Category Archives: Culture

Retails trends that could change the way you sell jewelry

Anti brandJWT intelligence reported emerging trends to watch for in 2015. JCK reporter, Rob Bates, does a great job in relating these trends in his JCK blog post that I repost here:
8 Retail Trends That Could Change Your Business

By Rob Bates, News Director
Posted on January 20, 2015

From nonbrands to BuzzFeed retail, technological advances and changing demographics could shake up how jewelry is marketed and sold in the coming year, according to JWT’s annual trend report.

Among the trends Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence, sees as possibly affecting the industry:

The rise of the high-level affluent woman.

What Greene calls the “Arianna Huffington generation”—women in high-level positions who prioritize their careers—will eventually change how luxury goods are marketed and purchased.

“There are women reaching high-level management, even in emerging markets like China,” she says. “The impact on luxury is quite interesting. Jewelry is typically being marketed from men to women for occasions. But when you have women shopping for fine jewelry, the language and also the category needs to change.”

She finds that the “very expensive men’s watches that are usually aimed at male buyers are now being marketed to women.”

Celebrating singles.

Looking at demographic data, more and more Americans are deciding not to marry.

“The future is really singles, and that is across all different age groups,” she says. “The highest divorce rate in the U.S. is the over-50s. That is being led by China, and its famous Singles’ Day, but also it is starting to be adopted in the U.S.”

Being single is no longer looked at as being isolated and lonely, she says.

“Now single is considered being very social,” she says, adding that she is seeing much more self-spending on traditionally gifted luxuries.

Entertainment merging with retail.

“With the advent of Internet-connected television, entertainment and gaming is all becoming online and interactive,” she says. “That makes it seamlessly linked to commerce. A lot of retailers are using entertainment as a way to engage consumers. Amazon, one of the biggest e-tailers in the world, is producing original entertainment. To me, the next step is to make it very shoppable.”

She says that apps already exist that can let you buy products that appear on-screen.

Brick-and-mortar are now more about the brand experience.

Many physical retailers are now demonstrations of the brand experience, rather than places to shop, she says.

“Stores are becoming Disneyland,” she says. “It’s all about the entertainment. Lululemon is hosting yoga classes where they sell their items. Apple is hosting Q&As with creatives who use the iPhones. [U.K. department store] Selfridges has its fragrance lab where you go into a darkened room and they take you on this journey. Stores are just becoming places to hang out. With mobile, at this point, it doesn’t really matter where the transactions take place, as long as they take place.”

A change in how retailer space is used.

With online likely to keep cutting down the overall number of stores, many traditional retail-only malls are now becoming “mixed use,” with space for offices, pop-up stores, cultural events, even residential housing. Meanwhile, urban outlets are becoming “fewer but more massive,” Greene says, to offer more immersion in the brand experience.

BuzzFeed retail.

BuzzFeed is the site known for quizzes like, What kind of cat are you? As consumers continue to seek out personalized products, some e-tailers are using similar quizzes as a way to increase user engagement and offer customized items.

“Anti-brands.”

“We are seeing in our data that millennials are rebelling against the idea of fashion trends,” Greene says. “The trends have become relentless and overexposed.”

That is why fashion is experimenting with “genderless fashion” and “anti-brands,” which pride themselves on not advertising.

“[Eyeglass brand] Warby Parker says, ‘We haven’t spent a lot on advertising,’ ” she notes. “That is really resonating. Right now, consumers can find information about any brand. There is this awareness of how much sunglass producers are paying for their license. Warby Parker is really the antidote to that.”

Another example: Everlane, a clothing e-tailer which states up front how much margin is being made on each item, as well as where all the items come from.

“It’s a way of demonstrating complete transparency,” she says. “People are skeptical today when it says Italian leather, because it isn’t always from Italy. So not only this is more responsible, but it’s a good way to demonstrate your item’s quality.”

Luxury on mobile.

While this sounds obvious, Greene points to data that 40 percent of luxury brands have minimal or no online or mobile presence.

“There is now no upper limit to how much any luxury consumer will spend on their phone,” she says. “You have $3 million transactions going through the Christie’s app. E-commerce for luxury is the new emerging market.”

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Tiffany Debuts First Same-Sex Ad

530x343xtiffanyTiffany and Company is keeping it relevant with the first national print ad featuring a same-sex couple. Bravo Tiffany!

Here is an article in the jewelry trade magazine JCK. http://preview.tinyurl.com/n2p97v5

The future of shopping

So think about this relates to the jewelry industry…. Think Boucheron.

Swagger Wagon

Social media takes some creativity. I think this is brilliant!

Ready for the Gen Y tsunami, jewelers?

This article is reposted from the July 21, 2010 edition of National Jeweler and is written by Jan Brassem.

Prepare yourself, jewelers. Here comes Generation Y (aka Gen Y), 74 million big-spending consumers, born between 1978 and 1995, who inspired a recent Gen Y Forum purported to be “the largest gathering of prestige marketers in North America.”

The forum’s official goal was to discuss the “characteristics, influence and brand affinities of tomorrow’s affluent consumers.”

In other words, the aim was to determine how Gen Y consumers make buying decisions–an ambitious task indeed.

In case you didn’t know, the 74 million Gen Y members purchase, directly or indirectly, $200 billion worth of goods or services a year, five times more than their parents did at the same age.

There are now more Gen Y members than there are baby boomers, and this demographic will represent 50 percent of the total U.S. workforce by 2015. Oh, did I mention that within the next five years, the Gen Y consumer will provide the biggest revenue source for any industry you can name?

The forum consisted of 22 thought-leaders from diverse fields, including a bureau chief for The Economist, the publisher of Teen Vogue, the chief of digital marketing for Microsoft and a member of the U.S. State Department, among others.

All of these “rainmakers” agreed that Gen Y members are technologically sophisticated shoppers who were probably using computers before their first day of school.

The computer became the “training wheels” for this group, which is often called the “Internet Generation.” It was also clear among the forum leaders that the technologically adept Gen Y consumer would make purchasing decisions using high-tech tools.

In a nutshell, here’s a rundown of some of the important points discussed. (The college marketing students I teach will wrestle with the rest.) Much of the information discussed at the event is the result of extensive U.S. and international market research.

Speedy decision-making: “Business will be as usual, but much faster,” was a common theme at the meeting. Simply put, the shopping process goes something like this: They click, they browse, they buy. It will be the retailer’s responsibility to keep up.

Design trends: Product design can no longer be developed by committees, research teams or in staff meetings. Such groups take too long to reach consensus, and styles change too fast. What a company should do is develop a network of blogs and tweets to inform styling decisions. Besides being inexpensive, these interactive forums allow for speed and dexterity.

An investment: Gen Y consumers see luxury products as investments, not as indulgences. They do not have an appreciation for “trendy” styling, and favor more “classic” designs. When they purchase an item, they generally use it. (It will not be placed in a drawer.) They expect exceptional quality.

Parents as reference: These young consumers consider themselves to be “equal opportunity buyers,” with an unspoken motto that “We buy the same as our parents, except … we want more.” Heritage plays no part in design, styling or reference decisions. While their parents considered luxury to be something special, Gen Y consumers understand luxury as something that they deserve.

Bling is blung: Ostentation is clearly out, and subtlety is in. Gen Y jewelry consumers seek simple designs that are cool, hip and “in the know.” Some visual expression is important, but it is not key.

Purchase rationale: Gen Y consumers have a need to add an emotional rationale to their buying decisions. For example, when purchasing a pendant, the shopper requires–as a rule–an additional use for the piece. She wants to be able to wear it to work, and to a party.

Reference groups: Positive feedback, (real or imagined) from their reference group is arguably Gen Y’s most important decision criteria. Whomever their peer group is–be it colleagues, friends, or fellow club-goers–acceptance by that group will close the sale.

Sale vs. deal: Beware of putting items on “sale.” Gen Y consumers consider that word to be the radioactive kiss of death. They strongly prefer the word “deal” as a way to communicate bargains or price reductions. Getting a great deal sounds–to their ears, anyway–better than getting something on sale.

Blogs and more blogs: The new–and hopefully permanent–Internet-based marketing vehicle is the blog. The blog is inexpensive to set up and maintain and its uses are abundant. Almost in unison, the thought-leaders at the forum expressed the conviction that blogs were the marketing tool of tomorrow–if not today. To be a successful Internet “player,” your store or site should be called out on a minimum of 25 blogs today and at least 250 in the future.

For those who are not Gen Y members, your knowledge of technology may be strained. Mine was. It is our job to become current in this technology and understand the negative marketing implications if we don’t. Let’s face it, we could end up in the same category as hand-held calculators and in-store flyers.

More wisdom from Seth Godin

Risk and reward chartThe following is some wisdom from Seth Godin, who always makes sense to me. Seth Godin’s blog

It’s easy to to adopt the policy of avoiding risk at all costs, that whenever possible, the products you launch or the engagements you have should be flawless and without downside.
Here’s the problem: in most endeavors, a small increase in risk can double the reward. It’s the second doubling of reward that brings serious risk with it. But the first leap is relatively painless.
In the chart above, notice that going from point A to point B brings almost no incremental risk. It might feel scary, but rationally, it’s not. Doubling reward again from B to C, though, brings significant incremental risk. It’s this second doubling that gets you through the Dip, that leads to a breakthrough, that makes you remarkable.
But I’m not even talking about that. I’m just hoping you’ll warm up by making the tiny leap of avoiding all risk. Riskless is hardly worth your effort.

Stuller diamonds? There’s an app for that

The following is reprinted from National Jeweler

By Teresa Novellino

June 15, 2009

Stuller's "Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds)" iPhone application allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

Stuller's "Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds)" iPhone application allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

Las Vegas–Stuller has partnered with Gemvision Corp. on an iPhone application that allows users to pick out a diamond engagement ring, try it out for size using an image of their own hand, share the image with friends and find a jeweler to buy the ring from.

IPhone users can choose from among thousands of downloadable applications that allow them to use their phones while on the go to do everything from play video games to manage their money to get workout tips.

Soon to be added to the list is the diamond ring application unveiled by Stuller during the Las Vegas jewelry shows, which is called “Live Diamond Try-On (brought to you by Red Box Diamonds).” The application will be offered for free to iPhone users beginning in late summer via the iPhone store, said Kerry Hand, Stuller’s executive director of marketing services and public relations.

Hand and Ryan Koning, director of advertising, communications and events for Gemvision, demonstrated how the program will work.

The first step is to use the iPhone’s touch screen to go to the application, which then prompts a user to choose a diamond by carat size and shape, and then a mounting by precious-metal color, either white or yellow. There are a limited number of ring styles currently available through the application, but these include classic styles and additional choices that feature side stones.

After the user has made a diamond and precious-metal color selection, it’s time for the try on. The user then takes a picture of her hand using the iPhone camera. Then, using the iPhone’s touch screen, the user can position the ring onto the picture of the hand, adjusting for a perfect fit. The iPhone can also be held directly on the hand with the image tilted to enjoy the “sparkle” of the diamond image.

The image of the person’s hand, with the chosen ring, can now be e-mailed to friends and family, posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

At this point, the iPhone user can also track down where to find the ring through the “find a jeweler” function of the Live Diamond Try-On application, which uses the phone’s GPS function to pull up Google maps and place virtual pins on the nearest Red Box Diamond Jewelers, ranking each one selected based on proximity, Hand says.

“This is the beauty of the application. It drives consumers to dream big and them pushes them to spend big with Red Box Diamond retailers,” Hand says.

The new application is one of a number of new programs Stuller is offering that are designed to let jewelers take advantage of digital technologies to give consumers expanded options. During the JCK Las Vegas show, Stuller also unveiled the Virtual Diamond Selector program, which allows retail jewelers to go online with customers to choose from 10,000 diamonds by size, shape or color, and the Customized Earring Program, which provides retail jewelers with the chance to customize a pair of diamond earrings exactly the way the customer wants them.

Another new option, Stuller’s 3D Ring Engraver, allows retail jewelers to personalize a wedding band while sitting in the store with their customer, who can choose a unique message and a particular font, and then get a dynamic 3D preview of what the ring will look like once it is inscribed.

Jewelers who are interested in being part of the iPhone application must be Red Box Diamond jewelers. For details, contact Stuller via e-mail at info@stuller.com or by calling (800) 877-7777.