The Hip Parade: All About Cut Fine Jewelers of Baton Rouge, La.

Cut Fine Jewelers gets a moving image makeover

Cut Fine Jewelers, an up-and-coming fine jewelry store in Baton Rouge, La., is not your parents’ prim and proper jewelry spot. The shop, which debuted in early 2012 as an appointment-only retailer, recently reopened as a full-service fine ­jeweler with a marketing campaign targeting young, fashion-conscious consumers. Owner Matthew Patton, who grew up in the industry (his family owns Pattons Fine Jewelry, also in Baton Rouge), announced the reopening of Cut with a series of polished, artsy videos featuring models clad in stylish fedoras, baggy tank tops, and other hipster hallmarks—looking like they just sauntered off the set of an Urban Outfitters catalog shoot. Filmed montage-style and backed by a cool soundtrack, the clips feel more like music videos than traditional ads. The campaign, says Patton, is all about differentiating Cut from the other fine jewelers in town. “I don’t want to be like the other guys,” he says. “There’s a lot of competition around.… I’m trying to make sure we are always unique.”

Video is an often-overlooked medium in the ­jewelry industry. Why did you think it would work well for your business?
The consumers I’m [targeting] are 21 to 35 years old, and they respond to video. I followed some big national retailers that were shifting toward a video focus, and thought it might work for us. It’s something in media that hasn’t been heavily exploited yet.

What was behind the idea of outfitting the ­models in a hipster way in the videos—as opposed to using more conservatively clad models?
I’m definitely not a hipster, but I can relate to aspects of the hipster lifestyle. It’s aspirational. I worked with a marketing agency on the videos, and at first I was apprehensive to feature really hip-looking [people], but my fiancée urged me to consider it. The lead ­creative guy for the marketing agency…is super talented. And he’s a hipster. My view of it was, I wanted to see ­something real and that’s more about a lifestyle than just seeing ­jewelry. It separates us from other ­jewelers. Again, it’s all about being different. I don’t want to be your daddy’s ­jewelry store.

How much did the videos cost?
I’m a relationship guy, and the guys from the agency are, too. So we called in a lot of favors. We used local models and the production was local, and we had music connections that made licensing the music [cheap]. It was four videos for under $10,000. They were executed perfectly on a very shoestring budget.

How does video fit into your social strategy?
Social media is changing. I’m noticing a transition with Facebook, for example, where unless you’re paying for advertising, you don’t really get anything out of it. You still need to keep content up to date to keep your brand fresh, but I do see Facebook dwindling. Pinterest, I think, is very viable, and Instagram has potential for the early adopters. Five years ago it was so easy to get likes. Now it feels more difficult to get followers on Instagram. But all social media is validation and brand building; I’m not trying to get business off it, really. Nothing will replace that in-store experience. Social media just helps draw them in.

You recently debuted a brand-new store design. What were the key considerations when remodeling?
The store is designed by Stuller, and 80 percent of it is open shoulder-to-shoulder selling. The only part that was kept traditional over-the-counter style was bridal. I find that a traditional purchaser doesn’t want to deviate too far from the norm. And here in the South, we’re behind the curve as far as change. The showroom has two areas that have light boxes and monitors, so we’re able to showcase videos we produce. Anything we produce in the future—photo shoots, etcetera—can be shown there. We put a 40-inch monitor on the wall for CounterSketch Studio, too. Going into the holidays, I wanted to make sure we had all the offerings from the get-go.

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