Rapaport Magazine

Millennial Marketing Success Stories

By Lara Ewen

Devotion’s Facebook Focus
Name: Devotion Diamonds
About: A luxury diamond bridal line based in Vermont, with one store at the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, New York.
Website: devotiondiamonds.com
Facebook: facebook.com/DevotionDiamonds; approximately 49.9K likes
Twitter: @DevotionDiamond; approximately 250 followers
Instagram: @devotiondiamonds; approximately 1.1K followers
Pinterest: pinterest.com/devotiondiamond; approximately 150 followers

   For Devotion Diamonds, a stylistically traditional yet forward-thinking bridal jewelry company, connecting with affluent Millennial customers is key to building its brand. Bucking the current trend toward newer, visually based social media such as Instagram, Devotion is focusing most of its attention on Facebook. “Millennials are a varied demographic,” says Jevan Fox, brand manager. “We’re approaching them, but it’s a Millennial subset. It’s bridal, and it’s luxury. So where we’re getting the best traffic now is on Facebook, and we’re continuing to pump our ad spend there.” Fox is also dipping slightly into Twitter. “Twitter is a customer service social channel,” says Fox. “In ten years, do we envision a deeper engagement there? Definitely. But for now, Twitter is a social service channel.” He says that the visual, image-driven reach of Pinterest and Instagram will also be important moving forward. “Almost half of online shoppers in the United States have purchased something as a direct result of a recommendation from Pinterest,” says Fox, who also notes that as Facebook’s organic reach declines in favor of paid advertising, “Instagram’s 100 percent organic reach makes it an effective platform to connect with fans.” Still, Facebook is where the Devotion strategy is working best, particularly when it comes to mobile engagement. “Facebook is a leader, and data shows it’s skewing older, but we see that it’s mobile,” says Fox. “We’re also in the process of testing new technology that tracks digital ad spend in-store, through things like Foursquare.” Fox, who is using Foursquare’s new Attribution technology, is looking for ways to measure his digital ad spend and optimize it. His in-house team of eight people work on both the Devotion brand and projects under parent company Perrywinkle’s retail umbrella, perrywinkles.com.
   Devotion, which officially launches to a wider wholesale audience at this year’s upcoming JCK show in Las Vegas, plans to use its digital marketing team as a key selling proposition for retailers. “We’re converting clicks to bricks,” Fox says. “Maybe a local Rolex dealer has great clientele, but he hasn’t figured out how to turn online consumers into in-store customers.” According to Fox, his social strategies are designed to bring customers into brick-and-mortar shops. “Millennials still want a brick-and-mortar location to pick up product, to have their jewelry cleaned,” he says. “With Devotion, we can run a jewelry store’s digital marketing campaign. We’re driving Millennials into the store.”

Todd Reed’s Instagram Savvy
Name: Todd Reed
About: Contemporary jewelry design firm based in Boulder, Colorado, with showrooms in Boulder and Venice, California.
Website: toddreed.com
Facebook: facebook.com/toddreedjewelry; approximately 20.1K likes
Twitter: @toddreedjewelry; approximately 3.2K followers
Instagram: @toddreedjewelry; approximately 59.3K followers
Pinterest: pinterest.com/toddreedjewelry; approximately 2.8K followers

   The Todd Reed Instagram engages with Millennial customers both online and off to create meaningful interactions, whether or not those interactions result in a sale. “Millennials want to connect with a brand on a more personal level,” says Elizabeth Kantner, the brand’s marketing communications specialist. “It’s about inviting Millennials into our world and not expecting them to buy. We want to be their friend. So if customers come into one of our stores on their phones, we ask them to take a picture and put it on Instagram. Or we ask what they’re listening to. We don’t say, ‘How can I help you?’ because sometimes they just want to look.”
   That kind of active engagement has helped grow the brand’s Millennial clientele significantly. “Our hottest platform right now is Instagram,” says Kantner. “We have over 50,000 followers; at this time in 2015, we only had about 8,000. I think that’s because we’re telling our story in a way that feels highly authentic, and not highly photoshopped.” The brand, which is also active on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, has found that the Instagram platform best speaks to its current engagement strategy. “Pinterest skews older,” says Kantner. “But in some ways, people trust Facebook even more than a website because they can see how many followers there are, and who likes it. It’s a validation of your brand.” Kantner tries to post several times a week to Facebook, and three times a day every weekday on Instagram. She says that Todd Reed gets a significant number of sales due to its Instagram posts, partly due to the kind of content the brand posts. “Millennials want a story and something they can connect with,” she says. “It’s about authenticity. I know that word is being used a lot, but it’s true.” Kantner advises brands using social media to “not be super sales-y” and to avoid churning out the same content across multiple platforms. She also cautions brands not to tell boring stories. “Don’t just use green for St. Patrick’s Day,” she says. “I know you have a better story than that, and Millennials can see through the boring and the fake. We were raised on the internet.” 

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - May 2016. To subscribe click here.

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Tags: Lara Ewen