to make a pendant or beads.
“So the million dollar question is: What are you doing differently from all your other competitors in the marketplace?"
Positioning is a term you will hear often when it comes to branding, as it helps to describe what you have to offer customers and in what context your goods belong in the marketplace.
Starbucks for example, is known for selling coffee.
But coffee is nothing more than a beverage made with burnt coffee beans steeped in water. It's really easy to make, yet Starbucks can sell theirs for a premium, and they often have lines running out the door in every store.
How is that even possible? Their coffee isn't even that great!
Simple. They don't really sell coffee there, they sell consistency. You can go to any Starbucks in the world and expect to get the same product, customized to your specificiations, at a certain level of quality. Every time. So if you have a certain preference for Iced Venti Double Shot Soy Caramel Machiatos, you can be certain that you can get this product at any Starbucks in the world.
Your market differentiation strategy could involve your finishing skills, for example. The way you finish off the ends of necklaces or make an extra clean wrap on loops, or the care in which you polish all your metal components. Or you could be known as the jewelry designer that will customize any design with any stone, metal, and clasp the customer wishes.
These may seem like small details, but they add up to a bigger picture of how your jewelry company is different from other companies. You could also take care to package all jewelry a certain way, greet and thank people with a warm smile, perhaps a hug to your more loyal customers...whatever you are comfortable with and comes naturally to you.
“Jewelry branding is an ongoing effort, so expect to make adjustments as your company grows and as you refine your business strategies." ~Oran
Starting Your Jewelry Business
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