Jewelry in the News
Its hard to read the popular media without coming across an article on jewelry, a photo of a celebrity draped in gems or an ad for a branded line. This is good, if you capitalize on it. Despite gloomy war news thats drowning out facts about a recovering economy, jewelry seems to be leading a charmed life right now (and yes, as you know, charm bracelets are popular too).
Whats going on? Lets look at the obvious. De Beers Diamond Trading Co. has been rallying the troops for two years to raise the noise level about diamonds and its working. Not only are individual diamond companies advertising and selling more diamond jewelry to famous folks, DTCs Diamond Information Center continues to place a staggering amount of jewelry on stars at awards shows and models in fashion shows (see Diamonds at Awards Shows, p. 19).
The Jewelry Information Center is also doing a fantastic job at keeping jewelry in the news, most recently by throwing a bash in January in New York City, at which journalists who write about jewelry were honored, and so were the great marketers behind the Tiffany & Co. and Movado brands (see pp. 82-83). JIC got incredible press from the event in New York City from local media, as well as national fashion and society magazines. JICs hard-working staff spends the year placing articles, making sure jewelry gets into the right hands and making TV and radio appearances to tout the latest trends.
Individual jewelry companies, perhaps inspired by DTC and JIC, are also out there getting jewelry placed on the stars and in shows. Rembrandt Charms, for example, just scored a coup when it managed to get a charm bracelet on Mariah Careys wrist to honor her latest album Charmbracelet (see Charmer, p. 81). M. Fabrikant & Sons hit a home run when it placed its new Royal Oval diamond ring in a plot line on the TV show ER.
Careys choice of album title points up the other reason jewelry is so often in the news. Famous people are besotted with jewelry and so are the editors of the fashion magazines. This makes an enormous difference in the amount of noise about the product you sell every day. Celebrities also flocked to an exhibit in London last fall honoring the oeuvre of Bronx-born Joel Arthur Rosenthal, who sells jewelry privately on Place Vendôme under the name JAR. The $300 catalog from the exhibit sold out in record time. It doesnt hurt when jewelry is presented as an art form.
What can retailers do with all this great press? Read the popular magazines and keep scrapbooks of celebrities wearing the latest styles, so you can reference them with customers. Organize jewelry displays around popular themes, such as a recent DIC suggestion to play up jewelry trends from the Oscars (it was the 75th Diamond Anniversary of the event, in case you didnt know). Use the materials that branded lines and the Diamond Promotion Service provide to tie into national ad campaigns in magazines your well-heeled customers read. The rub-off effect is fantastic and links your store with whats hip and current. Finally, make sure you have a good selection of the jewelry thats being worn and talked about.
Present jewelry as a hopeful symbol of love and beauty in an increasingly fractious world. In the musical Mame, the eponymous character sings a song that fits the moment: We need a little Christmas, right this very minute ... Even if it is April
Peggy Jo Donahue