Imagine unveiling your brand’s Facebook page and earning more than 30,000 likes within the first week of its debut. Or having a gaggle of lifestyle tastemakers spread the word about your products to their friends and fellow influencers. Or setting up a social media campaign so sophisticated that every time someone uses your brand’s hashtag, the mention appears on a “social board” that you can consult at a moment’s notice.
For pointers on all of the above, talk to Shawn Feinblum, vice president of sales and marketing for Coronet Solitaire, a fashion diamond jewelry brand—distributed by Los Angeles-based Carl K. Gumpert—that’s managed to do all that and more since it officially opened for business a couple weeks ago.
Last Tuesday, I spent a few hours with Feinblum and his team at Carl K. Gumpert’s downtown Los Angeles office. The neighborhood has only recently begun to shrug off its reputation as a commercial no man’s land, thanks to a string of foodie-haven eateries and cool cocktail lounges that have opened in the past five years. As I circled the streets of the jewelry district looking for a place to park, I wondered what the jewelers thought of all the hipsters invading their ’hood.
Then I stepped inside Feinblum’s office and saw that, in a general sense, the jewelers and the hipsters had converged.
While Carl K. Gumpert is a manufacturer of fine bridal and colored stone jewelry in the more traditional vein, Coronet is a different animal altogether. Manufactured by Hong Kong’s Aaron Shum Jewelry, the fashion brand has one of the hippest, most cutting-edge marketing strategies I have yet to see in the jewelry industry.
But first, a little about the product: The line is distinguished by its patented diamond setting: seven diamonds set in a circular motif with no prongs and an elevated center stone. Each piece gives the impression that it is a solitaire—more bling for your buck, as they say.
The Chamahez earrings ($1,275, at a 2.5x markup) showcase Coronet’s trademark diamond setting, which comprises seven diamonds set in a circular motif with an elevated center stone.
“We’re trying to bring diamonds beyond the bridal purchase and into a woman’s closet,” Feinblum said as he showed me the merchandising elements that make the brand a truly turnkey package. “In the U.S., we felt fashion diamond jewelry was sorely missing. We’re positioning this for the self-purchasing female audience.”
Available in four collections—The Standards, Commitment, Sophistication, and Stone Chic—the Coronet line is sweet, straightforward, and saleable, with retail prices ranging from $600 to $12,000.
The Kneph ring, with 1.40 cts. t.w. diamonds, retails for $5,565.
The Tepeu necklace retails for $2,500 (and wholesales for $1,000).
The sales team, led by director of sales Alan Esserman, will work through a savvy “click and mortar” model wherein visitors to the brand’s website can choose a “purchase in-store” option that directs them to the nearest partner retailer. (If a customer wants to purchase the jewelry online, the brand provides the retailer a percentage of sales for every transaction in the store’s coverage area.)
The thing about Coronet that really stands out, however, is its ambitious social media strategy. In tandem with Vokent, a digital marketing agency based in Santa Monica, Calif., the brand has cultivated a crew of female fashion bloggers and lifestyle tastemakers to help spread the word about its products to thousands (upon thousands) of potential customers.
From Cydney Morris and Dallas Wand, the California babes behind West Coast fashion label Stone Cold Fox, to Chiara Ferragni, the Italian street-style influencer whose blog, “The Blonde Salad,” gets more than 110,000 views daily, the women working with Coronet have a combined social reach that rivals that of a big global brand. With the next generation of jewelry buyers already circling the market, these tastemakers’ collective influence is considerable. Take a page from Coronet—don’t underestimate it.