Jewelers of America Enhances Its Brand
A consistent visual image instantly conveys JAs message to jewelers and consumers. You can emulate its approach to branding
Jewelers of America, the largest trade association of retail jewelers, surveyed its membership in 1995 to learn what members need most beyond typical services. The top three needs:
- Educational help.
- A way to achieve certification for their unique skills.
- A way to market JA membership and their skills to consumers.
Overall, members said they wanted their JA jewelry store to become known as the preferred place to shop. This was the beginning of JAs campaign to clearly brand itself and help jewelers enhance their own images through the JA brand.
Branding Itself to Jewelers
JA has placed each program and service it offers into one of four categories: education, certification, marketing and member savings. This makes it easier for members to understand and find the programs that best meet their needs. This categorization is organized into four color headings that appear in the new JA Directory of Products and Services. This same categorization is characteristic of all new JA material, giving everything a consistent look and presence. One example is the redesigned J Report, which is now divided into the four color-coded categories.
Branding Itself to Consumers
The second step in the branding initiative was coordinating an identity campaign to inform consumers a JA member store is the place to shop with confidence. All JA identity material (door sticker, counter sign, showcase clings, logo sheet, ad slicks and postcards) were created to make it easy for members to communicate involvement with JA and show how that involvement makes a retailer stand out from the competition.
Buy With Confidence From Your Jewelry Professional is the tag line created to help convey JAs branding initiative to consumers. The tag line is found on all new JA material.
To reflect JAs new emphasis on practicing ethical behavior, membership stickers are dated, and members must sign an ethics statement thats returned with their annual dues. JA backs up its commitment to ethics by offering a mediation service consumers can use to settle complaints against JA-member jewelers. The service is committed to dealing fairly with the JA member as well as the consumer.
All of the new JA materials complement the marketing campaigns jewelers have already undertaken.
It Takes Time
Developing and implementing this campaign and the new JA image was hardly an overnight process. It took well thought-out plans and procedures to reach the intended goal for both target markets: jeweler/members and consumers.
Most of all, everything had to have a consistent look, consistent message and consistent theme. The branding process is never really finished. But successful branding turns into an ongoing manner of thinking for those sending the message as well as those receiving it.
Caroline Stanley, a third-generation jeweler, is the director of marketing and communications for Jewelers of America, the largest U.S. trade organization for retail jewelers. Call (800) 223-0673 for membership information.
by Caroline Stanley