From the Blogs

Upping Your Store’s Fun Factor

When I think of fun shopping, I think of Target. That store has a vast array of colorful, well-designed items that I can afford. My ideal jewelry store has: a colorful interior, upbeat music, whimsically displayed merchandise (utilize cake platters, candy boxes, and cupcake liners to play up the idea of jewels as treats—jewelry is candy for adults), happy salespeople in fashionable clothes or uniforms, glass-barrier-free jewelry displays … and perhaps most importantly there is jewelry-themed merchandise that’s less expensive—T-shirts, note cards, bags, etc.—and allows shoppers to leave with at least something that’s bling-themed if they don’t buy jewelry. —Jennifer Heebner on JCK voices

Marketing on the Cheap

Who said bartering was obsolete? My cousin and sister have recently sought out laser hair removal services. My sister thought of something brilliant: She asked the owner to barter her treatments for none other than jewelry. The owner of the place was so excited that she asked if we could break up the lump sum of money into gift cards for her reoccurring clients. Now gift cards are going to be given as presents for this holiday season. We promoted our store and will benefit from 10 new customers. We also gained insight into those customers’ favorite place of comfort. Didn’t have to pay her outright (always a plus). —Shanu Singh Guliani on Behind the Counter

Can We Put Spark Back Into Trunk Shows?

Many vendors and retailers conducting these shows tell me that they are generally “OK” but “not great.” Rare today is the super successful trunk show. … [T]oss out last year’s trunk show (unless it was very successful) and build this year’s model based on current needs. … Ask your most successful salespeople what is at the heart of their customers’ acquisitive sense this year? What are the hot, exciting topics for your customers that will surely get their attention? Are there opportunities for celebrity tie-ins in cooperation with vendors; celebrity guest speakers. —Howard Hauben on The Industry Blog

The World Diamond Council Campaign

When the World Diamond Council launched its “consumer campaign” to counter the “Blood Diamond” movie, the people behind it swore they didn’t want to make their campaign come off as “the industry versus the movie,” as that would just make the industry look bad and guarantee more publicity for the film. But, of course, that’s exactly what’s happening …

This whole “diamonds are doing good for Africa” tack the industry is pushing will not fly. It invites skepticism. People are going to watch a movie where kids are getting their arms chopped off, and then the industry is telling them “diamonds are good for Africa.” Obviously, diamonds aren’t always good for Africa, which is why we are having this discussion.

And yes, I know all about the economic benefits to Southern Africa. It’s all true. But it’s kind of off topic. They’re talking Sierra Leone, we’re talking Botswana. Any good things that derive from the diamond industry will not, in the consumer’s mind, negate the bad. It’s like someone who has been accused of murder pleading that he’s been good to his family. —Rob Bates on JCK Voices