This week, we released our latest Jewelry District podcast featuring JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and myself talking with Pandora’s CEO, Alexander Lacik. It was a very long, comprehensive conversation, and not all of his comments made the final product.
But some of the points he made were so insightful, and relevant even to those who don’t carry or do business with Pandora, that I wanted to share them.
So, here are a few bonus cuts, but of course I recommend that you listen to the rest.
JCK: What did consumers tell you about issues at Pandora?
Alexander Lacik: People felt the brand had lost its clarity. They said, “I don’t really know what Pandora stands for anymore.” You go back 10 years, Pandora was only about charms and bracelets. Fast-forward five, six years and all of a sudden we were trying to be a full-assortment jeweler.
We lost a lot of our focus on our charms and bracelets, which are the heart and soul of the brand. People would come in and we would offer all sorts of other rings and necklaces.
Charms and bracelets as a proposition has a very clear point of view. And we owned that in the mind of the consumer. You go around the world and you ask about Pandora, the first thing that comes out of people’s mouths if they know Pandora is typically charms and bracelets. And a healthy brand has that. Pandora was starting to lose that.
So now are you reemphasizing charms more than jewelry?
We are a jewelry company, full stop. I would put it differently, and maybe it’s academic, but it’s actually a very important distinction. If you look at what people are buying, they are buying into the idea of “moments.” This is executed through charms and bracelets, largely speaking. You could execute the idea of moments in different ways. So in the near future, we will figure out how to innovate around the moments platform.
But what we are also looking to do is to innovate more platforms that fit under the Pandora house and the core values of Pandora. If I end up with a product offering that’s too close to moments, then I just get cannibalization—I don’t get any incremental growth, and people get a bit confused. So we need to make sure we are within a frame that people will say, “That’s Pandora,” that’s recognizable and relevant for Pandora to play, but it’s distant enough from the moments platform.
Why do you think that Pandora struck a chord?
What you see with successful brands that live over time, they strike a human truth. There is a human truth that I want to express myself, there is a human truth that I want to celebrate my family and maybe big moments or aspirations in my life. Some people put it in a tattoo, some people put it on Instagram, some people put it in photo albums, and some people buy and give bracelets with charms. When you are operating in a territory where there is a human truth at play, as long as you do it in an authentic way, with a language and identity that is relevant to that day and age, chances are you are going to have a good life as a brand.
There’s a lot more here.
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