“I always remind myself to focus on our company’s competitive advantages. It is impossible for a small business to be everything to everybody. By focusing on a narrow niche, I suggest you try to be the world’s best at that niche. Even if you never achieve the title of the ‘world’s best’ you end up being really good at it and your business will succeed because of this level of expertise. Online businesses are better at niches than big box stores. That is why I believe that most small businesses need to find their footing in online business eventually. Feedback is the other competitive advantage to being a small ‘brick and mortar’ retailer. Large retailers and online businesses can easily lose track of what the consumer is saying they want on a day-to-day basis. By being a small business, we get constant feedback from our consumers. This is an important tool to direct your business towards financial success.”
“Angie and I are always looking for the ‘Silver Lining With The Dark Cloud’ and the pandemic really caused us to do this very thing. We took time to draw upon past experiences, such as the several recessions we had been through, Y2K and instinctively knew that we were ready to find the opportunities in front of us. Most jewelry stores cut back on their marketing when things are rocky, but this is just like letting off of the accelerator of your car – and what happens? You slow down! Instead, we opted to increase our marketing so as to gobble up market share from the ‘Big Box’ stores as well as other local stores and it worked! Many competitors took the ‘Ostrich Approach’ and buried their heads in the sand waiting for bad circumstances to pass by while we opted to go full steam ahead. What did we do? We kept positioning and marketing during the entire shutdown period and offered our clients the chance to buy ‘virtually’ via ‘Live Events’ hosted on Facebook (these events are also available on Instagram and YouTube). In doing so we discovered there’s a multitude of clients who love to purchase jewelry in this fashion. It wasn’t a replacement of walk-in traffic, but an enhancement to it instead and something we’ve continued as we moved forward. Besides having an empty ‘playing field’ and taking market share, we believed that our store should always be marketing and always be positioning via our USP (Unique Selling Proposition.) What is a USP? A short positioning statement we attach to most forms of marketing we do that differentiates our store from the competition and magnetizes clients to us. Other things? During the entire shutdown period we were reaching out to the top 20% of our clients with special offers via email, internet, social media and direct mail with free shipping or curb side pickup and we even personally delivered many items to our client’s homes. If there is a will, there is a way and using these and other strategies, our store was actually able to grow instead of shrink. Napoleon Hill said: ‘Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak carries within it the seed of equal or greater benefit.’ We’re true believers in that statement!”
Bill and Angie Warren
The Gold Mine
Hudson, North Carolina
“The number one-way Studio D Jewelers differentiates from online and big box competition is through our personal-touch service. At our core, we believe that excellent customer service is an art form and that every piece of jewelry tells an individual story. We begin by fully listening to each client in order to completely understand their needs and expectations, then we use our expertise to ensure they are met. We provide in house services and repairs, so pieces never have to leave our premises. We have a full time CAD designer and graduate gemologist on staff, and we offer generous guarantees including that we will remake a custom piece at no additional charge if you do not love it. Everything we do is about establishing and maintaining trust and a genuine relationship with our clients. We create a ‘congratulations basket’ for every engagement ring sale which includes items customized to the couple as well as goodies from other local businesses. We also offer a unique ‘Buy to Borrow’ program: if you purchase your wedding bands and/or engagement ring from us, the bride can come to our shop and choose any piece of jewelry to borrow and wear on her wedding day. We recently interviewed our clients to ask them what differentiates us from the competition, and consistently were told that our customers appreciate our low-pressure, comfortable sales team. It is something that we are proud of and continue to develop, which is why in 2021 we will be launching our referral program. Lastly, each member of our team is truly passionate about what we do and ensuring every customer is happy with their jewelry and buying experience.”
Studio D Jewelers
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