I’m taking a break from my normal dive into PPC and New Orleans festivals to explore something that was recently brought to my attention, the interesting marketing world of silicone rings. It’s a fascinating micro-system where marketing strategies are as varied as the rings themselves. By examining it we get a peek at how differing marketing techniques stack-up against each other and hopefully we can use that information to make better-informed decisions with our own marketing.
If you aren’t familiar with silicone rings I recommend paying more attention to what is wrapped around the fingers of those around you because they are everywhere. Silicone rings offer married couples, and others who wear rings, the chance to wear something lighter, more resistant to damage and significantly less expensive than the average wedding band.
There are three major brands leading the way in the silicone ring market. Yes, there are more than three companies out there, but I think most will agree that the three I selected are the ones the average person might name off the top of their head. So, for the purpose of this article, I will be talking about Qalo, Groove Life, and Enso.
I’m starting with the brand that introduced me to the silicone ring world, Qalo. In my social circles, this is the first brand that I started hearing about. If you think you remember reading about them before you’re not wrong. Check out “Marketing Lessons from My Qalo Experience” for a refresher.
I first noticed their ads on my Facebook feed in 2015. This was around the time I would have been shopping for a wedding band. The ads spoke clearly to me, they were simple and they knew what I needed, a wedding band that could handle getting roughed up. Had I known that five years later I’d want to write about these ads I might have taken a screenshot or two, but I didn’t.
The current Qalo ads remind me of the ads from five years ago. They’re elegant and highlight a new design and/or color. In terms of how these ads stack up against the other three, Qalo doesn’t seem to be explaining what a siliconee ring is nor are they introducing you to their brand. Their ads are clearly designed to reach those who know the silicone ring world, know the Qalo brand, and most likely already own a silicone ring (maybe even a Qalo). The Qalo value proposition seems clear to me, silicone rings from a brand you know and trust.
The Qalo website has the same purpose as their social media ads. Its elegant design serves to highlight new ring colors and sale prices. As I scrolled up and down the homepage I noticed that there isn’t any noticeable attempt to explain the “why”. This is a common approach with more established brands; they know you understand what they sell and they are relying on that knowledge.
A few years after becoming aware of Qalo, I started to hear about Groove Life. My first experience with these rings came just before my buddy got married. He had ordered a few of their rings and I noticed the packaging on the counter. The packaging stood out. The colorful pamphlets and individual aluminum (maybe another metal) cases caught my eye. Before I knew it, my friend was deep into an explanation about why he liked Groove Life. So, I thought I’d do a bit of research on my own.
The first thing I noticed on their website is that they have a different approach to their marketing. Yes, they have interesting colors and options, but they want you to know that they are designed differently. Their value to the buyer is beyond just being a silicone ring, rather they are a ring with a purpose. For example:
The image above is a clear attempt to differentiate its brand from its competitors. Groove Life wants you to know that the “grooves” allow their rings to breathe.
This same approach can be seen in the Groove Life social media ads. Just the other day I was served a video ad on Facebook for the breathable ring company. The short intense ad was entirely about the grooves in the rings and how they promote airflow. This stands in stark contrast to the Qalo Facebook ads.
From what I can tell, Groove Life also takes a unique approach to have their ads come from their partners. In the example to the left you can see the Groove Life CrossFit ring sponsored by their partner CrossFit Mayhem.
Full disclosure, I only have the ability to compare these companies by using the ads that are served to me. So, if Qalo or Enso are taking a similar approach I have not been served one of those ads.
I have to admit that I wasn’t nearly as familiar with Enso as I was with the other two. However, I knew enough about them to include them in my top 3, so I decided to do a deeper dive and see what I could learn.
After heading to the Enso website the first thing that I noticed is that they are taking a similar approach to Qalo but with an emphasis on sale prices. Their website is clean and light. Silicone rings as accessories is the name of the Enso game. They are clearly aiming to reach potential buyers who are looking for several rings that can match an outfit or a mood.
Additionally, there appears to be a charitable aspect to their operation that they call Rings for a Reason. While not an entirely marketing-based feature, this will clearly appeal to those socially-conscious shoppers.
Much of the same can be said for the Enso Facebook and Instagram ads. The two examples featured below are clean and highlight the color options that Enso offers. These ads are another way that Enso is closer to Qalo with its marketing approach than it is to Groove Life.
Alright, so now we know who the players are and what their online presence looks like but what can we take away from having this knowledge?
Well, if you’re a marketing geek like me, or just someone with a passing interest, it’s interesting to see how three silicone ring companies are taking very different approaches with their marketing.
Clearly there is room for three competitors in the market, but it helps that all three are taking different approaches and targeting different buyers.
Ok, so there is no winner. Unless one of these companies wants to give me access to their books I don’t really have a way to know if their approaches are working. The best I can do is say that if I am able to look at their marketing techniques and make sense of the logic behind them, that’s a good sign.
If you have questions about your own marketing approach the team at SMA is here to help.
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