The namesake international consultancy founded by TV business and consumer expert, Kate Hardcastle MBE, is now dedicating 40% of its time to support small/micro businesses, giving free online workshops, mentoring and support across the UK.
Here Kate Hardcastle provides some advice for jewellers in the UK as they attempt to navigate this challenging time…
Words by Kate Hardcatle
The coronavirus outbreak is impacting every aspect of our lives, from the daily challenges of working from home, educating our children and staying healthy, to the cancellation of weddings and family events. Naturally, this creates fear and uncertainty amongst consumers but the surge in viral videos showing humorous ‘Tik Toks’, cute pets, acts of kindness and community solidarity shows that many people are using joy and humour to get through this time of emotional upheaval, whilst spending more time than ever online. This presents a huge opportunity for jewellery firms to connect with people and bring the joy to their lives, through carefully considered products, communication and content.
Aside from the financial review and stress testing that most businesses have already done, now more than ever, we must:
- Build lasting and meaningful relationships with consumers, understanding and supporting them during this time and beyond.
- Show our true colours as a brand, highlighting our offer and what we are doing for our customers and people.
- Maintain 100% customer focus, ensuring all action and communication is about them, not us.
The purchase of certain pieces of jewellery is often a once-in-a-lifetime special moment. Jewellers already do a fantastic job of making customers feel special in store – from that glass of vintage champagne to helping them capture that perfect Instagram snap (I know of one independent jeweller with a beautiful selfie corner, complete with floral backdrop and soft lighting).
With stores closed and purchases taking place online, jewellers must recreate the magic of that special purchase through an enhanced experience, which places the customer at the heart of the offer. With no physical contact possible, brands must think creatively to enhance every customer touch point:
– Could product delivery be enhanced by handwritten notes or small gifts e.g. balloons?
– Can packaging be personalised and the act of unwrapping that special piece be an experience in itself?
– Collaborate, now is the time to work with your industry partners and community to show positivity and solidarity.
– Celebrate the stories of your customers through your social channels, showing you care about their lives and special moments.
– Is your business able to offer alternative services that are complimentary & non conflicting
-Consider the emotion surrounding every purchase. The act of giving jewellery is in short, the showing of love. As customers face increasing stress and uncertainty, purchases of this nature are of heightened importance, therefore quality and service must be second to none.
We’ve seen a rise in video appointments and enhanced investment in e-commerce by jewellery firms recently, which is enabling vital sales. However, consumers are increasingly looking to connect with the human side of brands. It’s therefore vital to have a clear brand ethos, outlining who you are and what you stand for.