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September 1999


The Gift of Music

A jewelry chain follows the lead of major retailers with its own music collection

Consumers who catch themselves grooving to a store's music usually can walk away with a piece of the ambiance – a CD compilation emblazoned with the retailer's brand. From Victoria's Secret to Pottery Barn to Starbucks, retailers sell these music mixes to work their store brands into customers' lifestyles, communicating at a level beyond their ordinary products.

Helzberg's Diamond Shops, the jewelry chain based in North Kansas City, MO, liked the idea as a way to extend its brand but gave it a slight twist. During the 1998 holiday season, Helzberg's invited its frequent shoppers to visit and receive a special gift. "It was an incentive for them to come into our stores and also a way to reward them," says John Goodman, vice president of marketing. Once the customers arrived, they received a Helzberg's holiday CD.

Tempo Inc. of Atlanta, GA, (404-521-1800), an entertainment marketing company, produced the CD for Helzberg's based on the demographics of the chain's customer base."We wanted something that would appeal to the creative interests of our customers and also cater to many different types of people, from the Gen X crowd to Boomers," Goodman says. The CD features contemporary recording artists such as Jars of Clay, Taj Mahal, League of Decency and Vanessa Williams, all singing holiday songs.

Unlike Pottery Barn and other stores, which pump their music collections at full volume in the store to hook customers on buying them, Helzberg's stores for the most part didn't play the CD over the holidays. "We did not set it up as part of our sales promotions. It was really a gift to help us maintain a friendly relationship with our very best customers," Goodman says.

– by Stacey King

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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