As I was researching the topic of digital detox for my blog this week, I was reminded of my friend Bill Newnam, co-owner and editor-in-chief of Southern Jewelry News and Mid-America Jewelry News. I used to make fun of Bill, because he was clinging on to his flip-phone long after many of us had embraced the “smart phone” technology and moved to the next level.
Turns out, Bill had the right idea, and it’s only fair that he should get the last laugh. Over the last several years, there has been a growing awareness of the negative effects of too much screen time and the effects of the connected lifestyle being tied to the skyrocketing rates of anxiety, depression and social isolation. Guess what, Bill? You were right!
Gradually over the last several years, consumers have started to become very keen to disconnect, and businesses that can help with that process could reap big rewards as the idea of a digital detox continues to build momentum.
So just what is a digital detox? A digital detox involves a period of time that a person voluntarily stops using their digital devices, including smartphones, computers, tablets, iPads or social media platforms.
The motivations behind a digital detox vary, and range from a negative emotional response to technology, a desire to take back control over time that otherwise might be seen as wasted, a desire to increase productivity, an interest in spending more time with family and friends, or a concern about the potential of developing addictive behavior.
Digital Detoxing is becoming a serious consumer trend, and big companies are starting to take notice. In fact, a whole industry is beginning to thrive around the concept of digital detoxing. The rise of “Light Phones,” (created by Light Phone, Inc., and designed intentionally to be used as little as possible) in the smartphone space is catching on, and capturing consumers who love the idea of a minimalistic phone. Calmer than a smartphone and smarter than a dumb phone, the idea with a light phone is not to cut you off completely from the technology you have grown to know and love, but rather to provide the modern conveniences you really need, and package them in a uniquely minimalistic way.
So how can your business survive and thrive in the digital detox era? Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. Digital devices aren’t going away any time soon. You just need to rethink your marketing strategy to focus a little less on device or app-driven consumer connections, and a little more on opportunities that can help you connect in real life, and leverage this trend into your marketing.
Lucky for us, we work in an industry that is ripe with opportunities to engage consumers through events and experiences that can take place right in your own store, that fit perfectly into the idea of a digital detox. Why not try a few events that allow you to co-partner with other local businesses to create a series of fun and relaxing opportunities that customers from both of your locations can enjoy? Here are three interesting ideas to get you started:
#1) Partner up with your leading local spa for a fun “Sparkling Skin” event, and offer information on skin-care that is gemstone or gold/silver based. I have researched a bunch of gemstone, gold/silver and mineral-based skin care products, and am happy to share those resources with you. You can create a fun and educational event, and stock some products that can lead to add-on sales for holidays, special occasions, birthdays and more!
#2) Partner up with a local chef or bartender (or both!) and create a “Life’s Little Luxuries” event that features food or drinks created, embellished or infused with 24 Karat Gold Flake. It’s a great way to get customers together before the holiday rush, and enjoy and evening of fun, food and laughs!
#3) Don’t forget about those all-important Gen Z’ers! Kiss those pesky Millennials goodbye (thank goodness!) and start concentrating on Generation Z. Gen Z is the newest generation to be named and were born between 1995 and 2015. They are currently between 4-24 years old (nearly 74 million in U.S.). How about creating a “Bee-Jeweled” spelling contest for the local middle schools in your area, and invite top spellers to participate in a spelling bee that consists of jewelry-related words and terminology? This type of event gives you the perfect opportunity to connect with educators and administrators in your district, as well as parents who would love to see their children’s skills really shine. It’s also a great way to get some excellent (and FREE) public relations coverage, and create goodwill for both your business and your community.
If you approach the growing digital detox trend as an opportunity to connect on a deeper level with your customer, rather than an obstacle to getting your brand and products noticed, you’ll find savvy ways to create a deeper bond with your target market, and ensure your brand continues to shine.
Want to know more about Digital Detoxing, have questions about this article or want to suggest a topic for me to cover in future blogs? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at Ann@JewelersSuite.com today!