With more time inside I have been looking at articles about what the future of the jewelry industry and retail will look like. The articles and videos I have seen have almost dreary existence for retail. In an earlier post I mentioned some of the changes stores like Nordstrom were making to adjust to the pandemic. What I have found to be troubling is that these are short term trends and how people are interpreting them and applying them to their brand is misguided. I will look at a prediction from the past and see how you should evaluate it for your brand.
McKinsey published a trend report for the jewelry industry on Feb. 1, 2014 titled, ‘A multifaceted future: The jewelry industry in 2020’. Looking back, it was good about identifying a key trend that I will focus on in this post, branding. Below are the predictions leading up to 2020:
In about 10 years their will be a growth in branded jewelry. Reading the report, you will realize that they are talking about big brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton doing more with jewelry. There is another way to interpret this trend and that is branding will be more important to even smaller businesses. This is evident now with everyone seeming to have an Instagram account and articles telling you how you need to show the ‘personal’ side of your brand for others to relate to.
With recent events the jewelry industry is using their business platform as a political forum and losing sight of the purpose of a business account to share about your business. If you use your account to win a popularity contest or be in with the in crowd you risk diminishing what you built.
People need to see a product not a statement. If you attract only people that agree with you that can work but what happens when you don’t share those same opinions’, or your workers don’t all agree on the subject? Boycotting products or bullying others online to support your cause is not a good way to live; many people work at making those products and may not share those views. It will be hard though to buy from an artisan that is disrespectful as you know who the money is directly going to.
One Direction you can go
In my opinion you should focus on the quality and value your brand embodies. If you can build on that you will be ahead of many small jewelry brands who try and say that ‘I am just like you buy from me!’ There are lots of counter arguments and I have heard many, but it should be the individual that makes the decision not a business dictating their stance. That is where real change will happen treating others kindly that you come across.
If you need help refocusing you brand please reach out to me: email@example.com. Stay safe and I will be writing again next week!
It’s hard to avoid the topic of the current events taking place. Many of you reading are probably in the same situation as I am requested to stay in to ‘flatten the curve’. I’ve enjoyed saving time by not commuting to work but I’m not embracing it as much as others. I have noticed several businesses trying to update their Instagram accounts more, email messages of how they are responding to Covid-19 etc. It’s good to see businesses trying to adapt but what will become of these strategies once the quarantine is over?
If you are thinking of starting a new project something to think about; is it because you have the time now? If it deals with your business would you still have pursued this if the extra time had not presented itself? No? Why? Because you did not have the time but didn’t your business still need this? See where I’m getting at. If it is important to your business you need to make the time. It’s easy to do this now that the time is available but unfortunately you are competing with lots of other businesses doing the same as you.
I started a project in November, put it on hold and started up again in March. It’s been harder the second time around but I need to do this for my business. I have a personal Instagram account that I put jewelry on that currently has over 23,000 followers. I started it before Facebook took it over and messed with the algorithm so I had a head start in growing my following versus others that started later. Now I want to get more involved with Instagram strategy and focus more on driving insights in the Jewelry Industry with data. So I am starting a new Instagram business account for my consulting agency and blog : Data in the Rough
It’s got a few posts and a very small following but it’s an experiment and a way to improve my business. I have already thought of my strategy to maintain a following and increase engagement when I have to resume my commute. It’s important to make good use of this time, don’t be like the articles below:
I did a search for news on jewelry and came across two articles reporting the same issue. There is a lot wrong here but two things that are glaring why are the reports so off on the amount of jewelry licked? Also why is a grocery store even selling jewelry at a time like this? I would use that space to stock sanitizers, those will fly off the shelves quicker than the jewels. Again there is so much more that is wrong with this.
For the lesson to apply don’t try and over due your attempts for attention, big sales and guest speakers are ok but try and connect with your customers who may be suffering financially too. One more thing I saw a new trend of crafting your own jewelry in a Yahoo article some of it’s cute but some of the hand made and sustainable pieces are going too far. To see what I mean head to my Instagram account: Data in the Rough Looking forward to posting again soon!
Are you struggling to keep up with your social media? Do you take long breaks between posting or wish you could call it quits? I took a month-long social media hiatus and started back tonight after reflecting on why I am really doing this. I discuss how I got to this point and what helped me refocus.
It’s like anything else you put off, once you find something else to do or a reason to stop; time slips away and you return to the task and see how much work you still have. Sometimes you do need a break. I took one recently from my Instagram and other social channels. It can get overwhelming not only balancing another job, but social media can make you feel like you’re competing over who has more followers, better photos or a more relevant story than you. Time to admit that all happened to me.
As I’ve mentioned some, I am not a full-time blogger, I am an analyst in the Retail Industry. This job is not as sexy as some of the other flashier (or more sparkly) jobs out there. My skill set is one that I feel is needed in this industry, I love numbers and am not afraid to use them. I also understand designers, artists and small business owners who struggle to maintain a social media presence and are unsure how analytics can work for them.
So, what do you do when you stop and need to get back to posting on social media? I have a few tips that have helped me get back my focus and start maintaining my sites again.
Don’t rush back into posting. Sounds counter intuitive but it is ok to take a break. I have maintained the same number of followers since I stopped posting in August. I gain some one day and lose others the next, but it balances out. It’s better to take a moment and reflect than burn out again. Which leads to the next point…
Ask yourself the ‘why’ questions. The first ‘why am I doing this?’ In this case posting on a social media channel. If money is your main answer you will be lost in a sea of accounts that all are wanting quick returns. The real question is ‘why do I think I have a unique viewpoint that others will follow and respond to?’ I have been thinking about that. I don’t have the access to as many big-name jewelry events as I’d like too. I also don’t have the connections to the big jewelry designers and workshops to give me a decent stream of exclusive content. My answer, I am looking at more than just the name or the cost I am looking at the craftsmanship and the story, especially how those translated with data.
Think about your answers above and make a plan for posting. Don’t worry about posting in the evening, afternoon or morning; what will you post is more important right now than when. If you are creating a new piece show the inspiration in one post and walk through the stages to the finished product. Ultimately you want to convey what you are hoping for which is sales but do it by showing who you are and what you offer.
I forget that too and can get caught up in all the excitement. It’s also a reason you need someone to help you understand what is working and what is not. My not so subtle way of mentioning my consulting on digital and social media analytics. If you are interested in a more in-depth chat send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can talk. Also keep following my blog for more tips and my own journey to discover the data in the rough!
Also, since I can’t go with out a picture of a fabulous jewel. A David Web piece I posted tonight to get back into the social media cycle. Enjoy and good luck!
Two years ago, this month I started posting on Data in the Rough. The time felt right to continue working on something I was passionate about, jewelry and analytics. I have not done as much analysis as I would like to but I see that as an improvement not a failure. With the holidays’ over and winter in its last stages, it really is an ideal time for anyone that has made a resolution to reevaluate their goals and benchmark their progress. For me it is focusing a little more on driving insight and results through data around me. One way is to refocus on my social media plan.
I am on the usual platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I have also consulted a few people on their social media for their personal or business use, mainly Facebook and Instagram. The comments and questions I get center around followers, engagement, content to put out, protecting your intellectual property and return on investment, to name a few. All these platforms have different audiences and expectations. So how does a small business owner or someone looking to create their personal brand do it and not waste too much time? A strong and adaptable social media strategy!
To do that you need a plan and a focus. For that I have 3 suggestions as you find the right social media plan and strategy. Since this blog focuses on the jewelry industry I am going to use jewelry from Christie’s auction house to highlight some important lessons from the Aesop fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, that you can apply to creating a stronger social media plan.
So you want to join the latest social media craze, everyone is talking about it, everyone seems to be on it. You should be too, right?
Look at what you are currently doing and see if it is possible to effectively use this new tool. The tortoise challenged the hare to a race, not to prove the tortoise was faster but that he could beat the hare. Can you see yourself benefiting from this new platform? Are your customers asking about your presence on this platform? Is your target audience on this platform? How much time are you willing to spend or pay someone to spend?
Look at your own attention span and current social media platforms you are on. Do you have patterns that may make it difficult to focus on starting this new social media tool? How can you improve your current social media accounts to learn about yourself and your business moving forward. The hare is clearly faster but he got distracted comparing himself to others. Taunting the tortoise on his slower strategy without thinking about his own did not change either racer.
Don’t compare yourself with others on social media. This is the hardest and most important thing to remember when online. It is hard not to see others bounding ahead and you continue to inch by or feels like you are standing still. The tortoise (turtle) knew that the hare (rabbit) was faster but his slow and steady pace worked for this one race. As I mentioned above, had the rabbit worried about his own progress and not of the turtles then he would have easily done better by finishing the race at his own pace. The rabbit got distracted by the turtle. There are times you’ll feel like the tortoise and see lots of ‘wascally wabbits’ pass you by.
They get featured on a blog or have a photo that earns them a lot of likes and followers. That kind of thing happens with the world of social media and ‘overnight’ success stories. You need to only focus about your brand and your story. A clear focus and some daily effort can get you a clear path to your own finish line!
That also leads to another question you need to answer, what will be your primary measurement of success for this platform? Using money as your only way to gage success can leave you missing valuable opportunities. For the jewelry industry, it can take several visits either in a store or online before a purchase is made. The platform you choose to be on is another touch point. Somethings to consider when looking at measurements for your return on investment:
Can you sell on this platform?
How secure is the payment method?
Will this affect your relationship with other stores that sell your product?
Is your supply chain agile enough to take an increase in your business? Do your other vendors/suppliers have other clients that may take a higher priority?
So then how can you make progress for your brand if money is not a great metric? Some suggestions for other metrics:
Brand awareness-Getting more people interested in your brand could lead you to be picked up by a store or featured on a blog.
Getting a specific message out- Are you supporting a cause that is affecting a greater population? I have seen companies that are wanting to make money but also have social issues that need to be addressed, like ending human trafficking.
Engagement with your customers-Social media is a great way to get feedback and test out new ideas with your fan base.
This is only a starting point. I am going to continue to look at different social media platforms and tools to see what might help you in moving forward with your social media plan. It’s a race with yourself that will determine your outcome. Keep following Data in the Rough for more on jewelry and the data behind the diamonds. Let me know your thoughts on the subject and what platforms you’d like to hear about. Instagram is a favorite of mine so I’ll be posting a bit more on that throughout the next few months. As a thank you for reading this post below are my two favorite pieces of jewelry that I found when looking for turtle and rabbit jewelry to use for my blog.
A pink diamond and white diamond rabbits’ brooch with a ruby by Graff sold at Christie’s Hong Kong Auction for a little over $129,000. The turtle is an antique brooch sold a Christie’s auction for $70,500 and is made of opals, diamonds and rubies!