Recently I was killing time in one of the country’s largest department stores as my wife did some shopping. As a passionate, yet at times geeky marketer, I enjoy going to the mall to look at how merchandise is marketed and how consumers interact with that merchandise as they consider their purchase.
I’m often baffled by how some stores seem to be quite comfortable with messy racks and shelves. You know the ones where all the sweaters are thrown all over the place, sizes mixed together, shirts are on the floor, and forget about the socks section.
As I wandered through this major, national, department store I stumbled into the jewelry section. In fact, I quite literally stumbled as I noticed the sign for a pair of diamond earrings for $3,200. It wasn’t the price that caught me off guard. It was the horrible presentation. The jewelry case looked like a disaster. I actually snapped the photo above as my brain tried to reconcile the price of $3,200 with a case that looked like it had been through the war and back.
How could a retailer that is one of the most iconic in the country allow one of their stores to present merchandise like this? Could their executive team even be aware that they are trying to sell jewelry for thousands of dollars in this manner? I could never imagine a mall jewelers case to looking like this. You’d never see a presentation like this in Nordstrom or Bloomingdales. So my question is simple…
If this is the only way you’re able to present merchandise should you do it? Is it worth jeopardizing your brand’s image? Is it worth the risk of destroying its value? Further is this the image you expect of your brand? Crusty, cracked, faded, and dirty? Would any of this company’s executives spend that kind of money anywhere else where the merchandise was presented this way? I’d bet not.
This got me thinking. I wondered just how expensive jewelry displays actually cost. Maybe, just maybe they were really expensive. So I went to http://www.nilecorp.com which sells jewelry displays. I inventoried the displays in the case and priced out replacements. NEWSFLASH: To replace the faux suede displays in this picture would cost a WHOPPING $50.00! Seriously? Kind of makes you wonder just how far out this capital expenditure has to be budgeted for. Sense the sarcasm?
The morale of this story (blog) is that a multi-million dollar brand can be tarnished for under $50.00. And whether your company is a local small business, a national retailer, or a luxury automobile manufacturer your brand is open for business 24/7. So if you’re not paying attention to these kinds of details guess who is? Your lost customers.
And remember this…while diamonds may last forever, their display cases don’t. Pay attention to the details.