A Case for the Trades

I rarely write about reasons for advertising in JCK or in trade magazines in general.

But this month I’m making an exception because of some powerful information we’ve just received from a landmark jewelry consumer study undertaken with the Harrison Group. The study sought to determine whom consumers are buying jewelry for, the reasoning behind a purchase, awareness of jewelry and watch brands, factors that influence purchase decisions, types of stores where jewelry is purchased, the role of salespeople, and the role of the Internet.

Next month’s issue of JCK will address the survey results in detail. Some findings reinforce currently held beliefs, but many others stunned us. I found one key area especially compelling with regard to the business side of JCK: consumer awareness of jewelry brands.

When asked for unaided recall (“Thinking of jewelry, which brand or company that makes or sells jewelry comes to mind?”), not one brand came up in the top 10 responses. All responses were names of branded retailers—the only possible exception was De Beers, which until recently did not have a retail connection. Even with aided recall (“Please indicate which of the following designer brands you have heard of”), only four brands were known by more than 30 percent of respondents.

These results have many implications, such as the limitations this industry’s margins place on spending to create national brands. Another is this: If you are spending significant marketing funds on consumer advertising, you may not be getting nearly the return on investment you think.

If you’ve put all your eggs in the consumer basket, this may be the time to think about the ROI of trade advertising. Trade advertising’s out-of-pocket costs are a fraction of those in consumer, and the dollars are targeted to a buying retail audience. Time and again, we’ve witnessed the positive results of using JCK. In a time of budget cutbacks, it just may be the best use of your precious marketing funds.

Feel free to contact me directly at msmelzer@reedbusiness.com if you have questions or would like to discuss. Hope to see you in Vegas!

PS Many thanks to Rebecca Foerster of Rio Tinto Diamonds for inviting me to speak at the WJA Mid-Atlantic Chapter dinner in Philadelphia. Thanks too to Nan Piper Kochanski for organizing a great event. The warm reception to my presentation and the terrific conversation afterward was another example of the passion and enthusiasm the members of this industry possess!

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