George Blair IV
Our industry is changing. and struggling, and sputtering.
Matt and I entered the jewelry industry in 2013 and the biggest worry in the minds of the jewelers we were working with was "how do we get them to know when we're open," and "our customers need to know we carry this x brand." However, in their stores, they were concerned with diamonds. They wanted to make sure that they didn't spend "too much" time online because their real business was diamonds in the store. Their website was a business card, to get them in. Although, we all have a stack of business cards we never look at except to glance at now and then and say "I need to sort those. Or toss them out."
Maybe the wedding sales in 2003 look like a misty memory compared to the sales of today... We hope it is at least looking better than three, four years ago.
The future of diamond sales look bleak. People are marrying later in life; it has never been more acceptable in western civilization to wait to get married, or to never get married at all. Public consciousness has put a dark mark on the idea of diamonds, people long for original design and representation in their jewelry, and those who can afford it make no bones about using a non-storefront diamond ring dealer online and hope for the best. While the samesex marriage movement has grown, some jewelers have been slow to adopt this audience. Others have outright ignored it. Still others have gone out of their way to shun them.
Your customers are also changing, and while you might know exactly how to sell jewelery to the Baby Boomer generation, it's Generation X and Generation Y (those Millennials) that are a completely different breed of people. Perhaps they aren't changing; perhaps they have always been the same-- but perhaps the way we communicate with them has also never changed, and that's no longer working.
Generation X was crushed by the recession and emerged embittered by it. For the most part, baby boomers do not open their arms to the "selfie generation," and the respect for the clientele is at a minimum. You want them to buy, but you're convinced they spend "too much time on twitter or instagram," or get all their news from The Daily Show, or don't take into consideration your own traditional values. Well, tough.
People still buy engagement rings. Our most tempest-tossed friends in the jewelry industry admit that in their worst receipt weeks, they were able to look favorably at their wedding lines.
Generation Y (as someone born in 1983, that's probably where I fit in) cannot be looked at as one anonymous group; if anything, we have proven with our embracing of technology, apps, and fashion that we all want to be individuals... just like everyone else? We do buy jewelry, but embraced what is looked upon as "alternative metals." Even that name, we have to look at go "alternative to what? 24k gold? Because that's the standard?"
We have ad blindness. We grew up with pop-ups and flash intros! Don't underestimate our ability to ignore your glowing, scrolling hot pink text, especially if it has indication that it won't entertain us for 5 seconds. Even YouTube knows it had better keep the ads before our videos 15 seconds short if they're not going to let us click past them.
Matt, myself, and all the employees here at Sapphire Collaborative have a plan to help you learn about Gen X and Gen Y. We want to upgrade your website so it can tap into the latest customer tracking. Then we'll attach it to your Facebook page and work with you to figure out how to best capture the attention of Gen X & Y in your local area.
When it's all connected, we'll be able to tell you what your local customers spend their money on, if they have school aged children, their income levels, whether they have tattoos... if they're angsting over the series finale of Mad Men...
Facebook gives us the tools to figure this out.
We organize your local audience into different segments and then carefully solicit them with very small ad budgets every month.
You can tap into our Sapphire Collaborative Program for Jewelers to learn about Generation X and Y and to help you spend your advertising dollars wisely. You can't just throw ads out there like you used to, that doesn't work. In this period of stagnant growth, you shouldn't be cutting your marketing dollars, just using them more wisely,
The technology doesn't matter. Only the end results matter. You won't get results without respecting your audience.