Jewellery brands turn on the sparkle this festive season

Barons of bling talk about the category and how it’s taking shape amid this festive season

Mumbai:  What’s the festive season without some beautiful lights, smiles, and jewellery? India is a country of festivals, and people look forward to the festival season. The joy of celebration and the shopping that entails brings a boost to the entire industry. Talking about the jewellery industry, it is widely believed that shopping for them during the festive season brings good luck and prosperity in one’s life. Riding on this belief, the jewellery industry witnesses a lot of sales. And since it’s the first Diwali after two years of low-key celebrations, trade veterans and leaders in the jewellery industry have well equipped themselves to cater to the ongoing demand. In this story, I explore the advertising and marketing strategies of jewellery brands this festive season, including trends, innovations, and more.

Understanding that this festive season is not similar to the ones in the previous two years, the consumer has been spending differently, in fact, lavishly, to be precise, this time around. Candere by Kalyan founder & CEO Rupesh Jain feels that the kind of consumer spending that he is noticing during the festive season this time is interesting.

"The affinity of people towards gold ornaments seems to be dropping and the inclination towards fine diamond jewellery can be evidently seen. One of the reasons attributed to this could be that people are making fine jewellery a part of their daily fashion. Being dainty and elegant in design, it never fails to glam up your everyday look," he expressed.

Talking about the numbers, Jain states that their average order value has increased by 20 per cent and that their average order value ranges between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000.

On the other hand, Tanishq CEO Ajoy Chawla believes that the predominant sentiment is for gold during the festive period, and this year, too, it’s no different.

Consumers’ spending patterns across brands

Jain observes that during this festive season, a lot of customers are buying jewellery for gifting purposes for their loved ones. "Our data suggests that over 50 per cent of Candere’s occasion-based purchases are intended towards festive gifting to family and friends. This could be a differentiating point between the customers we are serving this year and the customers we served in the last two years. Also, the kind of jewellery that is being purchased is fine diamond jewellery," he elucidates.

"We are seeing a lot of traction for all our new collections with record sell-through rates, particularly Chozha for Tamil Nadu and Alekhya for the rest of the country," says Tanishq's Chawla, confirming the woman's desire for new designs to adorn as she prepares to socialise once more this Diwali.

They also see continued interest in light weights, layering and colour that validates their belief that the new-age consumer values adornment over keeping jewellery in the locker—a secular trend now for the last two years, he discloses.

BlueStone head of marketing Harshna Pasari explains that their consumer profile has stayed stable over the past few years. The brand predominantly serves cosmopolitan couples between the ages of 25 and 45 years old. "These consumers, unlike previous generations, are looking for wardrobe jewellery, not locker jewellery. The creations they prefer are more modern and suited to multiple occasions rather than only grandiose celebrations," she says.

"While they see jewellery as a mode of investment, it is a vital marker of style and individuality for them, driving them to wear a variety of jewellery more often for unique occasions like the workplace, casual events and more. They’re also open to experimenting with trends and new categories to make a statement—especially ones that fit into their lifestyles, like watch jewellery," adds Pasari.

Advertising and marketing strategies to rake in the festive moolah

Jain believes that the festive season is always a good time for the jewellery industry. For Candere, it is no different. Even in the last two years, they were overwhelmed by the response of their customers. "Now, with life getting back to normal and everything opening up, people are really excited to step out and are engaging in offline shopping at their favourite shopping destinations during the festive season. For Candere, a growth of 25 per cent is predicted by our analysts’ team this year," he points out.

Candere is going aggressive with its campaign this festive season. Jain says, "Now that we are an omnichannel brand, we have to make sure that our customers know what we have to offer. We are tapping many new channels and platforms to promote our phygital presence. To be present wherever our customers are, we have raised our advertising budget by 40–50 per cent. In an attempt to maximise the brand connect, the traction and customer engagement, we have been constantly innovating our marketing strategies."

What is the advertising and sales mantra of brands to boost brand sales and increase consumer spending this festive season? And how are these tactics different from those that these brands applied during the festive season in the last two years?

"Despite the high base of a record-breaking festive season last year, Tanishq is anticipating and targeting strong growth, and we are not sparing any efforts in new launches, marketing, and promotions," Chawla says.

From an advertising perspective, BlueStone’s mantra has been to break out of the festive clutter. Their recently launched TVC ‘Love Is In The Little Things’ is a fresh respite from the over-the-top festive visuals by celebrating the small moments of love and a very innovative category—watch jewellery.

"Over the past two years, the world has completely shut down and reopened. The period when consumers could not step out into the real world has led to a craving for it. Anticipating this, we’ve scaled up our omnichannel play."

With 140+ stores across the country and services like ‘try at home,’ the brand is giving consumers the option to experience BlueStone across multiple channels, be it in-store, on their screens or on their couches. "With a range that encompasses gold, platinum, diamonds and gemstones, we ensure designs that suit every mood, moment and budget—especially with competitive festive offers on solitaires and making charges," says Pasari.

Candere’s advertising and sales mantra revolves around the theme of its Diwali ad campaign. In this year’s campaign, Candere celebrates togetherness. Jain elaborates, "We want people to walk down the lanes of nostalgia and celebrate Diwali like the old times, where every member of the family comes together to celebrate the occasion."

This year, the Kalyan brand’s Diwali campaign has been channelled through various media platforms to create a massive attraction among the buyers. "We have tapped several new modes, ranging from OTT (online video) to multiplex platforms. We are aiming to reach somewhere around 100 million people with this move," says Jain.

Bling trends this festive season

Discussing the trends that have been observed in the jewellery category this festive season, Jain clarifies that the ongoing trend shows people leaning more towards traditional essences and yet comes with a modern touch, making it more unique. "To cater to such demands, Candere has come up with many collections that are in the light-weight jewellery segment, which combine and feature both traditional and contemporary aspects, defining the new-era woman and jewellery. Our data shows there is a significant jump when it comes to preferring fine diamond lightweight jewellery over heavy or chunky ones," he says.

BlueStone chief merchandising officer Vipin Sharma is of the view that this festive season, they’ve seen watch jewellery as a category trending for them. "The designs offer a new expression of ornamentation with a deep connection to the lifestyle of our consumers who are tech-savvy. We’ve also seen an uptick in consumers wanting to express themselves with innovative products like multi-threader earrings," he says.

He continues, "There’s also been a steady rise in interest in the men’s category, especially in steel bracelets with gold accents. This alternative material, with a dash of gold, gives an elevated sense of style."

Script jewellery, as a trend, has continued with consumers wanting to flaunt their or their loved ones’ initials or something significant to them. BlueStone offers script jewellery with various techniques and designs across various budgets. Timeless festive styles like necklaces, bangles, and other statement pieces continue to do well, says Sharma.

Chawla also expects that this festive season will see significant wedding purchases for the season to follow Diwali and has stocked up Tanishq stores with adequate and appropriate Rivaah merchandise to serve all communities. "Gold rates have moderated from their peak, which was about six-seven months ago, and are also quite stable, hence we are optimistic for this Dhanteras, besides the upcoming wedding season thereafter," he elucidates.

Natural Diamond Council, too, in collaboration with the Style Collective, released the second edition of their Jewellery Trend Report 2022. The report explores the latest trends in the jewellery world which are going to reign in this festive season as well as the coming seasons, being absolute hits with the young consumer today. These trends range from mismatched fancy cut diamonds to vintage cuts such as rose cuts and briolettes, along with hoops with a twist.

"Encompassing everything from memorable statement pieces featuring mismatched diamonds to daily wear options like hoops with a twist, the trend report encapsulates the changing dynamic of today's youth who use jewellery as a means of self-expression. Versatile diamonds complement both ethnic or modern ensembles, elevating every look. As natural diamonds never go out of style, they make for great heirlooms which can be cherished by each generation in their own way," says Natural Diamond Council - India & Middle East managing director Richa Singh.

Innovations witnessed this festive season

Jain expresses that at Candere, they are always looking out for innovations that can help them improve their customers' experience with the brand. "Our website is equipped with many cutting-edge technologies like ‘try-on’ and ‘voice search’ that offer a store-like experience to customers from the comfort of their homes. But the differentiating point is our customers' ability to customise their jewellery in just a single tap."

"Right from choosing three metal colours, different qualities of gold and five different diamond qualities, our customization feature has everything that someone might need to get jewellery that resonates with them and reflects a lot about their personality," he explains.

For BlueStone, watch jewellery remains one of the key innovations. It offers a subtle way to make a statement and a new way to flaunt ornaments. Offered in a range of fine metals, diamonds, gemstones and pearls, the versatile category suits festive and non-festive occasions.

Sharma elaborates, "Consumers are hunting for jewellery that tells a story beyond its design, inspired by a more profound idea. It gives the consumer a meaningful experience in addition to making a stylish statement. One of our festive collections, Ashta, is an excellent example of that, having been inspired by the eight manifestations of the goddess divine."

This festive season sees an increased focus on personal style, he says, with young Indians preferring contemporary or Indo-Western fashion and giving prominence to unique styles like Y necklaces, chevron rings and more.

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