Embrace the right-hand ring as ‘next big thing,’ DPS says

The right hand ring looks like it will be the industry’s “next big thing,” said S. Lynn Diamond and Diane Warga-Arias in a Diamond Promotion Service seminar Thursday.

Diamond said the prototype rings all have flexible designs that can use a variety of diamond sizes and shapes. She also noted that they can be tailored for different price points and appeal to a wide range of customers.

The diamonds will be set in a north-south positioning, instead of an east-west formation like diamond engagement rings and three-stone rings. They all have negative space between the diamonds and feature a diamond of at least twenty points or more.

A new print ad campaign will tout the rings as “the perfect vehicle for women to affirm and express themselves,” Diamond explained. They are based on the premise that women assign different meanings for their right and left hands.

“The left hand for a woman is the place for a ring that symbolizes partnership, relationship, love, and commitment,” Diamond said. “The right hand is for self-expression and her individual style.”

One sample execution puts it this way: “Your left hand lives for love. The right hand lives for the moment.” It concludes: “Women of the world, raise your right hands.” Diamond says the ring is an attempt to assign a meaning behind the category of rings that aren’t three-stones, diamond engagement rings, or anniversary bands. “There is this huge category of rings that have no meaning, concept, or unified marketing message behind them,” Diamond says. “We saw a huge opportunity.”

The target audience is the 45- to 65-year-old woman—“the mature woman who’s confident, knows herself, is proud of what she’s worked hard to accomplish, and has most likely experienced marriage and already received diamonds as a gift of love.” Although some may be self-purchased, the DPS is “not dictating who buys it,” Diamond says. “It can be a self-purchase or a gift.”

Four categories are planned: contemporary right hand rings, modern vintage right-hand rings, romantic right-hand rings, and floral right-hand rings.

Warga-Arias says jewelers should plan a dramatic launch event for the rings. “You can’t just put the right-hand rings out there,” she said. “You have to launch them and launch them dramatically.”

But she cautioned that sales associates must be properly trained. “Don’t assume sales associates know how to sell at an event,” she said. “They can’t use the same techniques they do across the counter. They don’t know how to move among a crowd, work a room.”

Associates also need to be trained how to sell right-hand rings, she said. “This is a neglected consumer. She’s a mature consumer. She needs to be spoken to differently.”

The most important consideration is to tie the event into your store’s brand image. “If your store’s image is one thing, and your right-hand ring message is another, there’s a disconnect,” Warga-Arias said. “When we talk about market share, we are not just talking about the jewelers down the street,” she added. “We are talking about gaining share from the other luxury items competing for market share.”

She said the two ways to gain market share were “be first” and “be better.” “You have to innovate,” she said. “You have to build a better mouse-trap.” She explained that a store gets market share when it makes the customer’s experience “transformative.”

“Why is the spa industry so hot right now?” Warga-Arias asked. “Because the woman wants the transformation.”

A transformative experience “leads to a change in the person, enhances a person’s self-esteem and makes them feel better about themselves,” she noted. “The trick is that the consumer wants a bit of escape, but in a way that is anchored into what they value.”

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