Last updateTue, 13 Feb 2018 11pm

George Prout

Applied Marketing 101: Why trends are more important than ever before

Prout HeadshotThroughout the past 40 years, the emergence of specific trends in the jewelry sphere has impacted retail jewelry sales in a beneficial way for those who sold them. But the extent to which they now contribute to overall sales seems to me to have risen significantly, to the point where your company’s success is now inextricably linked to how well you anticipate and react to them.

The best predictive factor for what’s likely to sell tomorrow is what sells in your store today, which is why it’s so incredibly important for you to reorder fast sellers consistently throughout the year. But as trends get hot, items in demand can suddenly emerge - especially at Christmas - and catch you by surprise. And it seems to me that the occasions of these trend emergences are increasing both in frequency as well as intensity.

Applied Marketing 101: Something really important is about to happen

Occasionally, forces align that create wonderful opportunities in the jewelry business. I’m happy to report that just such a scenario is about to occur, and if you move quickly to take advantage of it, you may see some very nice sales in December, as well as a strong bounce in diamond ring sales for quite some time to come.

Our story starts with a top-secret meeting that took place in late July between senior officials from one of America’s largest jewelry chains and the top brass at a well-known international diamond brand. Please forgive my purposeful vagueness here. The entities involved have maintained a pretty high level of secrecy thus far, so I’ll leave it up to you, my readers, to speculate on who the players are.

Applied Marketing 101: Chaos in India

Given the extraordinary role of India as both a global diamond cutting center as well as a global diamond jewelry manufacturing powerhouse, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on events there that could impact the American jewelry retailing environment. Recently, my friends there say the situation can best be described by one word: Chaos.

Applied Marketing 101: The economic destruction of the indigenous American middle class worker

Part of my pre-JCK Las Vegas preparation ritual includes forecasting sales activity, by customer, for the upcoming Fall season. And while the national economic numbers are generally pretty favorable, there recently appears to have been a bit of a downturn in retail sales for many of you, and I definitely detect that for some, traffic, sales and cash flow have simply never returned to pre-recessionary levels. The root causes of this are extremely troubling, and worth examination.

Applied Marketing 101: The extraordinary power of IP Targeted Advertising

On the evening of June 9, 2014, Eric Cantor, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives and arguably the sixth most powerful man in American politics, went to bed safe in the knowledge that his re-election team’s internal polling had him 24 points ahead of his opponent in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th District. Indeed, Cantor was so confident of victory that the following day, he didn’t even bother to show up in his District, choosing instead to remain in Washington to tend to his duties there. So that evening, one can only imagine his surprise and dismay when he discovered that his opponent had won in a landslide, ending one of the most promising careers in the current political pantheon (Cantor had been repeatedly mentioned as a potential Vice Presidential candidate for the 2016 elections), and making Dave Brat, a previously unknown Economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, an instant national star.

Applied Marketing 101: The coming high stakes market share war over specialty cut diamonds

There are a variety of competing forces that drive long-term change in our industry, but when multiple catalysts for change exist that all point in the same direction, extremely rapid evolutionary events can occur that quickly alter the marketing landscape. In my view, we are about to witness just such an evolutionary scenario, and the extent to which you react properly may have a profound impact on your future sales, market share, and profitability.

Applied Marketing 101: Luck, Valentine’s Day, and your 2015 sales revenues

My paternal grandmother, who was an International Grand Master at the card game Bridge, had a favorite expression that she occasionally offered when something really good happened at the card table: “Luck favors the skillful player.” I was reminded of this recently while having a chat with one of our customers, a retailer who’s had a series of poor years, but who was cheered by the prospects of a good Christmas Season. “Thank heavens, it’s finally December,” he said, after complaining about the lack of traffic and sales during the prior three months. I then commented on how my own forecast for December suggested that business in that month would turn around for him, and he replied, “well, it’s about time my luck changed, after the way things have been going.”