One of the keys of effective jewelry brand building is open, ongoing communication between the brand and the partner retailers who sell its product to the public. In many instances, the flow of information goes from the brand to the partner retailer, as you provide them with product updates, graphics, images, and other sales collateral to promote your products.
However, at least four times a year, you need to reverse the stream and listen to what your partner retailers have to say to you. The information and insights available from the retailers who are on the front lines, presenting your jewelry to the public, is intensely valuable and can be used to shape future marketing campaigns and even design initiatives to make your brand even more appealing to your target customer. Here are four questions you need to ask during your conversation:
Which of your customers are most interested in and purchase the most of our jewelry?
Here, you’re looking for demographic information and other defining characteristics. It’s important to know who is actually laying money down for your jewelry – and it’s also good to know who’s looking intently but not committing to a purchase. Relevant information you want to know includes age, gender, economic status, community membership, and more.
Why are your customers buying our jewelry?
This is a two part question. The first thing you want to know is the occasion that prompted the purchase, whether that’s an engagement, fashion purchase for one’s self, holiday or gift purchase, to add to a collection, or so on. The second point of inquiry centers on the retailer’s perception of why the customer is choosing your brand rather than any of the other brands the retailer is carrying. Factors here may be quantitative, such as price or the item was available immediately, or qualitative, such as the quality of materials used or the beauty of your designs.
Do you feel our brand is doing a good job bringing customers into your store?
A frank ground-level assessment of the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns is worth a mile-high stack of analytics and data. You want to know if customers are expressing enthusiasm about your brand, if they’re coming in primarily in response to sales events, and if the retailer is seeing online activity (including social media and mobile marketing) translating effectively into real world traffic and sales.
What could we be doing better?
The brand/retailer relationship works best as a partnership. Being open to your partner retailer’s suggestions for improvement is a sign you respect them and value their role in helping build your brand. Some ideas may be self-evidently brilliant while others are non-starters right out of the gate. While not every suggestion has to be implemented, each does need to be acknowledged with gratitude. Marketing inspiration can be just like design inspiration – you never know where the spark for your next great idea will come from.