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Brand Marketing vs. Product Marketing for Jewelry Brands

In episode #119 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast I explain the difference between “brand marketing” and “product marketing” and why the distinction matters so much for jewelry brands. If you want to understand how to truly distinguish yourself from your competition, then you’ll definitely want to listen to this episode. The transcript of the episode is below.

Unknown Speaker 9:11
I want to talk today about the difference between brand marketing and product marketing. And this was inspired by a conversation I recently had with an independent jewelry designer. And I was kind of explaining this to her and it dawned on me that I’ve never really talked about this in the podcast and I think a lot of designers especially solopreneurs especially makers, people who are really close to their product, need to understand the difference between brand marketing and product marketing and why it can potentially make a big difference in how they are communicating their brand to customers.

Unknown Speaker 9:50
So first, let me define brand marketing for you. brand marketing is really a storytelling first approach. This is all about the story that you’re telling about your business, about the ethos about the why the inspiration. Brand marketing is about the lifestyle that you’re trying to sell the feeling that you want customers to have the community that you’re trying to build with your brand, it’s actually less about the product, of course, you’re trying to sell your product, of course, the product is what the customer is buying.

Unknown Speaker 10:35
But first, before all that the customer is actually buying into your brand, or like this myth, or personality that you are communicating and using to attract people to you. If you’re putting out certain vibes into the universe about who you are, and you feel really, you have conviction about those vibes or feelings, and you are communicating them in like a consistent, unified way, then you will naturally attract the customers who are meant to be with you who are meant to be part of your community. So that’s really brand marketing.

Unknown Speaker 11:25
Product Marketing, on the other hand, is the focused around the idea that the best product wins. So people who are focused on product marketing are always selling product features, the product is the center of all the communications, this product is the best because this product is the best quality, this product is the prettiest, this product has the best value, you will get the most use out of this product, the product is first, and the story behind it or the brand is kind of second.

Unknown Speaker 12:04
Why is this approach usually problematic when it comes to jewelry marketing? Well, if you’ve spent any amount of time in the jewelry industry, you know that it’s very saturated. There are a ton of talented people. I meet them every day. I see beautiful jewelry every day, because I work in this space. And I work with so many jewelry brands and I have to kind of keep on top of trends. I’m literally looking at so much jewelry all day long. Every day 24/7 on Instagram, on the internet, doing research, talking to jewelry entrepreneurs. I perpetually have beautiful jewelry in front of me. I should keep a log of this, but probably literally, at least like 40 times a day. I stop and say, “Oh my gosh, that’s beautiful. Wow, I would love to have that. Gorgeous. Oh my goodness.” I’m always wowed by product. I also see a lot of great value out there. I can imagine myself wearing a lot of things because it’s beautiful because it looks wearable, because it looks well made because it has a beautiful handcrafted accent, whatever, whatever you name, why I can see myself buying it.

Unknown Speaker 13:37
I definitely am a pretty regular purchaser of jewelry. But I’m not buying jewelry every day. And I’m certainly not buying every single thing that goes by me and that I stop and think is beautiful. Because if I did, I would be broke. And I would be in big trouble. So what is the thing that makes me say, “Wow, that’s beautiful.” Gets me from point A to point B, I’m giving them my credit card number. Usually, in most cases, it’s because I’m vibing or connecting with the brand. And I’m typically not making an impulse purchase. Sometimes it takes me a few days. Sometimes it takes me a few weeks. Sometimes it takes me a few months. That’s called the customer journey. But over that period of time from when I say wow, this product is beautiful, to I need to have it for myself, I’m learning about the brand. I’m signing up for their email marketing, not only to see if there’s a coupon code, but maybe there’s like more information that can be shared. I’m probably looking at their Instagram feed, maybe Facebook I might be looking at customer reviews, I might be asking the brand questions, whether it’s about sizing, or some kind of custom accommodation, or like additional photos, or maybe I have questions about shipping.

Unknown Speaker 15:16
So there are a lot of steps in the process. And I know that I’m using myself as an example. But I don’t think that I am alone and thinking this way, I think a lot of customers have this same kind of thought process when they’re shopping. And the way that I think I am unique is how much the volume of jewelry I’m looking at every day. Most customers are not spending literally all day long looking at jewelry. So it comes by them, it goes by their eyes less frequently.

Unknown Speaker 15:54
The difference between brand marketing and product marketing, I like to use a dating metaphor, hopefully it’s not creepy. I’ve heard dating metaphors in the past that come across as creepy, but it kind of helps it put into put it into a real life context.

Unknown Speaker 16:11
So let’s say you’re single and ready to mingle. And you’re in a big, big, vibrant city, there’s a lot of like, good looking smart, professional people there. You’re kind of like in a wonderland, because you have lots of great prospects for you. You look around, and you see all these beautiful people, oh, I would love to date this person, oh, that person looks exactly like my type. And maybe you actually go on a bunch of dates with people. Maybe your social schedule is so packed, you’re like going on a date night. But if you’re looking to eventually have a meaningful relationship with someone, and you’re not just dating as a sport, you’re gonna eventually have to like, grow closer to one person and make a decision about that person. Probably, you’re not going to end up picking like someone just because they were the most attractive, although hopefully they are the most attractive to you. But you’re going to be continued to be charmed by their personality, by the stories that they tell by their sense of humor, by their generosity by their kindness, you’re going to have a natural connection that transcends all those things. Sometimes you can’t even explain why that is. Those like “je ne sais quoi” things are the equivalent of a brand.

Unknown Speaker 17:47
That initial like lust, appreciation for a person’s attractiveness is kind of like being drawn to a product in a product first marketing approach. Whereas with brand marketing, in my opinion, and in a lot of marketers’ opinions, this is a more sustainable long term approach, because it’s giving the customer something of substance, those things that will make the customer want to have a relationship with you, and not just see you as a piece of eye candy. I see this, this distinction and kind of this challenge, so often with solopreneur jewelry, business owners, who are also makers, because, and this is not a criticism, I’m just acknowledging that this is a truth. They’re so close to their product, because they make it and produce it, and they’re naturally proud of it. And I think that’s amazing, you should be proud of it. You know, your product is the best made the most beautiful. It’s coming from like a very passionate vision and a place in your soul. It’s like your child, basically, because you’ve created it, you believe in it. You invest time, money energy into this product. If you’ve had a chance to show it to customers in person who like your product, you see how customers react to it. And you know that once a customer sees it, they will also see the value in your product. These people tend to have the mindset. And you may relate to this of a product first marketing approach. And it totally makes sense because you personally know the value of the product. And so you’re taking the approach, the best product wins and my product should win. “Why isn’t my product charming people? Why don’t people want to buy? I have the best product.” I totally get that.

Unknown Speaker 20:05
But as I mentioned earlier in the episode, the marketplace is ridiculously saturated. So your best product is up against someone else’s best product is up against someone else’s best product. There’s so much talent out there, people doing amazing things, people wowing me every day with their beauty, I am just endlessly inspired by everything I see. The unfortunate thing is, most consumers too kind of feel overwhelmed by that if they actually are, if they actually do have access to all this product and are discovering it and it’s in front of them. So they don’t know where to go next. They see they’re like, “Wow, okay, that’s beautiful, that’s beautiful, that’s beautiful. I would love to have that. I can see myself wearing that.” And then what they their phone rings, or they get a text message, and they’re on to the next thing, and they’ve forgotten about you.

Unknown Speaker 21:12
Brand marketing is the idea that you’re going to continue to charm them. So forming that initial connection with them in that, “Wow, that’s beautiful stage”, finding a way to capture them in some way, whether that’s inviting them to follow you on Instagram or Facebook or Pinterest, getting their email address, getting them to visit your website, creating like a first touch point that creates an opportunity for future interaction, and then continuing to share your story through content through meaningful connections through meaningful communication. So that the initial “Oh my God, I need to have this” product turns into something that has deeper layers of meaning and significance for the customer.

Unknown Speaker 22:11
That is what’s going to get the customer to ultimately make a purchase not just your product. Maybe in rare cases it will. But in the majority of cases, the product-first approach isn’t effective. That’s what I have to say about that topic. So I hope that this was helpful to you. I hope it kind of clarified the difference between brand and product marketing and why this distinction is it’s especially especially important in this jewelry niche that’s so specialized, so crowded, so oversaturated so many beautiful, shiny things competing up against each other.

Transcribed by

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