Kwiat Presents Fall Branding Plan

May 30, 2003

Kwiat Presents Fall Branding Plan

At a dinner in Las Vegas on May 29, Kwiat, the New York City diamond company, presented its ambitious plans for its diamond jewelry collection to an audience of retail clients. As a large Diamond Trading Co. sightholder, Kwiat says it is taking seriously the call to action issued by DTC's Supplier of Choice program. Its branding program has been active for several years, but the company added new elements that make the program more attractive, retailers in the audience told Professional Jeweler.

Aligning with Right-Hand Rings
Kwiat has made a full commitment to the DTC's new right hand ring push, developing over 20 styles, two of which made the cut in DTC's fall ad campaign for the category. Kwait designer Robin Garin and her team took full advantage of the guidance offered by DTC's Diamond Promotion Service, said Bill Gould of Kwiat. "Marketing is definitely a team sport," confirmed Kwiat principal Sheldon Kwiat, referring to the companyıs alignment with DTC initiatives, as well as its work with other consultants.

Celebrity Placements
The brand has worked rigorously to place its jewelry on celebrities and in popular consumer magazines, said Gould. Among them are a mention in the September 2003 In Style look at earrings worn by celebrities, a Time cover shot of Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes wearing Kwiat jewelry; and sightings on TV including "The Late Show with David Letterman," "Today," "Oprah" and "The View." Kwiat also had a suite during Oscars week and developed relationships with stylists who dress the stars for award events.

Sharpening the Brand Image
Consultant Mike Toth, president of Toth Brand Imaging, told retailers about his work with Kwiat in solidifying its brand in the public eye by conveying Kwiat's core values concerning its integrity and its commitment to quality. The company was encouraged to develop new collections with tiered price points to widen the audience for its pieces, said Toth. Kwiat has a new catalog that's more focused and cleaner in design and layout, and a new consumer Web site with a retail partner locator to drive customers to local stores.

Its fall ad campaign features new photography by fashion photographer Patrick Demarchlier,capturing model Chandra North in more familiar and relaxed poses than the formal events photos that characterized Kwiat's prior campaign. North has tousled hair and sports turtlenecks and big sweaters while wearing some of Kwiat's funkier and more modern pieces. North is intended to appeal to the women 35-55 who are Kwiat's target audience. The print campaign purchasing, headed by Jim Kerwin of Kerwin Communications, will include a wide variety of fashion, luxury and lifestyle magazines, with ads starting in September.

Retail Partnerships
Kwiat is working with retail consultant Bruce Freshley, president of Clarity Media Services and a jeweler himself, to develop a radio ad program to ensure jewelers' store names are not overwhelmed by the Kwiat brand. This was one of the most appealing elements of the Kwiat branding program, reported jewelers. For Kwiat's retailers, who sell various amounts ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 in merchandise and up, the Tiara Partnership program enables them to have customized radio spots, with the content developed and paid for by Kwiat. The radio spots will use jewelers' voices, says Freshley, whose company will also work with individual jewelers to negotiate media buys and deal with the complex process of choosing airtime and space. Many jewelers report powerful results using radio, adding to the program's appeal.

Kwiat will cover a third of the radio ad costs, with jewelers picking up the rest. Every dollar jewelers spend will be matched by Kwiat memo inventory to help retailers broaden store selection. Freshley's team will visit every Tiara Partnership participant's store to conduct sales training and motivation programs. The Diamond Promotion Service will also work on this training effort.

Other co-op ad and direct mail efforts will be conducted by Kerwin Communications, which can help jewelers capitalize locally on Kwiat's national campaign. "By 2007, we will be among the visible diamond brands," vowed Kwiat principal Lowell Kwiat. He said the visibility could come much sooner with jewelers' help.

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