Helzberg CEO Shares Brand Secrets

Retail executive Jeffrey Comment of Helzberg Diamonds shared his insights on brand building and other highlights of his career with an audience of students, faculty, and staff at the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

Titled “Building a Moat Around Your Brand,” Comment’s lecture focused on the necessity of brand protection. “If you don’t protect your brand, you’ll lose it,” he warned, citing several cases of one-time successful retailers who ignored the importance of their brand and were swallowed by the competition as a result.

The jewelry industry is especially unique and challenging, he said, because of the vast importance placed on the fall-to-winter holiday season. “Jewelers sell 25% of their volume and gain 95% of their profit in that time,” he noted. “You’ve got a narrow window to make it happen. You have to understand what your brand is before you can protect it. So ask yourself these questions: ‘Who am I? Who is my customer? How do I differentiate myself? How do I go to market?'”

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