How Marketing Research Helps Build Your Brand Personality
"Every kiss begins with…"
"He went to…"
If you answered Kay and Jared, you’re a great student of store slogans – or you’ve been in the market for a piece of jewelry recently. These two jewelry chains have been running very successful national branding campaigns for years – each of them very different, and each aimed at a different market segment. Both companies have been doing exceptionally well in a market that’s lost a lot to the current recession – jewelry sales in general took a big hit as consumer spending dropped across the board. But Kay and Jared both increased their market share against competition from their closest competitors, Tiffany & Co. and Zales.
In fact, both Kay Jewelers and Jared Galleria of Jewelry are owned by Signet, and together they command over 9% of the jewelry market in the U.S. in comparison to Tiffany and Zales, with 5% and 4% respectively. Even more importantly, as other jewelry firms saw their sales stagnate or fall between 2007 and 2011, the two Signet stores increased sales year upon year. What’s made the difference for these two stores?
The answer would have to be marketing research. Early on, Signet identified the concerns and needs of its customers and made adjustments to its marketing, pricing and advertising strategies to take advantage of them. In 2008-2009, the company shifted its advertising focus to Kay Jewelers, its lower end mall stores, and the company lowered average prices to reflect decreasing consumer demand. At the same time, Kay advertising ramped up with ads featuring young couples at early stages in their relationship, soft focus and romantic “stories” – they’re sweet, feel-good ads that leave viewers going “awwww” and convince buyers that $300 is totally worth it to see that look in her eyes.
Meanwhile, Signet didn’t neglect Jared – instead, it doubled down on the significance of giving a piece of jewelry from Jared Galleria of Jewelry with its “He went to Jared” campaign. Jared targets households with incomes of $50,000 to $150,000 – the market segment that accounts for 45% of all jewelry purchases in the U.S. Its advertising focuses on things that are important to that market. Unlike the Kay commercials, which focus on the story told from the buyer’s point of view, Jared ads are seen through the eyes of an observer who approves of the choice to go to Jared. Why? Because “he went to Jared” means that he’s serious about getting the best.
Marketing research can make or break sales and product launches. The information gleaned from customer surveys and product research, along with overall market research, is a key factor in helping determine the direction and focus of your advertising and how to align it with the brand image you want to project and the market you want to reach.
With the holidays just around the corner and the economy still picking it's self off, what brands have marketed itself to the price conscious consumer? I can already think of a couple...