This Study Identifies How to Talk Jewelry with Millennials, and How Brands Like Hearts on Fire Succeed
BTW…NPR Marketplace featured a recent talk I gave about marketing jewelry to Millennials. Click this link if you’d like to hear: “What Kind of Jewelry Goes with a Tattoo”
What are the components of a piece of fine jewelry? Sure, jewelry is made of a few bucks’ worth of precious metals and stones, but the true value of jewelry comes from the conversation the brand has with the customer. And today’s jewelry brands are failing to speak in a way that affluent Millennials, those young consumers age 14-34, will connect with.
“More than half a century ago, DeBeers hit a home run by convincing the returning WWII veterans eager to settle down and get married to mark the milestone of their engagement with a diamond. The ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ tagline worked well for that generation, which in turn gave birth to the gigantic Baby Boomer generation. And it worked equally well for the Boomers in the 70s and 80s, but the signs are that it isn’t working so well for the babies of the Baby Boomers – the Millennials,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of a new study, Marketing to Millennials: How to Sell Luxury Jewelry to the Next Generation of Affluents.
Millennials just aren’t buying the traditional jewelry marketing paradigm that worked for previous generations.
“Millennials just aren’t buying the traditional jewelry marketing paradigm that worked for previous generations. They need messages that are relevant to their lifestyles and a generation that is delaying, even foregoing marriage, in growing numbers doesn’t necessarily care about researching the 4Cs or spending three month’s salary on a chunk of pressurized charcoal,” Danziger notes.
In a recent survey among 1,335 affluents, 18 percent of whom are Millennials, we discovered that affluent Millennials (aged 24-34 years and incomes $100k and above) derive far more pleasure from their technology purchases than they do from buying fine jewelry. For example, some 46 percent of Millennials said buying technology is a category that gives them great pleasure, as compared with 25 percent who felt the same about jewelry. This finding is particularly relevant to jewelers since the commitment to pre-purchase research and spending levels are very similar for technology and jewelry.
Danziger says, “These Millennials would much rather drop $700 on the latest phone or tablet computer, than on a new pair of earrings or cuff links. Marketers and retailers need to discover how to change the conversation, so that buying jewelry is as fresh and exciting as the latest iPhone.”
Unity Marketing’s new report delivers ideas and insights that can help brands understand the psychology of this new generation and find new ways to communicate with the wealthier members of that cohort.
Millennials want their purchase experience to feel more like a collaboration and less like a confrontation
The new report examines the outlook and jewelry buying behaviors of the Millennial generation and offers actionable advice on how to position a jewelry brand to reach these important consumers. It includes profiles of successful jewelry brands like Hearts on Fire, which is innovating to change the entire jewelry shopping experience through simple yet ground-breaking strategies, like putting the sales person and the customer on the same side of the display case.
“Millennials want their purchase experience to feel more like a collaboration and less like a confrontation,” Danziger says.
Fine jewelry need no longer be confined to hushed studios, hidden price tags, and complicated information. For the Millennials it can be – it HAS to be – fun and engaging, or they will walk right past the jewelry store and on to the next tech device.
More about Marketing Jewelry to Millennials
This report reviews the most recent findings about the millennial generation consumers on the road to affluence and where luxury in general, and jewelry in particular, fits into their lifestyle. This trend report will summarize the demographics of the Millennial generation as they mature into affluence and wealth and their attitudes toward luxury purchases.
While marketers often talk about these young consumers as ‘aspirational,’ the challenge for luxury brands is to become ‘inspirational’ to the next generation who bring a unique functional and practical approach to their shopping behavior. Included in this report are profiles of a number of important brands that are successfully connecting with the next generation of luxury consumers in order to inspire the audience in their own luxury jewelry marketing and branding efforts.
The data included in this report are drawn from a range of sources, including:
- U.S. Census and analysis of Census data conducted by Unity Marketing.
- Unity Marketing’s Affluent Consumer Tracking Study, a quarterly survey among 1,200+ luxury consumers, of which about 15-20% of the total sample is comprised of affluent millennials (aged 24-34 years with incomes $100k or more). Specific data is reported from the ACTS survey conducted in January 2014.
- A series of qualitative focus group discussions conducted among highly-educated Millennial generation consumers who based upon their career goals and educational attainment, are likely to reach the ranks of the affluent in the coming years.
Published April 2014