Fall 2018 Cutting Edge

 
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MJA Introduces Another Member Benefit For YOU!

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Your Association is always looking for ways to help you improve your bottom line and we think Podium is a great way to improve your business. It’s no secret that consumers have changed in the past 5-10 years. At Podium, they look for these changes and help jewelers grow with the idea that quality and convenience wins every time. Podium exists to modernize the way business happens locally. Podium helps businesses to (1) get found, by improving local search rankings, (2) get connected, by making customer interactions modern and convenient, and (3) get chosen, because reviews significantly impact purchase decisions. By implementing Podium, it has not been uncommon for a jeweler to see a 6% increase in annual revenue, 20 new reviews per month, and an average Google star rating of 4.6.

Here are a few reasons why Podium adds value to jewelry clients:

  • Podium is used by 15,000+ businesses, including 2,000 jewelers

  • They have a financial partnership with Google

  • They have partnered with AGS, CBG, CJA, CJG, IJO, LJG, PJI, RJO and TJA

  • They are able to integrate with The EDGE, Shopkeeper, Lightspeed, etc.

  • They provide 2-way text messaging with customers from your landline number

  • They provide you with a Customer Success Manager

Podium gets results with 15-25 authentic Google reviews/month, 11 new walk-ins/month and 6-7% increase in annual revenue. Podium has accomplished 3 things for 15,000+ businesses: You get found by customers more often, you get chosen over the competition, you get connected with customers quicker.

MJA members receive a discount for signing up with Podium. For more information, contact Jason Whittingham, Regional Sales Director, at 801.960.6451 or email at jason.whittingham@podium.com. Get more information at www.podium.com.


MJA 2018 Jewelry Design Competition – Gemmy Awards – Enter Your Design

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The 2018 MJA Jewelry Design Competition is fast approaching. Design pieces are due October 26, 2018. The competition is open to all MJA members and non-member jewelers, designers and goldsmiths who are interested in designing and creating a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that demonstrates creativity, artistry, style and excellence. Designers vie for the coveted Gemmy Awards to proudly display in their stores. There are five categories plus a NEW award – New Jewelry Design Award, which is for jewelers, goldsmiths, silversmiths and students who have not entered the competition in the past two years. All design pieces will be display on the MJA website for voting by the membership. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. is a sponsor of the Design Competition. The winner of each category receives a $100 cash award. Founded by Wisconsin Jewelers in 1913, Jewelers Mutual is proud to support the Midwest and designers. For additional information, eligibility, rules of entry and application visit our Gemmy Awards Page


Jewelers Mutual Acquires Shipper TransGuardian

Jewelers Mutual Group has purchased the assets of TransGuardian, a cloud-based shipping logistics company that specializes in high-value items. Terms were not disclosed. Jewelers Mutual and TransGuardian were already business partners, having joined together last year to form JM Shipping Solution. Mike Alexander, senior vice president of commercial lines for Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, says that, for the moment, neither TransGuardian nor JM Shipping Solution will change their names, since both names have equity in the industry. There are also no plans for changes in any of the present services.

“Our teams will work together to assess the current platforms and products and see what enhancements can be made to better our user experiences,” Alexander says. In addition to shipping jewels, TransGuardian also ships currency, numismatics, fine art, apparel, firearms, medical devices, insurance, personal effects, and general cargo. Services to the other sectors will continue, says Alexander. The current TransGuardian leadership will join Jewelers Mutual.

TransGuardian president and CEO Jim Moseley will become vice president of logistics business development. Chief financial officer Madlene Moseley, Jim’s wife, will become vice president of logistics operations. Chief technical officer Randy Miller will become information technology manager. TransGuardian’s offices in New York City and Los Angeles will remain open, as will its administrative offices in Petersham, Mass. Moseley said in a statement: “Being welcomed into a 105-year-old company like Jewelers Mutual means access to a wide range of talent and resources.” He promised to “enhance our customer experience and roll out bigger and better enhancements and discounts.” TransGuardian was created in 2005 by Moseley, a shipping veteran and former manager of Federal Express’ high-value shipping service. Since 2011, TransGuardian has been the preferred shipping solution of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York. That same year, the DDC and TransGuardian brought the U.S. Postal Service chief postal inspector to JCK Las Vegas.


2019 Dues Statements Coming Soon

Your 2019 MJA dues statements will be going in the mail soon. If you pay by December 31, you will receive a $20 discount! Your MJA association continues to bring you many benefits that help you run your business. Podium is just one of those new benefits and this month we will be rolling out yet another benefit – a new merchant bankcard program. Watch for details about this great partnership and your 2019 dues statement.


3 Factors for Successfully Marketing Your Jewelry Business

Brought to you by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group

The most successful business owners and managers know how to appeal to different target audiences. If you aren’t familiar with millennials and Gen Z or how to sell to them, it’s time your jewelry business’ marketing strategy started to focus on them. To successfully market to the next generation of jewelry consumers, you need to be three things— authentic, meaningful and unique.

1. Be authentic -
The next generation of consumers are digital natives and they have grown up seeing everything a brand does, including negative PR and poor customer service. To gain the trust of your new consumer base, you need to be authentic. What exactly does that mean? Be in business for more than just the sale. Include consumers in conversations and ask them for their opinions. If they leave feedback for you on social media or have questions about your business, respond and be honest! Once you embrace authenticity and transparency, you’ll find that next generation consumers may end up doing your marketing for you through personal recommendations and word-of-mouth on social media and review sites.

2. Be meaningful
You may have 10,000 likes on your Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean much to millennials and Gen Z. They would rather have a meaningful experience they can remember and want to share with others. Brands that create purpose are what the next generation consumer is looking for. The same is true for hiring outstanding employees. If your staff is excited about your business or products, chances are they will share that experience and in turn bring in more customers. Millennials and Gen Z love to share their experiences, especially when they feel a brand has gone out of their way to create an experience for them that feels customized just for them.

Here are three ways to be a meaningful business:

  • Provide an excellent product at a fair price

  • Offer a compelling shopping experience

  • Give back to your community -- find your purpose beyond selling jewelry.

3. Be unique
According to Forbes.com, being unique is one of the top seven characteristics of a successful brand. When trying to be unique in your industry, customization and personalization are key. This applies to your products as well your customers’ experience, whether it’s in your store or online. Put forth the effort to make each individual customer feel special by treating them as a person and not a number. The next generation is more willing to pay a small premium for a unique experience. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Utilize what’s already available to create that experience. For example, encourage customers to bring up their Pinterest page while in your store and show you the style of jewelry they like.


MJA Preferred Vendors

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