Chair of Judging Panel, Rachael Taylor, offers helpful advice for businesses entering the HALO Award 2023
Applications for the HALO (Hallmarking Awareness and Learning Online Awards) 2023 close on 8th September, allowing another five weeks to submit entries. The Award encourages jewellers selling online to celebrate and promote the hallmark. Chair of the HALO Award Judging Panel, Rachael Taylor shares her thoughts on the Award and what could make a successful application.
Launching the 2023 Award at the NAJ AGM in June Rachael said “We all know that hallmarking is a vital method of consumer protection but does your customer know that? Do they know what to look for, and why? I urge you to take a good, hard look at your marketing and communication around hallmarking. Consider how you can get the key messages and information across.”
Celebrating hallmarking adds a little magic to the article. As well as regulating precious metal fineness, hallmarks can be a portal to a world of craft and excellence. Consumers today are fascinated by how things are made: where they are made and what the processes behind the finished products are. Hallmarking is a hugely romantic part of the jewellery sales process, and it should be a celebrated element of the customer journey.
A hallmark connects the customer to hundreds of years of history and tradition and reinforces that what they are buying is special. The Hallmark has potential to bring value to the business, and is well worthy of attention and prominence.
There were some fantastic entries to the HALO Awards in 2022 that displayed innovative approaches to communicating and celebrating hallmarking. These ranged from informative videos to TikTok posts and customer competitions. What judges are looking for in the winner is a strategy that offers clear and transparent messaging that puts hallmarking upfront in the sales process. It should also invest in creating engaging content designed to educate online consumers about hallmarking.
The evidence of positive digital marketing and communication surrounding hallmarking online could include:
- Links to hallmarking information from product listings
- Mentioning the hallmark in product listings and descriptions
- Integrating hallmarking information within the customer’s journey through your website
- Clear explanations, such as understanding precious metal terminology such as carats and fineness
All entrants would be expected to display the digital version of the Dealer’s Notice and link to the accompanying film on YouTube.
These are all best-practice basics; what the judges would love to see in addition is some flair surrounding the communication of hallmarking. A successful application should detail how the business has been celebrating hallmarks and educating consumers, and include any specific positive outcomes from those efforts.
Consideration will be made for the size of businesses entering, so smaller business should not be deterred – the judges will take into account how much resource might be available. The HALO Award s is open to all retailers selling hallmarked jewellery online, direct to consumers.
Entering an application for yet another award may seem daunting but the application process is simple and this is a project which could well be delegated to a specific member or sub group within your team.
It really came across in the judging last year that businesses had tasked members of their team with preparing to apply for the Award. Set in a project in this way, the HALO application proved to be a really uplifting, energising exercise that allowed the team autonomy to flex their creative thinking. They had to consider how could they promote hallmarking? What new ways were there to speak to consumers that they weren’t already using? Are the Ts & Cs up to date on the website? Could they make a fun social media campaign around it? The result was some imaginative material across all digital media that has undoubtedly raised consumer awareness generally, supporting all those involved in the UK Fine Jewellery industry.
The overall objective is to make hallmarking not just an important legal tick box, but a fun, informative part of the online sales process that adds value to craftsmanship and design and reassurance to the consumer.
More information on how to enter can be found by visiting naj.co.uk/halo. Entries close on September 8th 2023. The Award will be presented at the NAJ Benevolent Society Ball at the Grand Hotel Birmingham on 7th December 2023.Listen to a podcast on HALO here