Bonitamedia’s Weblog

Creating a lasting impression for small business

Southwest Florida’s Diamond District

If you have ever spent any time in Lee or Collier Counties in SWFL, you have undoubtedly seen signs with the tag lines “Internet Prices” and “Diamonds at New York Wholesale Prices” with two gentleman standing along side, leaning on or even carrying a large diamond.  Todd Schusterman and Jason Sherman are virtually household names.  They have become two of the most recognizable faces in SWFL business today because they understand the value of branding and name recognition.  About a month ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Todd and Jason to learn a little more about their business and what got them started…

Although the Diamond District opened in Bonita Springs in 2003, it is obvious that diamonds are in the blood of Todd and Jason.  Back in 1919, Todd’s grandfather opened a diamond store in Zainesville, OH.  It was at this store that Todd got his start in the jewelery business, making decorative bows at a young age.  Jason also got his start in his family’s business in his teens.  The two met in 1989 in Heath, OH and have been great friends ever since.

Sunshine brought the two to Bonita Springs (as if we couldn’t have figured that one out;) ).  Todd had already been visiting the area and felt this would be a great place to open a diamond broker business.  The area was growing, the average age was falling, and there was little competition.  Todd and Jason opened their store in a small strip plaza hidden off an access road on Route 41 in Bonita Springs.  The location wasn’t the greatest, the signage wasn’t the best, but they figured out how to promote the little store in Bonita so well, that 5 years later they are building a beautiful new store in front of Coconut Point Mall (opening within the next 3 months).

Now I am certainly not an expert in jewelery or diamonds (being colorblind certainly doesn’t help), and having heard the terms diamond broker, wholesale, retail, discount jewelers, etc… I wanted to know what (if any) the difference was – and more importantly, are the terms just marketing ploys?  Much to my surprise, there is a difference between each of them.  A retail store will have a small selection of many types of jewelry, ranging from watches to chains, earrings, bracelets and so on – all adorned with different types of stones.  A broker is fixated on one particular item, and will have a huge selection of just that item.  In the case of the Diamond District, you may go in and find a selection of 20-30 diamonds in your cut and color, where most other stores may only carry 3-5.  All of the diamonds are loose and certified – waiting for you to pick the perfect setting.

Their Marketing Strategy

Todd and Jason have established themselves as a power-house in the diamond business in our area.  It certainly wasn’t an accident.  There are two major aspects to their strategy: Acquisition and Retention.

Acquisition of new clients is a major problem in today’s business environment.  Todd and Jason created an image when they first opened and stuck with it.  They made it a point to have their “brand” visible by as many people on a daily basis as possible.  Their out-of-home marketing campaign is aggressive, well thought out, and very effective.  How effective?  Their estimate is 60% of their clientelle mentions their outdoor campaign (mobile billboards and static billboards).  This out-of-home campaign is backed by radio and print advertising designed to remind customers who they are, what they do, and why shop with them.

Retention is another issue facing many businesses today.  As I am out and about, I am amazed at the fact that many businesses don’t know what the value of their clients is.  Once you get that new client to trust you, getting them to continue to shop with you and to refer their friends and family should be your number one focus.  At the Diamond District, this skill has been mastered!  Not only is their staff knowledgeable, they genuinely care about your needs and concerns.  The experience is exceptional, and their followup is very tasteful.  I first became a client of theirs about 3 years ago and each experience has been great.

If you are a business owner, you can learn alot from how they market their product.  If you are a consumer, you owe it to yourself to visit the Diamond District – it truly is “Worth the Drive to the District!”

Advertisements

October 31, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. […] here to read the rest: Southwest Florida’s Diamond District « Bonitamedia’s Weblog Share and […]

    Pingback by Southwest Florida’s Diamond District « Bonitamedia’s Weblog | Update Small Business | December 10, 2008

  2. WARNING!!! I would love to share my nightmare with you, however, based on the legal advice of my attorney I can only tell you to be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS. Do not buy anything here unless you have done your research and are very comfortable. If you are not sure, obtain a copy of the diamond certificate, this is very important (do not rely on what they tell you about the diamond), then go home, do your research and make an informed/educated decision. Buyer Beware, this is only the beginning, my story gets much worse.

    If you too have had a bad experience of any kind, I would love to know, joining forces is stronger than fighting the battle alone, don’t worry about cost, I have that covered. Email me at brenda-grimes@hotmail.com.

    Since all court filings are public I will be sure to post the filed complaint in its entirety so you can the details of my nightmare.

    Comment by brenda griems | October 4, 2012


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: