About a year ago, Brian Gavin, owner of Brian Gavin Diamonds, awoke one morning and asked himself, “How can we grow our business without spending 500 million, like our friends at Blue Nile?”
The answer was not to try to outsell the Web’s jewelry giants—which he felt would be futile. It was, at least in part, to find ways to engage and delight his clientele through social media.
The South African-born retailer saw potential, specifically, in the Vine app, which allows users to create snappy, six-second videos that they can edit as they film.
The company’s Vine page is currently home to a series of eye-popping videos that feature diamonds and jewelry dancing, spinning, creeping, and scuttling across the frame.
In one, a paper cloud rains diamonds onto the ground before a flower made of diamonds sprouts up. In another, a hand sketches an engagement ring that, in seconds, turns into the finished ring design held in the same hand.
“Because we’re self-funded, we had to look for a medium that can be as [exciting] as possible,” says Gavin. “When Vine started appearing, being a creative guy, I said, ‘This is a medium that can be very catchy.’ “
But Gavin knew he couldn’t take on the time-consuming job of producing artful videos. Instead, he contracted Parabox, a multimedia agency that partners with the store, to create the charming little loops. The retailer releases a new Vine loop every week.
The cost of producing the Vines have paid off in spades, says Gavin—if not in sales (yet), then in helping to establish a powerful brand identity for the five-year-old store. The branded videos have made the Top 10 Vines list twice already.
“Some loops you think will do better than others, and you’re surprised at which ones connect with people,” Gavin notes. “Vine is short and sweet. It’s been more effective than YouTube or anything with a longer [format]. You don’t have to watch for hours. Because, let’s face it, users don’t want to be there long. But if something’s great, they will share it.”