Sarah Carpin, Director of CMJ Media, the only media company in the UK dedicated to watches and jewellery, explains why the company has grown so rapidly and how it can help brands to break into the UK market.
Q: CMJ Media is the only media company dedicated to watches and jewellery – why is this?
|Sarah Carpin, Director, CMJ Media|
A: I set up CMJ Media just over 3 years ago because I could see there was a need for a marketing, publishing, media buying and PR company in the UK that has the depth of experience and knowledge for the jewellery market. I had been working within the jewellery industry for over a decade and I understand the UK jewellery market and how it differs from the rest of the world. I was also working as a specialist jewellery writer and editor and often found it frustrating in communicating with PR agencies who didn't fully understand the jewellery products they were representing. I ensure that the PR team working with me at CMJ Media all receive diamond and gemmological training so that they can talk with authority and knowledge on behalf of our client to the press. Our PR team is led by Katharine Field, who has many years experience working as a PR and event manager for jewellery brands such as Swarovski and Mappin & Webb and who has a real passion for jewellery.
Q:What have been CMJ Media’s main achievements so far?
A: Over the past 3 years, we have grown the company considerably, increased turnover and made a small profit each year from the very start. Not bad for a company that was set up in the depths of the recession! We have invested in our offices within the heart of London's Mayfair and in our PR team, which is now six staff in our London office. We also work very closely with our parent organisation, the Company of Master Jewellers and our sister company, Design Unique, to provide a range of services to jewellery and watch brands and retail jewellers. This includes website development and design, Point of Sales design, trade show stand design and contract publishing work for jewellery and watch brands and retail stores. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop for marketing and PR for anyone – big or small – within the jewellery industry. Q:What is CMJ Media’s strategic vision for promoting its brands?
A: CMJ Media specialises in assisting brands to either break into the UK market, or increase their market share within the UK. Our current PR client portfolio includes jewellery brands from Denmark, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, India and the Netherlands as well as promoting British brands. Our point of difference from other PR companies is the detailed market intelligence we can offer and our unrivalled contacts within the UK jewellery industry. We employ different strategies for different brands, but overall we use a host of tools, from media relations work, celebrity placement, social media marketing, trade show support, event management and retail focus groups.
Q:How does CMJ Media work with the jewellery industry?
A: CMJ Media is a business enterprise unit within The CMJ (Company of Master Jewellers) but our remit is for the entire UK jewellery industry so we are not limited to working only with CMJ suppliers. Some of our clients are members of the CMJ and others are not and we have good relations with other organisations within the industry, from the BJA and the NAG to multiples like Beaverbrooks and the Signet Group, through to working closely with high-end department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols on behalf of our clients. However our real strength is our association with the CMJ group and we help our brands reach out to CMJ retailers and build strong and effective business relationships with CMJ retailers. Q:Which trade fairs does CMJ Media attend to support its brands?
A: We exhibit at the UK shows IJL London, Jewellery & Watch Birmingham and at the CMJ's own trade shows, which are held twice a year. We also attend and work with our clients at many international trade shows such as Baselworld, Inhorgenta and Vicenza.
Q:What does the future hold for CMJ Media?
A: We are constantly growing and evolving as a business. One area I am keen to develop is to strengthen our team to provide greater expertise within brand consultancy and product development within the jewellery and watch world. Watch this space!