In the September/October issue of JCK, an article titled “Before You Go On Your Marry Way” appears in our annual bridal supplement. It’s a compilation of sales tips from the best bridal brainiacs we know—and yours truly did the reporting.
We are now entering prime engagement ring shopping season. Not surprisingly, a lot of our recent content has been focused on engagement ring collections, from Hearts On Fire’s collaboration with Hayley Paige to Brilliant Earth x Lela Rose to the recent announcement of Tiffany & Co.’s latest engagement ring debut, the topic is only getting hotter.
All of the wisdom relayed in the article is sound, valuable, and nuggetized for easy reading and actionable takeaways. But because I was limited to space, the breadth of my interview with each expert had to be truncated and streamlined.
Here, I’m including some of the additional insights, observations, and recommendations that were shared with me—the outtakes, if you will—so that you have all the info you need to more effectively market your bridal collections, ready your business for a slew of successful engagement ring sales, and get your social media strategy up to speed.
“Presenting your brand in a way that feels accessible and fresh—not stuffy or outdated—is key. Catbird and Vrai & Oro are perfect examples of this. Catbird came onto the scene as a disruptive vendor, selling alternative engagement rings and stacking rings, and has solidified itself as the nontraditional bride’s go-to and has even opened a separate location just for bridal jewelry. Catbird offers e-commerce, a strong social media presence, and relies on a collection of indie designers, which makes its point of view feel fresher than other brands. Vrai & Oro started off as a smaller e-comm company for delicate fine jewelry and expanded into the bridal space with rings made with lab-grown diamonds in delicate, simple settings. Their rings are a great balance of modern and classic, and because they use lab-grown diamonds, they’re also at a more accessible price point and satisfy consumers looking for ethically sourced stones.”
—Shelley Brown, fashion and beauty editor, The Knot
“We have a deep understanding of what’s working and what’s not because we have a bird’s-eye view into how different clients are targeting the bridal consumer, from how they prioritize and plan, address challenges in the marketplace, and respond to consumer demands, or seek to make an impact with messages of responsibly sourced diamonds. I think what drives any consumer to make a purchase, or take action, is what they know about a brand and how that brand/designer has made them feel and how they’ve been communicating with them over recent months or years. In my opinion, video content plays a critical role in the outreach efforts and success of a brand, designer, and/or organization and when leaving a mark on a consumer, especially within the bridal category. It can make an impression on a consumer, influencing what they feel when they think about a brand or designer and/or how much they feel something is worth and, ultimately, their decision to purchase or take action.”
—Monica Elias, CEO/executive producer, Elias World Media
“It’s a challenging time for retail today, and all brands have needed to adapt quickly. The immediacy to buy now, whether online or in store, has disrupted all industries. Having fresh product and imagery available is key throughout the year, as is social media, especially Instagram, where you can dialogue directly with the consumer. The personal experience of the purchase may or may not be important for everyone today for sales. But if the customer does choose going to the store, then they are looking for the special, unique experience, a point of view with attention to their needs.”
—Rachel Leonard, editorial director, The Bridal Council
“My staff and I created a Pinterest board of our target bride. We included where she lives, the car she drives, her favorite outfits, foods, and designers. Knowing these things about her allows us to curate content for our website and social media that she will be attracted to and ultimately will make her want to shop (and buy) with us.”
—Beth Chapman, owner/fashion stylist, The White Dress by the Shore
“Our industry has, in recent years, answered the call for newness with, what I have felt, was a lot of extraneous ‘bells and whistles’ that did little or nothing to address substantive change in bridal collections. Change for change’s sake is not a good thing. [Recently] it became obvious to me that we needed to take the next step in our bridal department. While our business was progressing nicely, I felt that we could benefit our business by trying to come up with a unique offering. Working with my designer, Alicia Arnold, we created a series of new designs that incorporated vintage details and called it the Roslyn collection. We started with a handful of looks and immediately found a very receptive audience. Even before any marketing was attempted, we sold rings virtually as fast as we could produce them. We have incentivized our staff with a small bonus for selling these rings; interestingly enough, this has not necessarily cut into the sales of my better-selling, high-quality classic lines.”
—Jim Rosenheim, owner, Tiny Jewel Box
Top: Emerald-cut engagement ring from Vrai & Oro, an e-tailer/bridal brand that’s doing everything right
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