Seven years ago, my partner Dave Young and I signed on a new client – Appelt’s Jewellery, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
They are a family owned-and-operated business, open since 1938. At the time they came to see us, they’d hit a ceiling and needed help.
Today, they are known as Appelt’s Diamonds. They have five stores in the province and experienced double-digit growth through a bad economy. Now, revenues are quickly reaching stratospheric mode.
Some folks look at Appelt’s and see an overnight success story.
They would be wrong, of course. It’s been a long but steady haul, combined with teamwork and a clear vision for the possibilities ahead.
Here are a few pieces of their marketing strategy that every business can modify and duplicate:
1. Appelt’s found its unleveraged asset and began exposing it. Appelt’s has the finest diamonds money can buy, but at the lowest prices in the region. That’s possible because they travel to Antwerp twice a year to handpick each and every diamond they sell, eliminating the middle-man. Appelt’s goes the extra mile to give the customer the best product at the lowest price. Once they began telling this story to potential customers, it drew people in like moths to a flame.
2. Appelt’s stepped away from the competition. When Appelt’s became a client, all of their Winnipeg stores were located in area malls – along with dozens of other everyday, ordinary jewelry stores. Taking our advice, they began closing their mall stores (on average, one per year) and moved to stand-alone locations that are positioned for traffic and are built out to luxurious specifications. Advertising luxury with the lowest prices in Winnipeg is a wonderful example of particle conflict, and removed the intimidation factor for many shoppers.
3. Staff members are in constant training mode. As the stand-alone locations grew, Appelt’s agreed that the next best investment was in the training of the staff. It wouldn’t be cheap, but they knew that bringing in the right expert was key. Doing this means that the staff is in constant training mode with strategies that have helped them close a jaw-dropping number of sales. Turnover of staff is almost non-existent, and sales numbers continue to rise under the supervision of an expert consultant.
4. Appelt’s had the guts to take the jump that would make them fly. After working for years to put all of these pieces into place, Appelt’s knew it needed one more spark to get the fuse to blow and see fireworks. They took a risk that 99% of business owners won’t do – they decided to offer a guarantee that no competitor could match.
The “Rock Solid Diamond Warranty” eliminates any and all customer objections to buying a diamond. If your diamond chips, cracks, or is lost during the lifetime of the piece, Appelt’s will replace it with a diamond of equal or greater value for FREE. You have 90 days to return your diamond purchase, no questions asked, for a FULL CASH REFUND. And it doesn’t just cover diamond rings – it also covers necklaces, earrings… anything with a diamond attached.
This last step is what put Appelt’s on the “big boy” map, and it’s thanks to careful planning, balancing, and focused implementation. Could they have done it in less than seven years? Maybe, but they had to be ready for each step and willing to invest not only money, but total commitment to each part of the plan.
You can achieve this level of success, too. In the next few posts, I promise to give you some advice on how to do it.