Know your target audience. We understand our consumers want history within their jewelry while keeping the environment safe with sustainable engagement rings. Once you have a customer, retain them. Keep your customers on file for future mailings and keep in touch with them so they know you care. We send out mailers and try to check in with them on how their engagements are going. We love getting to know their stories and the personal impact keeps them coming back for more jewelry for future events.
As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Suzanne Sachs.
Suzanne worked at Sony Music in NYC as a Director of Licensing for eleven years but always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a plan to lead to her own company. Her husband is a wholesale diamond and antique jewelry dealer. When they became engaged in 2004, Stuart mentioned starting an online antique engagement ring website, a move he saw as critical to staying relevant in the field. His NYC office kept him busy though, and so it happened. Suzanne recognized this was the ideal time to launch her own business. She could take the knowledge she acquired from the corporate world and integrate it into a new business on the world wide web.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Funny enough, while I was working at Sony Music I met my (now) husband on a blind date who happened to be a wholesale diamond and antique jewelry dealer. When we became engaged, knowing we wanted to start a family, we began to talk about starting an antique engagement ring business online. My husband recognized the future of business was in e-commerce. I took a chance and left Sony in order to begin ArtDecoDiamonds.com (now VintageDiamondRing.com).
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know if it’s “funny,” per se, but I really thought that starting an online jewelry business would be easy! Little did I know how many moving parts there would be, how much time the business would consume and how much innovation it would require. The internet is ever-changing. Can you imagine the daily transformations that have gone on from 15 years ago until today!?
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
VintageDiamondRing.com has a strong commitment to protect and preserve the environment. We practice sustainability by selling vintage engagement rings and in doing so we are protecting the earth by promoting recycling and social justice.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I wouldn’t necessarily say we are working on any new projects, but our continuing goal is to sell sustainable engagement rings. There is nothing more important to us than taking care of the environment, that is why we sell vintage engagement rings. Choosing vintage jewelry is the ultimate in “recycling.” Because vintage jewelry pieces do not need to be remade, no additional resources are required for them to be enjoyed again. Even if the stones are remounted into new pieces, it is still recycling and reusing at its core.
Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?
Great question, and it’s pretty simple. A company’s brand is a logo or other signage symbolizing what service or product they are offering. When companies market their brand they use positive influences to build their brand to influence consumers. On the other hand, product marketing is when a company promotes information geared toward their specific product or service..Even though these are two different concepts, it is in a company’s best interest to try and use them together.
Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?
There is more to building a brand than just advertising. At Vintagediamonring.com we feel that we have to build a lifestyle brand. Any business can have a logo and a product, but when a consumer can turn to a company and know their purchases say something about who they are and what matters to them, it falls into a different category.
Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.
- First, and most important, social media is a key component to building a trusted brand. We have the opportunity to educate consumers in real time about what is important in our business practices.
- Your enthusiasm and devotion for your business should be evident.
- Whether on your website or on social media, consumers can tell when you truly believe in what you are selling and what you stand behind. If you believe in it, they will too. We post daily on our Instagram page new rings we have acquired because we are so excited to share them with our followers.
- I am a firm believer in being transparent with what your business is offering. Consumers want to trust you and what they are buying. Have your product, or service, clearly defined or outlined so there is no question about what someone is purchasing. All of our rings offered on our website are clearly explained. If there is any question, people know they can contact us any time of day and we are available to answer any questions.
- Know your target audience. We understand our consumers want history within their jewelry while keeping the environment safe with sustainable engagement rings. *Once you have a customer, retain them. Keep your customers on file for future mailings and keep in touch with them so they know you care. We send out mailers and try to check in with them on how their engagements are going. We love getting to know their stories and the personal impact keeps them coming back for more jewelry for future events.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
Funny, shouldn’t I say VintageDiamondRing.com!? I believe we have done an incredible job in offering ethical and conflict-free jewelry that any person can feel good about wearing. The only way to replicate a good lifestyle brand, again, is by having a product you believe in, that truly leaves a positive imprint.
In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?
Be true to yourself and your brand, and really believe in what you are trying to accomplish. People will know if you are feigning authenticity. Consumers tend to stand behind someone who they believe stands behind their product.
What role does social media play in your branding efforts?
Social media actually plays a tremendous role in our company, as it should in every company today. We connect with consumers on a daily basis showing them the vintage jewelry we acquire. These pieces are environmentally friendly, and sustainable therefore allowing consumers to feel good about their purchase.
What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?
Do what you love and you will never burn out!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂 Aren’t we in the middle of a movement regarding sustainability and global warming? I think this is a huge challenge for businesses, and society today and going forward within the next decade and beyond.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
This is easy. My husband’s uncle was Ben Mellen and his partner Leon Rafalowicz., quite prominent diamond dealers in NYC. Unfortunately, they passed away years back but the lessons he taught my husband, who in turn taught me , are unforgettable. “If you can’t go through the front door, go through the side door. If you can’t go through the side door, go through the back door. If you can’t go through the back door, climb through the window.” Never quit
We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂 One of my idols is Madeleine Albright. I love to hear her speak, she is so brilliant and I really love the pins she wears!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.