Timepieces/Education & Repair
Landing the Brand You Want
Sometimes patience is part of the strategy
P articipants at a recent seminar I presented called Selecting and Managing Your Watch Inventory provided a good look at two approaches to building business.
The 20+ jewelers in the room have stores of many sizes, different amounts of business and varying locales and goals. There were some common goals, but not everyone had a plan to reach those goals. Two jewelers asked for specific advice.
Jeweler A: Develop a Pattern
Jeweler A wants a world-renowned watch brand, one he thinks could bring great sales and lead to market dominance.
But Jeweler As store is small, with only a few watch accounts, none luxury stature.
I advised Jeweler A that achieving such a lofty goal would take time and planning. He should begin with careful selection of other brands to raise the stores credibility. Several years of handling other top names would help build a pattern of success that would allow him to make a credible approach to the brand he wants to carry. Even if that approach is unsuccessful, Jeweler A will have built his own business and established other brands as worthy of purchase.
Jeweler B: Expanding Possibilities
Jeweler B featured a brand many years ago. The store owners and the brand parted company, and the store desired to renew the partnership. Adding difficulty, the brand was represented elsewhere in the market.
The desire to reclaim ownership of a brand was challenged by that brands presence at another store. However, at the seminar, another jeweler mentioned she also carried this brand and had seen signs of expansion in her market. With investigation, Jeweler B might discover the brand is searching to expand locally too.
Keep Plugging Away
You can never be absolutely certain of the status of brands. Only the most dominant market players seem to be able to retain brands forever. There are shifts in business success, strategies of brands and consumer awareness. Dont be discouraged plug away in a professional manner and build credibility with the brands you want. It may take you a while, but it can be done.
In the meantime, select brands carefully. Investigate records of success and failure in your market as well as other markets. Be sure that if a brand is readily available, there are only positive reasons for its accessibility and for your stocking it. Try not to replicate something you already have, and make certain to select brands with your business mind as well as your emotional compass.
by Paul White, Watch Division director
Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN