Nametags for the staff at Avenue Jewelers are different than most. It’s not the tag itself, but what’s printed on it. For more than six years, Jason “The Diamond Stud” Druxman and his staff have taken on store names, which are above each staff member’s actual name on their name tags.
Also known as the store manager, Druxman established the store moniker as an informal policy in the fall of 2004 when a new hire established herself as the “Hunting Widow Specialist,” the go-to-gal on staff who can help women with jewelry purchases while their husbands are gone on weekend hunting trips.
Appleton, WI, may be a small market (population 75,000) but it is a “competitive” one. “We wanted to do something to make us stand out,” says Druxman. “Each employee had to come up with an ‘ologist’ title or a store moniker that is catchy and focuses on a staff member’s sales or customer service specialty.”
Some actual staff store monikers include: “Charmologist” Megan Klubertanz, who manages the Pandora displays and inventory management; the “Twinkleologist” is Jenna Adams a goldsmith who “makes jewelry sparkle”; “Creatologist” Kim Preissner is in charge of custom designer work; and, of course “Loveologist” Kathryn Kolash, who has a “warm and inviting personality,” says Druxman. “In five minutes a customer will know everything there is to know about her.”
The “ologist” monikers ushered in a new attitude at a time when Avenue Jewelers was due for an image update to better capture the up-and-coming bridal market. Traditionally, Avenue Jewelers banked on sales of high-end bridal and anniversary jewelry. “These days a jeweler can’t wait for the big sales to come in and save the day,” says Druxman. “I’d rather make more bridal sales at smaller amounts between $2,000 to $3,000 than wait for the big ticket sales.”
Tapping into that lucrative younger bridal market required a less formal marketing approach. Druxman paved the way to take the store monikers to the next level by adopting the persona of “The Diamond Stud” in local radio and TV ads.
Although the store monikers are a fun way to disarm customers and get them laughing during a face-to-face sales presentations, the names are part of a fairly serious effort in differentiating Avenue Jewelers in their market. “We’re breaking down barriers,” says Druxman. “Our bridal business has picked up 60 to 70 percent since the campaigns started a few years ago.”
In recent months Druxman wanted to update the old staff images he shot in his basement studio many years ago (Druxman is an amateur photographer). Instead of having staff members strike poses to highlight their store name in the pictures like he did in the past, this time Druxman had staff members professionally photographed holding props of a certain size, shape and dimension.
The props were later die-cut and removed in Photoshop. In their place large, high-definition product shots were positioned in each staff member’s hands to reinforce the characteristics of their store names. Druxman is currently having these images produced into 40” x 30” posters for the store’s display windows, which have taken on a viral quality with photographs of staff and customers swapped out frequently.
The store moniker images have been posted on Facebook, are prominently displayed in a slideshow on the store’s homepage with the original store moniker images shot by Druxman in the store’s About Us section. The store names appear on business cards, are used in auto-signatures in email correspondences, email blasts and e-newsletters as well as TV and radio commercials.
Rich content is even uploaded to Facebook in photo albums. “The Diamond Stud” TV commercials are converted to video files and uploaded then Facebook and YouTube to reinforce “The Diamond Stud” campaign while increasing the store’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Druxman isn’t after exactness, as the scientific “ologist” store names infer. He’s simply trying gain greater market share by doing things a little differently, including his hiring policy.
“When I hired a new staff member this week, one of the first requirements discussed in the job interview was creating a store moniker,” says Druxman. “We need to hire people who are not only qualified to fill the position but also have the right personality to create a store moniker and promote it with original ideas and genuine enthusiasm.”
And with his most recent hire, Druxman has 15 “ologists” on staff.