Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

A Brand is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Posted on | March 17, 2009 | No Comments

I’ve recently been seeing a lot of ads from the area’s largest luxury jeweler, Smyth. But it’s not what you might think. These aren’t ads for Rolex or Tag Heuer watches. It’s not about Hearts On Fire or Martin Flyer. These are ads for buying scrap gold. Yes, just like you see from the scores of companies with names like cash4gold, dollars4gold, or green4gold (the creativity here is mind-blowing). In fact, they’ve even rented out several temporary locations to do gold buying events.  I see it on cable and hear it on the radio (actually, my dad heard it on the radio, I listen to Sirius and Pandora).

Don’t get me wrong. We’ve been buying gold for 87 years. It’s a good business. But for us, it’s a natural fit. For Smyth, however, it begs the question – is this consistent with their long term marketing goals? Do you build a reputation of being the area’s top luxury name in jewelry for almost 100 years and then risk it all to make a quick buck? Is it worth looking like just another scrap gold buyer in an already saturated market?

The point of my post is not to bash a competitor. Truth be told, they are not really a competitor. They’re pure luxury. I’m the downtown diamond guy.   They’ve been around as long as we have.  And they are one of the biggest jewelry retailers in the country, carrying lines like Rolex and Scott Kay.  I simply question the “wisdom” in putting a century of their hard-earned reputation on the line just to cover a few expenses.