A move to custom and a revitalized brand image changed this store’s course
Prior to 2007, Mike Warren’s engagement ring clients would sometimes sell their cars to ensure they had enough cash to buy an impressive diamond. Almost anyone could make a profit with such motivated customers. But by 2008, as the country plunged into recession, the market had evolved, and Warren knew he and his store — Warren JewelLers of Lancaster, PA — had to evolve with it.
Letting Go of Inventory
Warren began making changes to keep his business relevant — selling down inventory, retraining staff and refocusing his business on one-of-a-kind CAD rings as well as fashion lines.
Mike Warren's shift to custom design included selling off branded inventory and retraining staff to become 3D printing experts.
Developing a New Mission
Warren didn’t just change his approach to inventory. He also retrained his sales staff to become 3D printing experts. The octagonal showroom was converted to house four Counter Sketch and Matrix stations.
Then, just last year, he contracted with branding consultant Mary Siragusa to get the word out about his reimagined business, changing his tagline from “Where Lancaster Gets Engaged” to “Consciously Crafted.”
“The stuffy jewelry store is the model that’s broken,” Siragusa says. “Let’s be fun; let’s be hip.” She redesigned the logo to use the word “warren” as meaning a colony of rabbits, adding a rabbit-head image and the words, “established 1976.”
Siragusa says Warren Jewellers was “a bit of a sleeper,” flying under the regional radar, and she has worked to revitalize many aspects of the business, including brightening the store’s facade with teal and copper paint, training the staff to be more outgoing, expanding the reach of social media and choosing a lively mix of music.
They’ve also added a coffee bar and are building cross-branding relationships with local coffee businesses via social media. Even something as simple as posting photos of the donuts offered on Fridays on social media has helped pick up foot traffic.
Siragusa also recommended accessible jewelry brands to generate traffic, such as Lauren G. Adams and Les Georgettes bracelets. “We want everyone to be able to afford something here.”
Creating a Buzz
The coordinated social media campaign was launched in mid-August 2016, and by September, revenues were up 15 percent.
The 40th anniversary event drew an unprecedented 100 visitors, 80 percent of whom purchased something at the time.
Warren converted his advertising budget, too, concentrating on social media. “I was skeptical,” he says, “but all of a sudden the budget is $750 a month, not $2,500 a month and we’ve done 3D printing of rings for people in California, Colorado and England.”
Things have changed so much with millennials and Gen Z, he says, that clients who might have traded their cars for diamonds back in the day now might even consider a Pandora ring as an engagement ring.
“The biggest thing I’ve done to develop a more personal relationship with clients is understanding how they’ve changed and changing with them. What’s in our best interest is being relevant for today’s client.” he says.
Do It Yourself: Give Your Business a Rebirth
- Look at your store as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Brightening up the appearance could give your staff renewed energy and enthusiasm.
- Have fun with your branding and logo. Think out of the box.
- Ask yourself: What kind of jewelry or accessory brand can you add to your store that will generate traffic and lead to impulse purchases?
This article originally appeared in the April 2017 edition of INSTORE.
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