b'The third pillar is brand muse. understanding of what the brand is about and what its trying to do. Thats really understanding the audience youre talking to, saysAs the market gets more and more cluttered, this is whats going to Mortimer. A lot of the time, brands try to be everything to everyoneset [a brand] apart. and that just never works; you send mixed messages. But you canMortimer points out that, luckily, the jewelry industry is already and should hone a very singular narrative talking to your direct audi- well-versed in the power of storytelling. ence. Its good to have a strong understand- A fine jewelry brand thats doing a great job ing of whom youre really talking to. of communicating its story is New York City-After defining the customer, a companyTheres room tobased Foundrae, known for its emphasis on should further define itself, by its brandreally romanticizesymbols that represent concepts like transfor-personalitythe fourth pillar.your product [onmation and strength. Mortimer says the easiest way to do thisInstagram] and shareDesigner Beth Bugdaycay and her team is to treat the company as if it were a person,share and discuss what her jewelry stands for describing what music she listens to, what carnew discoveries andwith their audience through digital and physi-she drives or how she would introduce herselfI dont think therescal touchpoints.to a stranger. a lot of people whoEvery piece of [Beths] has a meaning be-A celebrity can be a good stand-in for thisapproach it like that.hind it so the customer can start to build her exercise. A brand synonymous with NatalieThe ones who doown narrative, Mortimer says. Beths woven Portman, for example, clearly has a differentare really smart andthe story directly into the object itself. Shes personality than a company more in the vein ofsuccessful. inviting you, the consumer, into the story by Miley Cyrus. Jenna Wise, allowing you to become part of the story.The fifth and last pillar is brand tone, orWhatever story a brand is telling, wheth-how the brand communicates itself visuallyThe Stone Set Studio er its a story of inclusion like Glossier or and verbally, Mortimer says.self-discovery like Foundrae, Mortimer He suggests naming adjectives that describestresses the narrative must be authentic, the brand, like honest, personable, confident,not simply what a company thinks its con-humorous, courageous, quiet or humble.sumers want to hear.These words give you an idea of how you need to start communi- Its like matchmaking. Heres a brand, these are its values, and cating the brand, says Mortimer. If its bold and confident thats athis is its story. Does that align with me as a consumer? If it does then very different visual aesthetic and story than if the brand was sort ofgreat, Ill become a lifelong fan. If it doesnt, Ill go to a brand with a humble and personable. different narrative.Defining a brand is the seed from which an overall marketing strategy will grow. DO IT FOR THE GRAMWhen the marketing person is writing an e-mail or doing a socialWhile theres no wrong platform to utilize as a branding touch-post or putting an ad out, using this platform guides how [she or he]point, the best visual social media tool available for jewelry right now talks about the brand externally, Mortimer explains. Its basicallyis Instagram.putting parameters around those communication pieces. Instagram is the first place where someone gets a real flavor of And while the brand platform, or brand book, can be tweakedwhat the brand is, Mortimer says. Anytime I hear about a brand, I over time, a companys core values and beliefs should essentiallygo on Instagram and quickly scroll through its feed. If I like it then I remain the same.might go to the website. Wise says companies can distill the look and feel of the brand on STORY, STORY, STORY Instagram. Now that you, Company X, have completed the above exercises toAnd no detail is too unimportant. define and clarify who you areyou have a story to tell. She recommends starting by picking an eye-catching avatar, or A company that does a great job of relaying its story is beautyprofile picture. The profiles bio should be the brand ethos, that one brand Glossier, Mortimer says.line that shows what sets the brand apart. The bio is one of the first Glossiers website, through text and imagery, emphasizes its focuschances to show what a company is, so brands should avoid clichs on selling beauty products for real people. Its a disruption to theand focus on what makes them unique.traditional beauty industry model, in which executives use ads to tellFine Jewelry Made in New York City is not anything different, consumers what beauty is and how they can achieve that look. Wise notes. A customer should immediately get, How is this differ-Instead, Glossier communicates that its creating beauty productsent? and, What can I expect?inspired by and for the consumer. The Instagram feed itself doesnt need to follow an exact formu-Its very people-centric, Mortimer explains. It fosters a sense ofla beyond presenting a cohesive narrative, which can be achieved community. Its gender-neutral so its inviting everyone in. through an overall style of imagery, a color scheme, or even the way Having this kind of clear, resolute narrative helps cultivate a recog- captions are worded. nizable presence amid a sea of competition. People think there is one way to have a perfect feed and I dont When brands develop a story, it gives their audiences a very clearthink thats true anymore, she says. One of the biggest things I NATIONAL JEWELER 55'