How would a former marine go about developing a successful jewelry line?
Those two things don’t appear to line up at face value, but they absolutely can and do. Greg called in to the Business Whisperer podcast from Bangkok to talk about his businesses. First, he’s got a jewelry manufacturing business for other people’s brands. They design it and place the order, he makes it in his factory, they sell it.
The second brand is all his. It’s a jewelry company called The Jewelry Republic that he actually designs and then manufactures, then sells himself. The part that makes this really unique is that he wants it to align with his military past–selling sentimental pieces to military wives and the like. His target audience is people who see value in the military brand and are interested in commemorating their attachment to it with jewelry. Pretty niche, but could get big.
But when you head to the company’s website, there’s literally nothing that ties it to the military. No imagery, no copy, no related design. So it was no surprise to me that it wasn’t translating. If you’re going to go for a super niche market, you need to make sure the connection between your branding and marketing and that audience is really strong.
The best way to do that is to take his jewelry design in the military direction, integrating elements like dog tags and bullet casings into his pieces. Niche markets want niche goods, not basic and somewhat irrelevant goods that are just marketed toward them. Trying to sell basic jewelry in the already crowded market just isn’t going to work. You can’t sell jewelry that looks like it could be on Amazon to a target market of military wives–they’ll just buy it on Amazon too cause it’s quicker and cheaper.
If you’re working with a product right now and have a specific audience in mind, really think about why the hell they would choose your brand over a cheaper option. What is your angle that sets your stuff apart from the rest? If you’re a jewelry designer for military wives, the military connection is your unique angle. Make sense?
The other option is the social way of doing it where you get military wives to sell your jewelry at parties. If your jewelry doesn’t scream military, it’s not gonna go viral and you’re gonna spend a lot of money on advertising just to compete in a crowded market. But if you find military wives to rep it and give them 20% or 25%, like Avon does for example, that would be another potential option without changing up the design too much.
The bottom line is…if you have a super niche target market and that’s critical to your business model, tie everything back to that. I know a lot of guys who have lost a lot of money in jewelry because it’s such a crowded market. Don’t be one of those guys.