Q: What’s the best way for jewelers to incorporate celebrities into marketing?
A: “It depends on the type of celebrity. We are a locally owned and operated jeweler; often, local celebrities who are well known and respected will endorse our products. Getting local voices that have had success telling their stories in our stores fosters a greater sense of credibility and recognition. On a national level, we like to find major celebrities who are sporting looks that we carry in-store. This works especially well on social media. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge Debbie Brooks fan. We featured a photo of Paltrow with a Debbie Brooks product and linked back to where customers could buy the product on our site. We use trending celebrity styles to show customers they can get a similar, if not the exact, look right around the corner or online.”
—Kristin Balliet, marketing and advertising director, The Source Fine Jewelers, Rochester, N.Y.
“For our marketing efforts, we’ve found the most effective way to incorporate celebrities is to blog about them. Be it their fashion choices, new jewelry or watch ambassadorships, or their 72-day marriage, celebrity actions and goings-on are always interesting to our readers. It’s our favorite way to add Hollywood glitz to our social media marketing presence, short of lending jewelry and watches to actual celebs! Additionally, supporting celebrity charities is another way we align our marketing efforts with celebrities; for instance, we partnered with the Nat King Cole foundation to design a custom French horn pendant. The pendants, crafted in different metals for varying price points, are sold to raise funds for the foundation, named for the musician.”
—Liz Edmunds, social media director, Raymond Lee Jewelers, Boca Raton, Fla.
“We typically do not do a lot of celebrity endorsements, for several reasons. First, our clients tend to prefer a high level of discretion and privacy, so despite an A-lister in our books, we need to honor our clients’ wish for confidentiality. Second, we have enjoyed some success with celebrities for special events, such as a meet-and-greet, but those are infrequent. We didn’t find that a steady endorsement and the associated costs were a worthwhile investment from a marketing perspective. I think there is a very specific life cycle for any celebrity, particularly now with the advent of reality television and overnight star sensations. While some celebrities survive many years of notoriety, I believe we need to be very careful about whom we align our brand with—a star today could be a terrible headline tomorrow. We prefer to keep celebrity relationships very discreet.”
—Donna Bouchard, vice president, Hamilton Jewelers, New Jersey and Florida
“Our business is not at the place where we can use celebrities. I believe celebrity endorsements are a great way to cut through noise in a world where ads are everywhere. They can also dramatically increase the level of awareness for a brand. If we were in a position to create such advertising, we would look for a celebrity who has the same values our company does. We would also make sure the celebrity has the same brand image we are trying to create.”
—Daniel Villa, manager, V Jewelers, Surprise, Ariz.