CIBJO head calls for youth marketing and ISO grading standards

Global jewelry marketing efforts should focus on education and marketing to younger consumers so they develop a penchant for jewelry and continue to buy it at a later age when they have more disposable income, Gaetano Cavalieri president of CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, told colleagues Tuesday at the Fourth Dubai City of Gold Conference.

“There is a tendency in our industry to focus predominantly upon a middle-aged audience, because it is reaching the height of its earning capacity. But, if we do not invest more effort in developing a youthful and trendy fine jewelry culture, we will discover that those consumers are not as attuned to buying jewelry when they reach middle age,” Cavalieri said.

Cavalieri spoke during the session titled, “Marketing – Are We On The Right Track,” presenting his thoughts under the title “The Need of a Unified Global Jewellery Marketing Plan.”

Cavalieri also called for the industry to create a complete set of ISO standards relating to diamond grading.

“In a global business, harmonized grading standards are essential, and the reluctance for commercial reasons of certain organizations in the gemological community not to cooperate with the colleagues has complicated the free flow of trade across borders,” he said.

Citing the recent,

Cavalieri said that the recent grading scandal at the Gemological Institute of America may be the wake up call that will allow standards to gain acceptance.

“We may now be at a crossroads,” he said. “I believe that there a greater than ever appreciation for the need of a more orderly regulation of grading standards. CIBJO, through its diamond and laboratory commissions, is working quietly behind the scenes with the various players concerned, and we are confident of seeing some real results in the near future.”

Cavalieri also said that the biggest threat to the jewelry industry is the loss of consumer confidence and the greatest issues that challenge the confidence of consumers include conflict diamonds, money laundering, the improper labeling of treated and synthetic gemstones, and child labor. He said that the industry must create “reactive” strategies to combat these challenges.

“Jewelry is symbolic of human emotion,” he said. “If the consumer’s confidence is shaken because the reputation of the product is compromised, then the emotional value of the jewelry item will be damaged. As a consequence, so will its economic value. We have to defend our industry and our products, and this is what I mean by a reactive strategy.”