As one of International Jewellery London’s valued premium exhibitors, Unique & Co. – formerly known as Unique Jewelry – has focused on bringing quality, choice and service to the UK and international jewellery trade since its conception in 1999.
We spoke to founder and director Daniel Ozel to find out how a rebrand in 2015 has changed the face of the company, and what surprises the business has in store in the coming months…
Q: Why did you decide to rebrand to Unique & Co and what did this process entail?
DO: The main reason for the rebranding was that we felt we did not have a constant and clear brand identity and that we needed to raise our whole brand profile with better images and a clear message. We started as Unique Jewelry in 1999 and developed the brand step-by-step over the years. However, the branding was not clear and got mixed up over the years.
Further the name Unique Jewelry was a little bit problematic because of the American spelling, which caused some confusion here in the UK market. We also started distributing watches and may add other product categories in the futures, so we now feel Unique & Co. is better to represent this diversity.
In general, we want to raise the whole brand profile and increase recognition by the end consumer. We are quite well-known within the trade and our products are in a lot of high quality shops all over the UK next to other big jewellery and watch brands. Our product is really well designed and good quality and great value for money, which is the reason it sells very well in the shops. However our branding and POS was not representing this accordingly.
Q: How did you find the process of rebranding?
DO: We worked alongside experienced branding agency, Warren Creative, and we had the feeling they understood what we want to achieve. The process takes time and sometimes it’s difficult to make decisions. There is a lot of brainstorming in the beginning and design sessions for logos and visual identity.
Attention to detail and clear brand identity, which needs to be used constantly everywhere in all communications, is very important. However, I think we had a good idea and vision of what we wanted to achieve for our brand from the beginning and we knew what we wanted as the end result. The branding agency helped us to hone this by asking the right questions, guiding us and then executing the ideas.
Q: How have customers responded to the new look?
DO: Customer feedback has been really very positive. From the new brand name and logo to the new model and product images, as well display and POS material.
Everything looks more professional and has already helped our retailers to increase sales.
Q: What did you hope to achieve from the makeover and do you think you have succeeded in those goals?
DO: We haven’t finished the whole rebranding, but to be honest branding is a process which never stops and has to continually evolve over time. In general, we think the rebranding was a big success and we will continue the process; the idea is to make Unique & Co. an international, well-known jewellery brand recognised by end consumers as well as the trade.
We have already stared to distribute our brand in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and more countries will follow soon.
Q: Can you give us any indication of what you will be showcasing at IJL 2016 in terms of new collections?
DO: We will add exciting new designs to our existing collection. In particular our latest sterling silver ladies collection has been a big success in the first quarter of this year with a 64% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.
The new sterling silver collection of pendant and earring sets now also include bigger statement pieces. These natural, organic designs are still at very affordable prices retailing under £100. The range comes in a variety of silver and rose-gold plating options, with zirconia stones and matt and polished finish combinations.
Besides this we will have also great new designs for our men’s collection, where we are probably one of the market leaders in the UK. And last but not least the very fashionable and popular ladies leather bracelets with charms.
Q: How has 2016 been for you and have you noticed any changes or challenges in the industry that you think need addressing?
DO: The market is getting more difficult for everyone in the industry from retailer to distributor and brands, because the internet is changing the market. Branding, marketing and social media is getting more important. It’s essential to be proactive and to offer end consumers a good service and communicate with them.
Q: What have your experiences of IJL been like in recent years and what do you like about the show?
DO: We have been exhibiting at IJL since 1999 and think IJL is a good platform for the whole industry to come together and communicate. For retailers, it’s essential to meet with current suppliers and see what is new, but also to look out for new trends or new suppliers.
Even if they choose not buy at the show, it is important to get a feeling for the market – something which can’t be researched easily over the internet.
For exhibitors like us it’s also a perfect platform to showcase the latest collections and communicate marketing and branding concepts. We can represent our brand and products perfectly and inspire retailers, but also get essential feedback from customers. And in the end it’s also a good selling platform with a perfect timing for Christmas orders and high quality buyers.
Q: What are your aims for 2016 and are there any particular types of retailers or new partners you are looking to reach?
DO: We want to push our Unique & Co. brand to the next level and we are working on new leaflets, packaging, display material as well as new communication strategies in online marketing and social media. Also a new website is being developed to help communicate this.
The most important thing is for us to help our existing customer increase their sales. We are always very loyal to our existing customer base and have build this over 17 years. But we are also looking for new good quality retailers, and we are very confident that we will achieve both with our new branding and marketing strategy for Unique & CO. alongside great new products for IJL.
Visit Unique & Co. at IJL 2016 from 4th-6th September on Stand F60