Synergy in Sparkle: Where Merchandising Meets Jewelry Marketing
Episode #257 – “Synergy in Sparkle: Where Merchandising Meets Jewelry Marketing”
In Episode #257 today, we’re chatting about how to blend merchandising with jewelry marketing, especially for spotlighting your jewelry brand in the most effective way possible. Some of you Sparklers may not fully realize how your products, and the way you show them—be it online or in an actual store—can either make or break your jewelry marketing. It’s super important to remember: merchandising and marketing kind of need each other to shine.
While merchandising aims to sweeten the customer experience and product appeal, marketing often focuses on drawing customers to the digital or physical store – and marketing also nurtures relationships with customers over time. Merchandising helps keep things interesting.
We’ll be looking at this topic through the lens of Hilary Finck Jewelry, who we’ve been spotlighting as a jewelry brand case study. For those joining our podcast series for the first time this season, I’d suggest starting with Episode #252. Doing so will introduce you to Hilary and allow you to follow this narrative from its inception.
Before jumping into our chat with Hilary, I’ll talk about why merchandising matters so much for the success of your marketing, why you could be assuming your customers know more than they do about your products, and how you can get merchandising and marketing to work hand in hand.
Check out the transcript below.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 0:00
Ready to break free from algorithms, vanity PR, and money-sucking ads? My name’s Laryssa Wirstiuk, and I’ve learned in 7 years of jewelry marketing that content is the crown jewel. My agency Joy Joya takes a holistic approach, leading with laser-focused storytelling, impactful content creation, and strategic content distribution. This method has worked for the solopreneur as well as the multi-million-dollar company, and now I’m sharing these systems and tactics with you. Here’s to standing out in the Sea of Sparkle.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 0:33
In Episode #257 today, we’re chatting about how to blend merchandising with marketing, especially for spotlighting your jewelry brand in the most effective way possible. Some of you Sparklers may not fully realize how your products, and the way you show them—be it online or in an actual store—can either make or break your marketing. It’s super important to remember: merchandising and marketing kind of need each other to shine. While merchandising aims to sweeten the customer experience and product appeal, marketing often focuses on drawing customers to the digital or physical store – and marketing also nurtures relationships with customers over time. Merchandising helps keep things interesting. We’ll be looking at this topic through the lens of Hilary Finck Jewelry, who we’ve been spotlighting as a jewelry brand case study. For those joining our podcast series for the first time this season, I’d suggest starting with Episode #252. Doing so will introduce you to Hilary and allow you to follow this narrative from its inception. Before jumping into our chat with Hilary, I’ll talk about why merchandising matters so much for the success of your marketing, why you could be assuming your customers know more than they do about your products, and how you can get merchandising and marketing to work hand in hand.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 2:06
But before we get to the solid gold, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this podcast has both audio and video – so you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform or watch on YouTube by searching “Joy Joya”. You can support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe but also to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. If you leave a review, I might read it on a future episode – please let me know what you think about this episode or about any other major takeaways you’ve had recently.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 2:34
Okay, let’s get into today’s episode, my Sparklers! So this one’s all about the beautiful marriage of merchandising and marketing. Merchandising and marketing work closely together because both aim to boost sales and give customers a great experience. When marketing gets a customer’s attention and brings them to a store or website, merchandising steps in by making sure the products look really appealing. Think about it: when you see an ad for a new fashion line, and then see those same items beautifully displayed in-store, that’s marketing and merchandising working hand in hand. Marketing gets you into the store, and merchandising tries to make sure you don’t leave without buying. Merchandising can also give your marketing a fresh touch, so it’s less product-focused and more interesting, more story-driven. Customers don’t want to hear repetitive messages like “check out our new product” or “our sale is now on.” That gets old quickly! But if marketing can showcase existing products in exciting and different ways, even without introducing new items, it keeps the customer’s interest alive. For example, you can play into seasonal themes, holidays, trends, customer behavior and interests, etc.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 4:20
So let’s talk through five reasons why merchandising matters so much for the success of your marketing. First and foremost, we all know that first impressions matter in the jewelry industry. Presentation is pretty much everything. So proper merchandising ensures that the pieces are being presented in the most appealing and attractive manner. That way you’re capturing the customers instantly. Merchandising also enhances your brand image, so it can help you tell a story, convey the brand essence, connect with your target customer in an emotional way. Whether you’re selling vintage heirlooms or modern minimalist pieces, how you’re presenting your products reinforces your identity, and values, and that helps you be more relatable to your target audience.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 5:18
Merchandising paired with marketing also drives sales. And we all love that it can increase turnover of inventory, especially when you’re merchandising based on things like demand, seasonality, upcoming trends, all these things can create time pressure for your customers, and encourage sales so that products aren’t just sitting on your digital or physical shelves. Merchandising, when done right and with a plan and strategy can really complement your marketing campaigns, bringing consistency into all the messaging that you’re sharing with customers. That means a seamless experience, making it super easy for customers to find and purchase the items that they’ve either seen in a photo in an email somewhere out in the world, so that they’re not searching for it and wasting precious time, they’re getting to check out much more quickly. And I’ve mentioned this a couple of times already, but the customer experience is just enhanced and improved. So when a store or ecommerce website is well merchandised, that shopping experience, that environment is so pleasant, customers can happily browse, they’re not frustrated, they can even perhaps discover new pieces they might love that they didn’t necessarily come to your store for. And this not only encourages immediate sales, but also repeat visits, because customers will be more likely to return to a shopping environment that makes them feel good.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 7:00
I think one of the main roadblocks that gets in the way of jewelry brands paying attention to this fusion of merchandising and marketing is that they assume customers know more about the brand and about the jewelry than they actually do. And they’re kind of afraid to over communicate to curate the experience. But it’s just very important to not assume and we talked about this in the last episode, if you listen to that one. So a lot of jewelry business owners, they skip on this merchandising. They think the audience already knows every single piece in the collection, like the audience is already familiar. So why would they want to see it again, and again? I can guarantee you, this is not the case. I mean, unless you have some like diehard fan, who is like always looking at your website or in your store for all the new pieces. But most customers will not be like that. And they are probably missing a lot of product. And they probably could be missing their next favorite piece because you are not merchandising to them appropriately. Not only could they be missing all those pieces, but if the products aren’t being displayed in an attractive and enticing way that resonates with your target audience, they may see the product with their eyes, but they may not necessarily feel anything or connect with that product in their hearts. And I kind of know this from personal experience, even just working in retail. And I’ve worked in jewelry stores, when you are a sales associate in a store, you spend a lot of time with the jewelry, you spend more time with the inventory than any customer is going to spend. And I know from those experiences that even being in the store for so many hours a day, you kind of start to see products in a new light, the more you spend time with them, or even when you’re talking to customers, showing them how to wear the products. So a ring perhaps that I didn’t even pay attention to on this day, three weeks later, suddenly is my new favorite piece because I got to see it in new ways. Maybe we mixed up the display case, maybe I was able to try it on with different outfits. Things don’t always resonate when you first see them. They need to be merchandised in different ways until finally maybe it kind of clicks for you that oh, you like this piece. So I definitely feel that as a former sales associate, I know that spending time with jewelry can really help change your opinion about a certain piece. And merchandising really enables that for the customer who is definitely not spending hours a day with your jewelry. So for a customer to feel that pull to buy, they need to oftentimes see an item, multiple ways presented in different scenarios styled different ways, before it actually clicks for them.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 10:35
So how can you actually get merchandising and marketing to work hand in hand? First of all, this is maybe like, an obvious thing. But it’s really the most straightforward approach to merchandising: don’t ignore themes, trends, seasons, holidays, colors, customer interests, and special events. So let me talk through each one of those really quick and give you some examples. So themes and trends. I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, you may not necessarily be a trend driven brand. And I know a lot of you Sparklers out there are not. But if you pay attention to cultural trends, to what people seem to be gravitating to in like, popular culture or whatever, you can find ways to adapt that to your own brand and bring it into your merchandising without feeling like you’re putting on a costume or not being true to your brand identity. So don’t discount themes, trends, movements. Again, find ways to make them work for you. Seasons, very straightforward. People dress differently for different seasons, I would say most people do just by necessity. In the summer in many places, you are going to wear one type of clothing. In the winter, you are going to wear another type of clothing. So merchandising your jewelry according to how your customers are behaving. And each season is a very straightforward way to get the marketing to kind of click better based on the behavior that’s happening. Holidays, of course, very straightforward. So the types of holidays that matter to your brand are going to be unique to you, and what matters to your customers. But obviously, some common ones would be Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, all of that festive November, December time of year. You can also think through colors, many jewelry brands merchandise around birthstones or around color trends. Definitely don’t forget your customer interests. So if you know that your target audience likes sustainability, or they like artisan or handcrafted, you can bring those elements out in your merchandising. And lastly, think through special events that people may be having at certain times of year. So like in May, June, for example, there are a lot of graduations. Summer is often a time for weddings. So again, knowing that maybe a majority of your customers are celebrating these things, you can merchandise accordingly.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 13:37
Some other tips for merging merchandising and marketing would be paying attention to your branding. Ensure that your branding remains consistent across all platforms. So your in store design or your ecommerce design, your packaging, your marketing campaigns, they should all echo the same themes, colors, and aesthetics. Also, don’t neglect storytelling. Every piece of jewelry has a story. So use that to your advantage by intertwining the story in both your merchandising displays in your marketing campaigns so that you can really create that emotional connection. And if it doesn’t have a story, make up a story. Lastly, use data. So use your sales data, your website analytics to determine which pieces are the most popular, which are the best selling, then you can highlight those things in your marketing campaigns and in store. So sales popularity like best sellers, that could be a form of merchandising, or even you as the jewelry designer. What are your favorites? What do you actually like to wear every day? Those are other ways to merchandise, and in our upcoming interview with Hilary, we’re going to dive into her Hand Hammered collection, which is a signature all-metal range that really captures her approach to jewelry essentials. And while Hillary has often highlighted newness in her marketing, these staple products haven’t had the chance to receive as much of the spotlight. So we’ll be discussing the hurdles she’s faced in merchandising and then explore potential strategies for the future.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 15:31
Let’s start off by talking about what role does this Hand Hammered collection play in the like greater scope of your jewelry business? So let’s start there.
Hilary Finck 15:44
Well, it’s the all metal collection, there’s no stones that are set in it. It’s just it’s simply metal. And all of the pieces have all if not, most of the pieces have some element or the entire thing has been hammered with just different hammers. I use hammers that I’ve loved for so long to create jewelry, and it’s a nice complement to the Captured collection.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 16:12
Is there like a specific history behind it? Like when did you start making the pieces?
Hilary Finck 16:18
Definitely. So it’s kind of like my first love. It’s kind of what got me interested in making jewelry to begin with. When I was in college was the forging sessions and the forming sessions and just discovering what you can do with a hammer you can like literally move metal and create all these different shapes and forms with metal and I used to do a lot of forging. I would create like armbands and like collar necklaces and stuff like that. It was a lot of fun and some of the pieces that are on my website now part of the Hand Hammered collection are pieces that I made when I first started so like my Fringe earrings and my Fringe necklace, those earrings and necklace. That’s a design I’ve been making for I guess like since the early 2000s. Or like the the spike studs, you know, like I learned how to make a spiculum one day in college, and I was like, “Oh my God, that’s the coolest thing”. And so the spike studs are simply like a spiculum cut in half. And they’re my favorite earrings. I wear my spikes all the time. So it’s just you know, it’s just it reminds me of like what I first got into jewelry making for.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 17:35
That makes a lot of sense. I could really see now like, why it means so much to you and the emotional connection that you have with it.
Hilary Finck 17:43
Yeah, and it’s a way for me to actually, I feel like a little bit more of a designer with that collection. Like with the Captured collection, the stones sometimes is what drives the design. But with the Hand Hammered collection, you know, I really get a chance to be inspired by things like you know, Art Deco modernism, Brutalist architecture, things like that. Really translate to sculptural jewelry really well.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 18:12
I was just going to ask how the two collections kind of like fit together also.
Hilary Finck 18:17
I think they look great together. Like I think that you know, stone pieces layered with just all metal pieces always look great. So you know, whether you have you know, Captured diamond studs on your second hole and maybe the spikes sets in your first hole or your Fringe earrings in your first hole or you know, layering necklaces, you know, Hand Hammered long chains with like a shorter captured pendant. I mean, I think it’s, you can just really layer it. I think they complement each other really well.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 18:52
Do you ever have clients who send you pictures of like, how they’re styling the two collections together?
Hilary Finck 18:59
Um, I think I get some pictures of people showing me how they layer their jewelry with other designers that they like a lot. Oh, that’s yeah, I like that a lot. So there’s a few people that also collect Marla Aaron, the little carabiner thingies and they will they will put my orbs on the same chains as those or they’ll layer the necklace with those that seems to be one that people really like to put together. And I’m sure my clients are layering them up, but I don’t get too many pictures.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 19:38
Yeah. So what do you think? I know you said, this is where you need me to kind of come in and help you but I’m sure you have some thoughts about like, what the Hand Hammered collection kind of represents or adds in terms of storytelling in your brand. Like do you have any ideas about that?
Hilary Finck 20:00
Well, I think since I’ve become so known for the captured collection, I just think the Hand Hammered collection is to reintroduce it as a way to explain to people, you know, where I started, where I’m coming from, in terms of the design process, how this is really kind of a first love for me, I mean, hammering pieces is, it’s active, you know, it’s, it’s physical, it’s a little bit different than when I’m, you know, creating bezels and, you know, doing all this very tiny work with my visors on, you know, when you’re making a Hand Hammered piece, you’re, you’re literally sitting there hammering it. Um, so there’s storytelling with that, I mean, just different hammers that I use that I like, a lot. That could be a way to tell the story. It’s just, you know, hand hammering is very primitive. And it’s such a traditional form, that I think that there’s, there’s probably stories in there, but I’m always up for new ideas.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 21:00
It probably, it feels to me also, like, there’s so much more of your energy in it, because literally, you’re like, infusing it with energy. So they kind of people who find that, like get get part of you in a way.
Hilary Finck 21:14
Absolutely. And each piece is different, you know, I might make several pairs of the Fringe earrings, but each one of them is going to be different, they’re going to hang just slightly differently, they’re going to be slightly different lengths, because they’re made by hand, and the hammering process never turns out the same each time. And I like to see the hammer marks too. So I always make sure that like you can still get that, that feel that there was hammering done.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 21:42
Hmm, definitely. So since you’ve had this collection, what have you found is easy about marketing it? Let’s start there.
Hilary Finck 21:54
Um, I mean, I think I think all the pieces look really nice together. But to be honest with you, I just haven’t had the time to market it properly, because my Captured collection has kind of become this driving force for my business. And I wish and also, you know, these Hand Hammered pieces are very metal intensive, and I really do love making them out of gold. And so it can be difficult to make a bunch of jewelry out of gold to have in the ready to ship section instead of having it kind of in a made to order way, and so I don’t always have all the pieces in stock that I can continuously be making, you know, continuously be photographing or mixing with other pieces to show layering. So I think that that’s a challenge. Right now I do a lot of the pieces in 14 karat because I like kind of that rosy warmth for 14 karat and then I’ll do 18 karat with some of the other pieces that I would really love to get into 22 karat. I think it photographs just beautifully. And so that’s another that’s another thing about the marketing that is maybe holding me up is I would love to I’d love to use 22 karat, but I’m not quite there yet.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 23:17
Yeah, I imagined too that with a Captured collection it probably just lends itself better to photography also.
Hilary Finck 23:25
Yeah, stones always just pop way more in photography, and I have a little bit of a challenge with the all-metal pieces there. You know if the light isn’t right part of it looks too bright. Or perhaps it looks doesn’t look gold. It looks like dark brown or something. I mean jewelry in general is tricky to photograph. But all metal can be a challenge too yeah.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 23:50
So you’ve mentioned to us before in meetings that for a while you’ve been wanting to change the name of the Hand Hammered collection. I’m curious, like how long have you been thinking about that and what’s kind of like the impetus behind wanting to change it?
Hilary Finck 24:08
I think I’ve kind of been wanting to change it ever since I created that name. To me. I liked the name a lot. It’s funny because I’ve actually had this conversation with Liz Kantner a couple years ago. I was like, “Is this the right name for this?” And we both really liked it because it is the alliteration of hand and hammer; it sounds really good together. But I think what’s holding this was kind of always been like I’m not so sure it’s because not every single piece is hand hammered in the same way that other pieces are there. You know, some pieces were maybe I’m hitting a hammer through a dapping tool or hitting a hammer through a disc cutter. So I mean there is a hammer involved that it just doesn’t have the same feeling as like the bar links necklace that each link has a hammer texture and things like that. So it’s really just more about me being technical and wanting to be a little bit more accurate in what the collection is, even though like 95% of the collection is hand hammered.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 25:17
Interesting. What do you think is holding you back about, like finding a new name, like what just feels off about, like other things you’ve considered?
Hilary Finck 25:29
I think what it is, is making the final decision, it really, it’s really a final decision that you have to make, and you have to be good with it. Right. So I think that’s part of it, I can be a really indecisive person. And so really, it’s just like deciding on it and a week later not being like, huh, gosh, I really kind of wished I would have gone with the other one.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 25:53
Yeah, that makes sense. So one thing we’re doing, I don’t know if I want to call it like reintroducing because we’re not like formally changing that much, I guess. But we are just highlighting this collection a little bit more, we’re like bringing it out in email marketing, just reminding people that it exists. So what are you kind of hoping to get out of that? And what’s the goal for you to like, start reminding your clients about it?
Hilary Finck 26:25
I think everybody likes to have just gold jewelry without stones. You know, I think everybody likes to have a simple gold bracelet that looks great with other bracelets, everyone likes to have a gold chain that looks great layered with your other gold chains. Same with rings, same with like, you know, ear party with studs, earrings. And so I just think that conveying that to my clientele. Like, hey, I’ve got these pieces here that would look amazing with not only my Captured pieces, but all your other jewelry that you collect. So I really think that’s, that’s what I am excited for them to kind of see and learn. And you know, some of my longtime clients, they definitely know, but there’s a lot of new people that maybe they just got excited about something they saw on Instagram that was a Captured piece, and they don’t really know anything about the collection.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 27:19
Yeah, that’s a good point. And in that way, you’re like, providing a service more than you’re selling because you’re just helping people build out their jewelry wardrobe.
Hilary Finck 27:29
Yes. And they need that they really, really need it.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 27:32
Definitely. So how do you see this collection evolving in the future? And like, where do you ultimately want to go with it?
Hilary Finck 27:42
I would definitely like to make more pieces in 22 karat. As I mentioned before, I also realized I don’t have any rings in the Hand Hammered collection, which is kind of odd. So that’s something I need to I mean, I think what it is about rings with just all metal is I would just want them to be super simple, you know, like a cigar band with hammer texture in it. You know, other rings that just are more textured. I think that is just simple. It doesn’t need to be a lot of rings, but maybe just a few little staple rings. I mean, that’s kind of what this collection is. It’s like your staple pieces, plus some you know, really nice pieces for like special occasions and parties and nights out and things like that. So, yeah, I definitely need to make more rings. And I have some ideas for some new bracelets too. I’ve done a lot of sketches of new products that I’d like to make. It’s just a matter of finding the time to make them.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 28:41
Yeah, well I’m excited to see what the new products are.
Hilary Finck 28:45
Me too, I just need to make ’em.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 28:49
They’re in your brain. Yeah, definitely. Well, thanks for chatting today, Hilary. I liked learning a little more about this collection and hopefully we can get it to a place that it’s like very easy to communicate and market to your clients.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 29:04
What did you think about the interview? Are you excited to follow Hilary on this journey? I highly encourage you to check out Hilary’s website, hilaryfinck.com and follow her on Instagram at @hilaryfinckjewelry. Link in the show notes as well. Let me know in a podcast review or YouTube comment what you think about this new journey.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 29:26
Okay, let’s get into The Gold Mine. Welcome to another edition of THE GOLD MINE – a segment where I get personal and share insights on entrepreneurship, mindset, success, growth, and all things business. THE GOLD MINE allows me to share topics and insights close to my heart. Let’s get into this week’s GOLD MINE! We’re exploring how merchandising can both empower customers and allow them to forge a personal connection with your brand and products. I frequently collaborate with jewelry entrepreneurs aiming for an online shopping experience that’s more meaningful than the standard “add-to-cart” routine you find on sites like Amazon. They’re after an emotional connection, especially when showcasing unique or luxury jewelry items. The magic formula? Blend the right amount of guidance with the liberty for customers to explore on their own. It’s about sparking their interest, giving them the tools, and then stepping back. Trust them to navigate and select what resonates with them, all while being there when they need you. Starting with e-commerce, refining product pages is often the primary move. Instead of lengthy descriptions, we emphasize the story behind each piece, capturing its essence. Detailed photos then offer an up-close look, revealing the craftsmanship. But the product page is just the beginning. The homepage and collections should pull customers into a constantly evolving brand universe, keeping the digital storefront fresh and inviting without constantly churning out new products. But what about taking this tailored approach to marketing? We infuse our email campaigns with thematic content that goes beyond just holidays or color trends. Think themes like ‘Vintage Romance’ or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. This same spirit extends to social media, where we encourage feedback, ask questions, and celebrate customer narratives, weaving them into our brand’s digital fabric. It’s less about making a quick sale and more about fostering an emotional bond. When this merchandising equilibrium is hit just right, the results are palpable. Customers engage deeply, sharing stories, occasions, or their attachment to certain pieces. Your brand’s social platforms transition from simple display windows to buzzing community hubs. Even emails become more than sales pitches – they turn into open dialogues. In the expansive online marketplace, it’s sometimes less about shouting and more about sharing a story, trusting customers to come closer and truly engage. By empowering and trusting your customers, you offer them an experience few others can replicate. What did you think? Let me know in an Instagram DM, podcast review or YouTube comment.
Laryssa Wirstiuk 35:09
Did you have any questions about today’s episode? You can always email me Laryssa at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you loved this podcast, please share it with a friend who’d appreciate it. And don’t forget to subscribe as well as leave a review on Apple Podcasts. If you’re completely new to digital marketing, then you’ll want to purchase and read a copy of my book JEWELRY MARKETING JOY. Visit joyjoya.com/book for more information.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai