Focus on customer service, hold back on the cheese: How to avoid the pitfalls of writing for a luxury jewelry company

Photo Illustration by Max Sheridan

Photo Illustration by Max Sheridan

We don't toot our own horns unless they've got 24 carats and look good on a bed of black velvet. But we also like a good story. This week we bring you a bit of both.

A few months ago we were commissioned to write a website for Stephanides Luxury Goods, a local company that’s been on the high-end jewelry scene since Marcello Mastroianni starred in 8 1/2. The project seemed pretty straightforward—as straightforward as your expectations of luxury are really.

Elegance, sexiness, power. Wealth, style, success.

All the website had to do was conjure up in language the feelings attached to those words and our job was done.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t exactly the case.

Writing a website for a luxury jewelry company is actually trickier than it might seem. In the world of luxury jewelry web writing (OMG, we’ve invented a new subgenre of web writing, which obviously doesn’t exist for reasons that will become clear below), there's a hot, smoking, diamond-studded hell tempting copywriters to produce a kind of cheesy, luxurious copy that mirrors the perceived essence of the luxury companies they’re writing about.

Don’t take our word for it. Just visit the Rolex or Boucheron websites to see this style of writing in action. Or, if you want to really wade through enough cheese to fill four* of Gérard Depardieu’s fondue pots, venture onto the sites of Casato or Sutra.

As you’ll see, the snares of tired, cliché-ridden luxury jewelry web copy are real. That copy exists and it’s actually the norm in the industry. Our job on this website was to avoid it.

On the other hand, we couldn’t avoid the fact that there are thousands of potential clients who are drawn to precisely those ideas of luxury.

So now we had a real dilemma. How could we create a luxury experience for users that didn’t descend into the depths of Gérard Depardieu’s overflowing fondue pots?

Here’s the solution we found.

Write copy that validates the luxury experience but from a service perspective. Focus on the customer experience and the comfort superb after-sales maintenance brings. Focus on tradition and trust and the pleasure that comes from putting yourself in the hands of a company that collects the best luxury jewelry from around the world and brings it to you under one roof.

The rest—the diamonds, the carats and the glitz—we left to the jewelry itself and the companies who produce it.

Did we do a good job? See for yourself here.

*In reality, Mr. Depardieu probably owns way more than four fondue pots.

When Max Sheridan isn't writing about luxury jewelry at Storyline Creatives, he's writing stories and designing comeback campaigns for Nicolas Cage (what, you don't think he needs a comeback campaign?). His novel Dillo was published by Shotgun Honey in 2017. Talk to Max at your own risk here.