I bought a stack of necklaces at Target for $14.99 a couple of months ago. I wanted to try out the “layered” necklace look to see if I would like it. Long story short, I’m not the best jewelry wearer, which means I kept the necklace on for a week straight. After a week of living my life wearing these necklaces, the metal started tarnishing and tinted my skin a light bluish-green.

I wasn’t surprised. The necklace was cheap and likely designed to last about two years… depending on how well you care for it. 

But then something interesting happened. I was gifted another necklace from a brand known to be higher-end and, naturally, more expensive. The necklace came in a velvet pouch and was attached to a clean-cut piece of corrugated cardboard. Inside the pouch, I also found a little accordion fold piece of paper explaining the craftsmanship of the necklace. The paper included a disclaimer along the lines of, “Our metals are delicate and don’t mix well with water or chemicals found in lotions and cosmetics.”

Truth be told – this necklace is not that different from the quality of Target’s $15 necklace, but it costs 4x as much. Why?

A Lesson in Brand Positioning

In comparing the two necklaces, the second brand stood out because of the language used in describing their product, the packaging, and the extra care put into the product reveal. Sure, they could have sold a necklace with a pure gold or silver chain and marketed that, but that might have also increased their costs. Instead, they put intention into other aspects of their product. They elevated their product through branding, packaging, and design. This brought their product to the same level as other luxury brands.

A Lesson in Experience

Target’s necklace did not come in a velvet pouch. It was a bunch of necklaces spread across a piece of branded cardboard, with the chains taped to the back. I’m not even sure there were warnings about the metal tarnishing. If it did, it was in fine print that I didn’t read. But the other necklace led me through an entire experience of opening a velvet pouch to reveal the necklace inside. It had me open a brochure that shared a story about the necklace and led me through its care instructions. By guiding customers through a carefully curated experience, the brand elevated the perceived value of its product, making it not just a purchase but a cherished possession.

A Lesson in Understanding Your Audience

I have actually never heard of this brand of necklace before. My initial thought about this gift was that it looked high-end and something I would never buy for myself. So, I decided to look into it a little more. After some research, I discovered their commitment to affordability, customer experience, and supporting good causes. Even though their necklace cost more than Target, they positioned it in a way that made it comparable to $500+ jewelry. The brand knew how to connect with their audience and did it really well. They weren’t just selling jewelry. They were selling a story and values to which their target market could relate, making the necklace more than just an accessory and into a symbol of things their audience cared about.

We’ve all heard about the importance of branding and customer experience, but it can be difficult to grasp. When a brand understands this and implements it well, it truly stands out. Do you stand out through your brand positioning, customer experience, and how you understand your audience? Unsure how to answer that question or want to explore ways your brand can grow? Book a call with us today!