Smyth Jewelers Teams Up with Baltimore Icons to Boost Brand Image
Welcome to part one of a three-part series on well-known brands located in the Baltimore area. I highlighted the McCormick Spice Company a while back, but these next three brands intrigue me, mainly because of a giant billboard that I believe most Baltimoreans have seen before:
In 2007, Baltimore-based Smyth Jewelers established itself as THE place to go when you’re shopping for an engagement ring when they teamed up with MGH, a marketing agency based in Owings Mills.
Tying in two other local icons – Mr. Natty Boh and Salie Utz (from Hanover, PA; just across the state line) – was brilliant marketing, as was proclaiming that Smyth Jewelers is WHERE BALTIMORE GETS ENGAGED.
Here’s a brief history lesson: Albert S. Smyth established Smyth Jewelers in 1914. A family owned business, the company lives by one simple principle: to deliver the highest levels of quality, value and personal service, and they back every product with their legendary Smyth Guarantee. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee on all products, claiming to be that confident you won’t find a better product for less.
In 2008, I bought my wife her engagement ring from Smyth Jewelers in Timonium (and the service was fantastic, by the way).
Why was I drawn to Smyth? To be honest, I don’t do a lot of jewelry shopping, and before this all of my big purchases were from national chains in the mall. I’ve only been in a few times since 2008, never buying anything more than $50. So what made me choose Smyth for my soon-to-be fiancé’s engagement ring, the most expensive piece of jewelry I’ve ever bought (was it marketing? Was it my wife? Perhaps a combination of the two)?
In 2000, the Smyth company was looking to ditch the “stuffy” image that most high-end jewelry stores have. The Smyth name was already well-respected – the stores were regarded as high-end local jewelers – but the company wanted to attract a different crowd.
MGH campaigned to attract a younger demographic by making Smyth a bit less intimidating and a bit more approachable.
By marketing to a younger crowd, Smyth could become the authority for young men looking to pop the question with style.
The campaign worked. Smyth started selling to a new demographic: 20-to-30-year-olds. Traditionally, this age group isn’t as wealthy as the older crowd, but this demographic is prime real estate for engagements and weddings. A 2013 study by The Knot found that the average age of marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. The campaign culminated in 2011 with Mr. Boh and Salie Utz’s wedding at Power Plant Live. Watch the video of the ceremony here.
In 2014, Smyth cut ties with MGH in favor of a new advertising agency: Baltimore-based TBC. The century-old jeweler was looking for something new, and TBC had a plan to utilize TV ads and Smyth’s longstanding relationship with the Baltimore Ravens. While 10-to-15 percent of Smyth’s advertising was already television-based, TBC introduced plans to increase that number to 70 percent in the coming years.
The new TV ads aired during the Ravens 2015 preseason opener, and bring together love, marriage and football in a humorous way. Although Smyth and the Ravens have been partners for years, this is the first time I’ve seen that partnership used as a marketing tool. Check out these ads and see for yourself…I think Smyth has a winner!
These ads are funny, memorable and really help build the Baltimore hometown image.
Marketing is a powerful tool. Could your brand use a hand? Let us know how we can help you grow your business and put your brand in the spotlight!
Stay tuned, as next week I’ll take a look at National Bohemian beer before we visit Utz of Hanover, PA!