One of the challenges jewelry brands face is finding partner retailers who can help market and sell their merchandise effectively. We live in a huge country, in an even larger world. Technology has proven to be able to bridge the gaps imposed by geography – there’s a reason girls in rural Montana are crazy for Alex & Ani bracelets, which started as a local phenomenon right here in Rhode Island – but in order for technology to work for you, you need partner retailers who know how to work with technology.
This isn’t necessarily always the reality in the jewelry industry. Many, many well regarded retailers have been in business for generations. They’ve gotten where they’ve gotten without the use of websites and social media. Of course now most are beginning to adapt – but is it at a speed fast enough to meet your needs?
We all know that new social media platforms are emerging and becoming relevant constantly. Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat and other sites may in fact be the best tools to reach your target market – but do your partner retailers know how to use them effectively?
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Communication is key. Let your partner retailers know you’re ready, willing, and able to support them as they learn about new platforms. This may mean providing educational resources, such as links to tutorial videos or getting started guides that you’ve found to be helpful. It may also mean creating marketing collateral such as headers, images, videos, ads, and posts for them to share.
For younger designers and brand managers, especially those who grew up with the internet and social media, this can be an intensely frustrating experience. However, it’s important to remember that we’re not all starting in the same place. Technology that’s intuitive and easy for you to use may not necessarily be so for some of the partner retailers you work with. However, the best partner retailers are willing to learn, especially when learning helps them grow their business. By being an enthusiastic, supportive partner, you help them – and they, in turn, help your brand grow.