By Ashley Bailey
, Saturday, August 05, 2006
Two jewelers in North Carolina are throwing stones at each other over the perceived value of the Hearts On Fire diamond brand.
Hearts On Fire diamonds are distinguished by their very accurate cut. Hikamp Jewelers in Fayetteville began carrying Hearts On Fire last year. A competitor in the same city, Rhudy's jewelers, has purchased local ads posing the question "Why pay for a name when all you want is a diamond that won't set your Wallet On Fire?"
Rhudy's maintains they are not criticizing the competition, but making an effort to educate customers about name brand jewelry. Rhudy's believes that outside the Hearts On Fire name and higher price there is no difference between branded and unbranded jewelry.
David Hinkamp of Hinkamp jewelers disagrees, pointing out that branded jewelry like Hearts On Fire has unique qualities that set it apart, particularly elements of quality control, guaranteed policies and services and purchase benefits.
Hinkamp is not upset by the ads and find them amusing. He has no plans to respond with his own ads about merchandise at Rhudy's. He maintains that the anti- Hearts On Fire campaign actually helps his business.
John Sweeney, a communications professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that's often the problem a company runs into when it mentions a competitor in its ads. Every time Hearts on Fire is mentioned, it doesn't do anything but help the brand.
Original Source: The Fayetteville Observer online