Hearts on Fire is revolutionizing the way diamonds are bought and sold.
Husband-and-wife team Glenn and Susan Rothman, founders of the diamond company, believe the only way to build loyal Hearts on Fire customers is by creating a passionate retail team. And each year they invite jewelry owners, sellers and managers to Hearts on Fire University, an intense three-day program designed to teach retailers how to place personalized customer service above competitive price selling.
"Corporate culture, like human behavior, cannot be commoditized," said Glenn Rothman. "At Hearts on Fire University, you can feel the intensity and passion, which cannot be duplicated."
Last month, the company hosted 1,250 retailers from more than 20 countries at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas — the biggest turnout the company has had since the program began in 1997 with 50 participants.
"Many people even chose to close their stores and bring their entire team, which really shows you just how important the university is," Rothman said. "This group of people that we have brought together is more like an extended family than a distribution channel."
This energy and passion was carried throughout the sessions, as "university students" chanted "Hearts on Fire" and rang bells in the halls and conference rooms.
"When we cheer 'Hearts on Fire' together and ring the bells, we become connected as a family. Passion is the spice that enhances everything," Rothman said.
And each time a jeweler sells a Hearts on Fire piece in their store, they are expected to display the same enthusiasm to let their customer know they have made the right choice.
During the program, retailers received an up-close look on how the Hearts on Fire diamond is crafted and cut at 100 times magnification, 10 times the industry standard. They also attended instructional courses on the jewelry lines, being taught how to sell on the Internet and what women really want from their diamonds. The sessions were taught by Hearts on Fire employees, as well as other experts in the service and retail industries.
The jewelers were also introduced to the company's new advertising campaign, (Monogamy)100, which is being released today to the public."The Monogamy-to-the-hundreth-power campaign will resonate with passionate, quality-driven consumers who want to express their most intense relationship with a Hearts on Fire diamond," Caryl Capeci, vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "Our goal is to powerfully break through the mass of indistinguishable jewelry ads by implementing a campaign that firmly establishes the Hearts on Fire brand as a 'Category of One' in the premier luxury diamond business," she said.
The campaign will appear in print, television, radio and online. The company will also unveil a new corporate Web site.
"An experience like this is unique to our industry and possibly doesn't exist anywhere else," Rothman said. "Hearts on Fire University is the largest educational training program of its kind."
The retailers were then expected to bring the knowledge and skills they learned at the university back to the rest of their teams.
"We are aiming for a nuclear reaction that will help transform the culture of the company through all distribution channels," Rothman said.
Hearts on Fire is one of the fastest-growing retailers in the industry. The diamond company has achieved an 11-year compounded annual growth rate of 30 percent, exceeding $350 million in retail sales.
"We anticipate life stages, we stay connected to the customer and make a positive difference in their life," Rothman said. "We have deemed the competition irrelevant."
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