Case Study: Martin Binder Fine Jeweler, Valparaiso, Ind.

Martin Binder Fine Jeweler has been a successful business in Valparaiso, Ind., for 65 years. The retailer has a good fix on its store brand identity and promise. “It’s based on customer service, loyalty, and integrity,” says marketing manager Helen Flude. “Our customers know that the Martin Binder brand assures them of cohesive product quality and honesty.”

The business also has a clear idea of who are its key, or core, customers. “Our target audience and desired demographic includes professional males (and their stay-at-home spouses) ages 45 to 55 with an income of $100,000 or more,” says Flude. “We also have many professional women that also meet these demographics.”

Knowing who you want as customers isn’t enough. It’s also important to stay on top of local demographic and socioeconomic changes affecting that target audience. Flude says the local area has changed over the years. “We’ve gone from a farming community to a bedroom community of Chicago,” she explains. “Therefore, we’ve had to refocus and change our target customers’ strategies to the tastes of their new buying and living styles, to bring more of them into our store.”

To find these current and potential key customers within its market, the store uses demo-graphic data available from Melissa Data, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (, which specializes in data management for businesses, and the United States Postal Service, which has specific demographic data based on mailing lists and mailing routes.

It then targets these key customers through direct mail, local high-end magazines (“We’re a vacation destination for Chicago consumers,” explains Flude), and billboards. “We also sponsor many charity events which attract these desired customers,” she says.

“Once these customers come into our store, we automatically enroll them into our loyalty Binder Reward program,” says Flude. “Each customer receives frequent incentives to shop in our store, and each piece of correspondence they get is personalized.”