At least one to two people a week come into my store asking for watches. It may be that there are not too many jewelry stores that sell watches in my area. It may be because watches serve a purpose other than just being a piece of jewelry. Being said that—I am hoping to bring in a couple watch lines. Are you selling watches over jewelry or are sales slow all around because of the time of year? What percentage of the store’s sales should be attributed to watches? Have watch customers become your diamond customers? Do watches bring more men into your store?
—Shanu Singh Giuliani, “Behind the Counter,” July 29, 2008Is This Breaking a Brand Promise?
At the JCK Show in Las Vegas, during the conference program, speaker Nan Piper Kochanski discussed the importance of having—and never breaking—a brand promise. One example Nan discussed about a brand promise was that of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong. She overheard a young woman complaining about the hotel and how she’d never stay there again. Since Nan’s daughter and future son-in-law are both managers at the hotel, she couldn’t resist asking why the woman disliked it so much. It turned out there was nothing wrong with the hotel, but there was a disconnect between the hotel’s brand promise and the young guest’s expectations. The woman was looking for a “hot spot” for meeting people, while the Mandarin prides itself on delivering a luxurious retreat for well-heeled, overworked guests seeking privacy and a place to unwind—i.e., a place to go when you don’t want to meet people. The Mandarin did not break its brand promise. The guest—or her travel agent—simply didn’t understand the brand promise, or didn’t think it through before booking her room.
—Hedda Schupak, “JCK Voices,” June 25, 2008Live From Israel, the Jovella Jewelry Show
I’ve arrived at the fifth annual Jovella International Jewelry Exhibition in Tel Aviv, Israel. The fair runs from July 1–3, and I look forward to meeting some new and familiar designers on their home turf. I’ve already met Yaron Schrotter of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor, and Avital Scharf of the design department within The Israeli Export & International Cooperation Institute, who summarize Israeli culture in this way: Israelis are natural-born entrepreneurs who effectively improvise creative, on-the-fly solutions because they don’t have time to operate otherwise. “We don’t know what the next day will bring,” says Scharf. “In Tel Aviv, we want it here and we want it now.”
—Jennifer Heebner, “Style 360,” July 8, 2008