Building and Transforming Relationships with Retailers in the Coming Season

We know constructing positive, fully mutually beneficial affiliations with jewelry retailers can be challenging, particularly in the later months of the year when holidays, festivities, and major events steeply increase demand everywhere. Consistent clarity and mutual support is essential to maintain clientele and uplift one’s brand particularly at a time where additional marketing and suggestions from retailers can make the difference between a product taking off. For jewelers who imbue their pieces with meaning, it is important to communicate a brand’s message. Fall/Winter can also be daunting for the retailer, who deals with customers en masse and has increased strife relating to inventory, pricing, and clientele, so your support, or even a simple demonstration of engagement in this period, can build a lasting reputation in their book. Creating a concise checklist and rulebook for establishing positive relationships will set your brand’s modus operandi in stone and heighten partnerships for perpetuity.

Steps you can take to improve relations:

Send them Updated Images and Copy

Seasonal promotional images, samples of models wearing product, and images of brand owners or inspirations can go a long way in supporting retailers. If they’re looking for shots to use in advertising or on storefronts and find you have the widest variety and assortment of different perspectives or settings featuring your jewelry, they will be more likely to advertise your product and thank you for the flexibility you’ve given. Never limit the amount of promotional material they have at their disposal. 

Prepare a Trunk Show for a Long Weekend

Trunk shows and retailer events go beyond annual galas or fairs; by setting your own appointments and taking time to display and explain your brand’s inventory works not only as a networking opportunity but also as a clear demonstration of time commitment and collaboration to make sales together.

Meet Customers in Person

Appearing in store or featuring yourself or your artisans in person heightens customer interest and connection to your brand identity–just ensure to make it a large event or host your own at a notable location. You can support these meet-and-greets with social media or advertise in gift guides and at industry hotspots. Just make sure to keep these events exclusive and rare, particularly if you have a distinguished clientele that interacts with the brand more seriously than casual customers strolling through the shop.

Bring All of Your Inventory, One-Time-Only or at their Disposal

As opposed to featuring a couple items or a single product line, taking the effort to transport or display all your brand’s offerings to shops or even simply offering them on their website for on-demand orders increases your brand’s presence and gives them far more flexibility as inventories run low. This tactic is easy if you have a supply surplus or can easily make the move to their point of sale.

Partner With Local Publications About Their Design

Bring press to the store by mentioning and praising it, albeit briefly, in interviews or directly reaching out to advertisers and reporters to communicate your partnership. It shouldn’t detract from your brand message but signal to the shop that you support them unasked and informs your customer not just about your brand but the type of store it presents in, and by default the types of customers it expects.

‘If You Want to Get it You Have to Go’

Exclusivity is always a supreme selling factor, particularly in the luxury business. If permitted, vending specific product lines or limited edition pieces at only one retailer will crown your partnership and build prestige around both brands. If this is done in a location where you already have a high concentration of retailers there is less likelihood of losing business since customers will only make a slightly longer trip to the store. It is best to keep these exclusive offerings for your most prestigious retailers, or those you prioritize due to their luxury image even if other shops sell a higher quantity of your low-priced products.

Interview With Retailers

Interviewing one-on-one with your shop of choice and marketing it on either of your websites gives them more PR material and brings your B2B relationship to light, or at least the parts customers may engage with. Rather than keeping the intricacies of your relationship concealed, demonstrating the particular things that make you a good fit for each other has the potential to strengthen both brands.

Showcase a Centerpiece

Picking one item to represent your entire label and ethos may be one of the best choices you can make this season. Every brand has an item that either emerges or is chosen above all others, remembered maybe even before the brand name and mentioned in conversations that may not involve jewelry or your brand. It makes it easier for retailers to market your product by focusing on one thing, and may not overshadow your other pieces if they work in tandem with one another. You may want to consider not making your centerpiece the most expensive product you offer, as to keep higher-end goods ‘if-you-know-you-know’ for clients who seek VIP treatment.

Personalize Your Communication

Communicating in a heartfelt manner across email, press releases, and corporate meetings is the foundation of any good retailer relationship. Getting to know employees personally, beyond just the c-suite, and trying to get to the root of their company code gives you a fallback when relations would usually get tense, and reminds them that your firms work hand-in-hand throughout the very challenging winter season.

Consider Market Demand for the Season and Set Target Prices – Offer Discounts/Special Services for Important Retailers

Discounting and pricing is a tricky, yet important element of any well-run luxury business. Maintaining a label’s reputation comes down entirely to the customer’s perception of the price point and the worth of the product in relation to it. A whole separate checklist could be composed based on this topic, but for the sake of retailer relations, it is important to clearly communicate prices and look at expected demand for the season around big weekends such as Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Offering discounts can be touchy for luxury brands particularly when the valuation of the gem remains the same, but offsetting surplus unsold inventory to second-rate or third-rate retailers is a safe way to offer holiday discounts without saturating your primary market.

Overall these factors are in a state of constant flux that will allow for split-second opportunities for profit throughout this tumultuous season. All of the above tips are considerations, and different ideas will work better for different luxury jewelry artisans while others will benefit other brands. It is important to remember the scale and market position of your label before making moves that might not suit your current business model. Either way, it is always important to maintain a growth mindset and reach out to retailers and reporters who might not fit your typical conventions. So long as you align yourself with their ethos and use these strategies to build a strong relationship, both of your companies can thrive. After all, this season is challenging because it stands to be the most profitable of the year.

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