"I think Zales is printed on the inside of my wedding band."
Most of us can't tell the difference between a Tiffany engagement ring and a Zales engagement ring because the brand name is never actually displayed. Once the ring leaves its box, diamonds are all... well, sparkly.
So how does a middle-market jeweler build brand equity?
What's the problem?
After reporting a $189 million loss in 2009, Zales hopes to return to profitability this year. Despite the recession, the average groom shells out $5,200 on an engagement ring. Last year, the wedding market totalled $12 billion. Discretionary jewelry purchases are down, so in order to increase sales, Zales needs to push engagement jewelry.
Why does it matter?
Zales is currently positioned as "The Diamond Store," but everyone in the jewelry category sells diamonds. Zales needs a foothold to claim space in the market in order to compete with "Every kiss begins with Kay," and "He went to Jared!"
How can we solve it?
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but most of them are purchased by men. If we want to increase engagement jewelry sales, we have to get to the grooms.
Women buy on impulse, but men buy on investigation. It takes the average man 42 days to purchase a new TV. And while every groom knows he needs to buy an engagement ring, he doesn't know anything about diamonds. Zales can help men feel more comfortable buying diamonds by taking a cue from the other things they enjoy shopping for.
Zales gives men practical knowledge to make buying diamonds more comfortable.
Most guys have never set foot in a jewelry store.
That's because to a man, jewelry isn't practical.
Not until it becomes necessary.
Not until he's decided to propose.
Even then, a diamond ring is a major purchase that requires research like any other.
He wants to know what he's getting and why it's worth the hard-earned money he's about to spend on it.
He wants the facts, the specs.
He knows that buying the perfect wedding ring for the woman he loves is something he has to do.
Another important part of manhood.
And like anything in manhood, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.
So don't try to sell him on it.
Give it to him straight.
Give him the facts.
He wouldn't have it any other way.