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Newsletter #990: The “Lessons from an Ancient Industry” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Did you know that the oldest piece of jewelry discovered dates back to 100,000 years ago? That’s a long time for people to be wearing, buying, and selling jewelry. With such an old profession, modern jewelers have to get creative to keep earning word of mouth and new customers.

Here are three lessons you can learn from creative jewelry companies:

1. Be there from the beginning
2. Make tech relevant to your customers
3. Do the opposite of everyone else
4. Check it out: Ideas to steal

1. Be there from the beginning

Shopping for an engagement ring can get tricky. How are you supposed to know what ring size to get without asking and spoiling the surprise? That’s why Marrying, an engagement and wedding ring specialist, turned their business cards into ring-sizers you can roll up and discreetly check against your significant other’s current jewelry. That’s a great first impression of their customer service before you even step through the door.

The lesson: Are you thinking about ways to meet your customers’ needs before they come to you?

Learn more: Adweek

2. Make tech relevant to your customers

3D printing is exciting. There are so many possibilities for engineers, designers, and manufacturers to test and iterate ideas. Everyone’s talking about it. But to the average person, this new tech is just a cool notion that’s not entirely accessible. At American Pearl, a jewelry company in New York, they use 3D printing to replicate any lost family heirloom jewelry from a photo and a description from the owner. On their Jewelry Replicator page, people are pouring in with old photos of loved ones wearing long-lost jewelry.

The lesson: You can benefit from the buzz around new, exciting stuff (even if it’s techie) by making it something your customers can enjoy too.

Learn more: PureWow

3. Do the opposite of everyone else

Most wearable tech is putting stuff that used to be on your computer or your phone onto your wrist or literally in your face. Ringly is doing the opposite. Their goal is to make (actually fashionable) jewelry that notifies you with a vibration for the notifications you choose, like a phone call or a text. That way, you can keep your phone out of sight and “be in the moment” instead of constantly checking a screen.

The lesson: Instead of trying to compete with more,flashier, and techier, go the opposite route with simple, minimal, and quieter.

Learn more: Fast Company

4. Check it out: Ideas to steal

Do you have a great idea that never saw the light of day or never got enough funding to get off the ground? Post it to Ideastosteal.today and someone might pick it up. You can also steal someone else’s idea. (Hint: Donald Duct Tape seems like a good one.)

Check it out: Ideastosteal.today

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