How We Helped an Iconic Jewellery Retailer Shine in the Local Market

Founded in 1937, Independent Jewellers Limited is a third-generation, family-owned jewellery store located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. With a watchmaker, goldsmith, gemologist and insurance specialist on staff, they’re the region’s only full-service retailer of high-end jewellery, luxury watches and custom accessories. In 2016, leading up to their 80th anniversary, the company came to Metric to help refresh their brand.

We started by commissioning third-party research to help give us insights into the high-end luxury market. Customers in this category are typically higher earners with an affinity for brand-name products. For the local market, however, jewellery and watches are less about status and more about reflecting hard work and personal style. Our challenge was to align the company’s new visual identity and positioning with the iconic, international brands IJL carries. The story the IJL brand wanted to communicate is they are a retailer that helps people celebrate their success, independence and legacy.

To convey a more sophisticated and modern tone, the name Independent Jewellers Limited and logo were shortened to IJL and their tagline, “A Tradition of Trust Since 1937,” was shortened to “Since 1937.” A subtle supporting colour palette of blue, red and purple, mixed with striking black and white photography, provided a rich, high-end feel.

The brand rollout focused on two audiences: existing customers and new markets. Existing customers were targeted with three product campaigns driven by IJL’s seasonal selling calendar. The online-only collateral featured non-traditional models wearing high-end watches, jewellery and engagement rings. The inclusive approach was designed to showcase people as they are and play against conventional ads in the category. The headline “Wear Your Independence” helped to highlight people owning their personal style while also giving a nod to the brand’s outgoing name.

New markets were targeted through a brand ambassador campaign featuring Mark Scheifele. With the Winnipeg Jets centreman signing a multiyear contract and building his legacy in the city, there was a perfect tie-in with IJL’s established local brand. Communicated through outdoor, point-of-sale print and display, the ads help to expose the brand and IJL’s collection of luxury watches to a larger audience.

Finally, a digital media strategy with social guidelines and design templates was developed for IJL's in-house team, which armed them with the tools they needed to communicate the company’s benefits to their online audiences.

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