DON’T MISS AN OCCASION FOR SALES
Despite the economic challenges we face today, special occasions will still be celebrated. Wishes will be made for birthdays. Couples will mark another year of marriage. Babies will be born. Valentine and Mother’s days will inspire us to honor those we love. Vows will be exchanged. And, the joy of the holiday season will stir people of all faiths to spread some cheer. Life’s rituals will continue, with diamond jewelry the gift that makes these moments and milestones endure forever.
Jewelers can make the most of selling opportunities this year by focusing their marketing efforts on these meaningful occasions. Research by the Diamond Promotion Service shows that during the last recession in 2001-2002 the market actually grew, thanks to diamond gifts of love for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and, of course, the bridal occasion.
Male gift-givers proved to be the most recession-proof target for these five key occasions. “Since 74 percent of diamond jewelry pieces sold in the U.S. are gifts and over 70 percent of those gift-givers are men, we’ve always aimed many of our messages at him,” says David Sisson, DPS Director of Market Intelligence. “But the male role is even more important when times are tough. In previous downturn economies, we’ve seen declines in female self-purchasing, while male gift givers remain steady. They’ve become our most important marketing audience for 2008.”
Another significant finding is that jewelers’ most recent diamond purchasers will be the ones most likely to buy from them next. Heavy diamond jewelry owners, women who have 10 or more pieces, are the best prospective candidates for future purchases—whether they receive this jewelry as a gift or buy it for themselves.
“We found that heavy diamond owners are incredibly important in tough economic times,” Sisson says. “These diamond enthusiasts—whether affluent or not-so-affluent—continue to buy. Diamonds are how they commemorate life events.”
The Media and the Message
Basing its strategy on this research, DPS designed its 2008 “A Diamond Is Forever” marketing plan to encourage male gift givers to buy diamond jewelry for important occasions.
“We’ve focused our marketing on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are moments when consumers are thinking about love, so men are especially receptive to our messages,” explains Sisson. “Diamond jewelry price points for birthdays and anniversaries are at their highest level, so these occasions are very important to our marketing approach also.”
Gifts of love will be supported in print, on adiamondisforever.com, and via special promotions, such as the spectacular art installation exhibited in New York’s Grand Central Station this May (see it on adiamondisforever.com). The message reminds men that for every occasion, diamond jewelry is the ultimate timeless expression of love. Clever “Seize the Day” ads feature such taglines as: “50 years from now she’s not going to lovingly recall the time you gave her a salad spinner” and “Chocolates say I love you in that ‘we’ll see how it goes’ sort of way.”
No specific diamond jewelry type will be singled out as the must-have. Instead, ads will showcase an assortment of classic diamond styles and products with empowering storylines like Journey, three-stone and right-hand ring.
But in addition to ads that speak to men, a new campaign will target women capitalizing on the theme of renewal. The ads will invite women to renew their spirits with fashionable diamond rings, including three-stone, right-hand, and solitaire plus designs. The campaign is timed to coincide with fall fashion season and to drive desire for the holidays. Rings were selected because diamond enthusiasts own, on average, six diamond rings—with their next one just waiting to be discovered.
In addition to marketing, the key to successfully increasing diamond jewelry sales this year lies in a greater focus on building customer relationships. “The economy means that first-time buyers will be harder to come by,” Sisson notes. “This will be the year to make your existing customers your primary focus.”
Don’t let the occasion for increased sales and greater profits pass you by. In this special section, you’ll find market research, ideas, and resources to help you develop your own strategies to rise to the occasion.