As an independent jewellery retailer or brand, you are in a unique position to highlight your status as a smaller business, and capitalise on this.
According to The Federation of Small Businesses, 52% of all private sector turnover comes from small businesses. This is but one statistic indicative of the power you have as an independent and you need to ensure that it is a major part of your growth strategy. The following discussion analyses some of the ways you can capitalise on your independent business status to ensure stable growth and increase your marketing efforts.
Marketing an independent business
Whether you’re a jewellery stockist, designer, or manufacturer, being independent has certain connotations of uniqueness and premium quality to the general public. Despite this, when researching their new purchase, consumers want to be informed about what makes your independent product better than a high street chain. Intentional copywriting choices can support this.
In your marketing material, be that online or offline, ensure that the descriptions of your independence are being made clear to consumers. Perhaps you want to outright state yourself as ‘Independent jewellers since [year]’, therefore immediately establishing yourself as providing a different offering to larger businesses. You can take this further utilising terms such as ‘unique’ or ‘limited-run’ indicating that the items you are selling will be of higher-quality and will provide the general consumer with something their friends may not have access to. These linguistic choices are a clever way of encouraging consumers to see your brand or business as a ‘secret’: their local independent store they can get gifts from and ensure no one else will have bought the same thing.
With independent jewellery brands and businesses, nothing is as important in convincing customers of your worth than your own brand story. Having a framed sign or board in-store or a dedicated about us page on your website is the perfect way to promote trust between your business and a new customer. If you’re a family business, tell your story explaining why you decided to open up your business and what the local community means to your family. Or if you make the products by hand with older methods that have since been replaced with automation, promote this. Consumers do want to help their local business owners, and they love to feel like they are contributing to their local economy rather than a faceless multinational.
If you are looking into creating some visuals to promote new jewellery lines, consider how you want to be portraying your independence there. If there are local independent business networks which offer a badge or logo, display this on any graphics you create. Alongside the copywriting decisions you’ve made, visuals and text can harmonise to ensure customers know you have unique jewellery to offer with an independent angle.
Whilst Brexit is one of the most divisive political events in recent history, it has opened up a social opportunity for British businesses. Brexit has managed to encourage the general public to consider their buying habits and support their local British businesses. If your independent story involves British products, and a UK-heritage story, ensure this is translated across in all of your marketing material.
Small business events
As an independent small business, you are entitled to make the most of various events aimed at organisations of your size. One of these is Small Business Saturday. In the UK, it’s the first Saturday in December and encourages shoppers to buy local and get involved with their local independents. Being near Christmas, trade should naturally be increased, however on this day, footfall increases specifically for smaller businesses. You can get involved by ensuring all graphics and a-boards are up-to-date showing you’re keen to be a part of the day. It is also worth researching local small business events. Many councils, large shopping centres, or business growth bodies, also hold local business events focusing on highlighting the opportunity available to the regional consumer. Keep an eye out for these. However, if your own town has nothing like this, perhaps there is an opportunity for you to kick an event off and get people shopping independent.
The independent retailer community is one that thrives together. Whilst there are specific events you can get involved in, it’s crucial to ensure you include yourself in your local community, too.
Independent retailers can collaborate much easier with other smaller businesses than chains and large corporations. There aren’t anywhere near as many hoops to jump through and there isn’t the risk of contracts falling through for example. It can genuinely be as simple as making your way over to another retailer and asking about potential collaboration opportunities. Perhaps there’s a local artist that could create some bespoke pieces or work on a range of charms with your brand. Or there could be an opportunity in collaboration with a local stylist who can offer a one-off night of fashion advice at your store. There are many possibilities for jewellery brands it will, however, take time to discover your local opportunity.
Your SME community can also help you with recruitment efforts. Many people prefer to work with small businesses due to the fact that they can get more experience and make a difference, more so than larger corporations. When you attend meetings and events be sure to use it as a platform to shout about your career opportunities.
Being an independent jeweller or jewellery manufacturer should be the biggest unique selling point you have to offer the general public. Your status as an independent business means you can be transparent with your customers about your ethics, story and products. This open conversation helps to create a trust between business and consumer and you will be able to utilise this to grow, regardless of your size.
James Rees is founder of Wales-based jewellery boutique, Baroc, who stocks a range of brands alongside a variety of homeware products. Established in 2013, Baroc is a family-run business with a high street store situated in Neath, a small Welsh town. Baroc’s online reach and distribution, however, stretch much further than this and consistent digital investment has allowed them to reach many people over the UK.