In 2018, I was approached by one of the most decorated jewelry designers in the U.S. Led by a fifth-generation metalsmith, this brand has been a fixture in the jewelry industry for more than 15 years.
With their work appearing in national publications like Architectural Digest and Vogue and worn by celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus, the brand is a well-known name. Yet, their team was struggling to consistently nail their brand marketing.
Not seeing the results from their marketing that they’d been anticipating in recent years, this jewelry retailer approached me in 2018 with multiple marketing and branding goals. The client needed to boost their business in the following ways:
“Before we started working with Gina/Cardinal Blue Consulting, we were scrambling to try to find new ways to market our business,” the client’s Head of Sales and Marketing explains. “We felt that the area our store was in was a tapped-out market. Everybody knew about us already!”
They needed to broaden their customer base beyond their typical demographics and returning customers.
“We wanted to reach new audiences in cities just a short distance away, but didn't know what would be worth our time,” she continues. “Should we spend thousands of dollars on ads in magazines that people might just flip through and never really pay attention?
Or, do we stick with using radio ads which we know already worked in our area?
But what about podcasts?
Influencers and celebrities?”
Prior to beginning their journey with me and Cardinal Blue Consulting, my jewelry design client was in a rut with their marketing promotions and processes. They were regularly wasting money on mediocre marketing that wasn’t producing results.
“There were so many options and not enough time or money to try them all,” their Head of Sales and Marketing recalls. “We needed to pinpoint exactly what would make our business thrive in a new way. That’s when Gina came along!”
After speaking with the key decision-makers within the brand, I was able to gain a full understanding of their current efforts, their present frustrations, and their goals for the future. With this insight, I decided the best approach would be a marketing strategy I developed based on work with other creative entrepreneurs called the Creator’s Marketing Method (book a FREE call with me here to learn more).
We began working one-on-one over a 6-month span to work the method to the full extent and make even their biggest goals a reality.
In the jewelry industry, competition is fierce. With so many options—different designers, retailers, online stores, etc.—consumers can easily be distracted from their initial interests and make a purchase elsewhere. Because of this, I determined that cultivating a strong brand identity was essential. Establishing my client’s brand identity would play a part in allowing them to achieve each of their distinct goals.
To create an identity that differentiated my client and their products from the many other jewelry brands, we turned toward the first step in my Creator’s Marketing Method—uncovering authentic stories. We began with my 5-step story formula and reconnecting the designers with their creations.
To transform their inauthentic brand image into a sincere brand persona, we focused on developing the three central stories—brand stories, product stories, and personal stories. Next, we needed to share these stories with the world.
While my client had previously been featured in prestigious national print publications and adorned by various celebrities, they formerly found themselves struggling to connect with an outlet that would discuss these narratives. So, I crafted a plan of action and designed an outreach strategy.
With too many images solely of the pieces of jewelry available for sale, my client’s social media initially resembled a catalog stuck in the past. Their aesthetic approach toward Instagram (and to a lesser extent, Facebook) wasn’t forming an authentic connection with their audience and, therefore, wasn’t producing results.
Throughout the Creator’s Marketing Method process, my client began to regain personality, humanity, and warmth in their marketing. How did we ignite connections with the client’s ideal audience and develop personability via Instagram? Stories.
Rather than approaching their relationship with customers through their social platforms like a monetary transaction, my seven-step marketing strategy involved in the Creator’s Marketing Method shifted the brand’s approach toward more natural, story-based marketing. This new direction using candid Instagram stories and posts has developed a more relatable brand persona and enabled an honest and friendly relationship between my client’s brand and their buyers.
In the jewelry industry, there is a constant battle between brick and mortar shops and online shopping.
Do you risk it all to have a physical shop that might not sustain itself? Or, do you risk it all to be online and potentially get lost in the crowd?
I wasn’t willing to let my client take the risk and not succeed with either venture. So, I redesigned their shopify website to improve their audience’s e-shopping experience. Additionally, I planned events in the physical shop location for local customers.
Once a jeweler has their “thing" (their distinct style, special touch, or brand identity) it’s not uncommon to struggle to keep customers coming back. Holding sales and special deals is great, but discounts will only get a brand so far. For this reason, I used several themed in-store events to get customers in the jeweler's doors (and excited to be there).
The Creator’s Marketing Method produced three powerful narratives for my client. These compelling yet relatable stories ignited interest and engagement with customers and national publications alike.
My client’s brand stories caught the eye of the luxury magazine, Mod Society Magazine. Later that year, the publication featured my client’s brand during the all-important holiday shopping season.
Also interested in my client’s narratives, the National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed my client’s team for segments that aired regionally and nationally.
“Using her expertise and her contacts, [Gina] opened up a door we never could have—NPR!”
- Brand Head of Sales and Marketing
NPR featured my client’s recorded interview on podcasts including The State of Things.
“We immediately saw the effects,” my client’s Head of Sales and Marketing says.
On the podcast, they covered the personal story of the head of the design team. This really connected the award-winning work with an audience that craved authentic connection. With this national publicity, my client watched their number of new customers and their sales skyrocket.
“New customers came flooding in, excited because they had heard our story,” she says. “They felt like they had a connection to our business now. We received countless calls, emails, and new clients from that one story; clients who had never heard about us up until that point!”
After spending 7 years strategizing and posting to Instagram as part of their marketing strategy, my client had grown their account to 1,667 followers prior to their collaboration with me and Cardinal Blue Consulting. At that time, the brand was averaging 15-20 likes per post.
As a result of the Creator’s Marketing Method and my one-on-one sessions with their team, my client saw their number of Instagram followers more than double. And, all within two months. Only 8 weeks into their new marketing strategy using the Creator’s Marketing Method, the brand’s Instagram grew by 53%.
As part of the client’s new and improved marketing strategy designed using my Creator’s Marketing Method, three quarterly in-store events were held at their flagship location. Themed nights like Diamonds and Dessert and Casting and Cocktails hosted inspiration and excitement for the client’s team and customers alike.
Sales reflected this, as more than 100 pieces were sold at the first three events attended by 200 people.
“I loved being able to bring my young son to see the amazing casting demonstration in the store,” one happy (and repeat) customer said. “He still raves about it!”
Their audience’s online shopping experience equally improved as a result of the Creator’s Marketing Method. The new user-friendly layout and sleek design effortlessly guide visitors throughout the brand website and toward the client’s main goal—sales of custom jewelry pieces. Booking a design consultation in-store as well as virtually become possible on their website
“We absolutely loved working with Gina and the Cardinal Blue Consulting team and would love to work with them again in the future!”