My Turquoise Ring: A Brand Story


I wear a turquoise ring on the third finger of my right hand. I’ve had it for a couple decades. I discovered it in a kiosk in our local mall.

I have long, thin fingers and most men’s rings are too large, but I tried it on and it fit as if it were made just for me.

I thought it was too expensive, though,  and put it back.
I stopped by two weeks later. The price on it had dropped 25%. I decided if it was made for me, it would wait for me.
Sure enough, in another two weeks the ring was still there with an even greater discount.
I took a calculated risk, waited until it dropped another 15%. . . and bought it.
Over the years, many people have commented on it and asked me if I bought it out west. I’m always  honest and tell them the real story, which, in a mystical way, I think is much more interesting.

This ring waited for me!

In every single case I watch their expressions of anticipation melt into disappointment. They want to hear about a New Mexico Indian reservation and how I bought it from a native American artisan in the quiet glow of the sun setting over the golden plains.

That’s the image attached to turquoise.  It’s embedded so deeply into our minds and culture that any other story is a disappointment.

I recently became a trustee at our regional public broadcasting station.  Before a meeting I was talking with another newly named board member, a man obviously very cultured and well-traveled.  Making conversation he pointed to my ring: “I see you’ve been to Santa Fe.”

I thought it over quickly.  “Yes, I have.”  It wasn’t a lie.    We began exchanging stories of our travels there, the jewelry, how Santa Fe has grown, the beauty of New Mexico.

Some brands are so strong  that the myth is reality.

And the truth is just not worth the disappointment.

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4 responses to “My Turquoise Ring: A Brand Story

  1. Pingback: » My Turquoise Ring: A Brand Story « The Higher Ed Marketing Blog | Brand Marketing Tips

  2. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for My Turquoise Ring: A Brand Story « The Higher Ed Marketing Blog [higheredmarketingblog.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

  3. Great story. Having lived in NM for awhile, I completely understand the myth. There was a news story down in NM several years ago about people exploiting the romantic western myth. Many sellers were selling gum or other rocks as turquoise jewelry. This sounds similar to the neapolitan pizza rules to protect the true pizza in Italy http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2004-05-26-pizza-rules_x.htm. NM should take advantage of this and place rules on what constitutes real turquoise jewelry.

  4. Another great post.
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