It’s been a year since Chow Tai Fook bought Boston diamond brand Hearts On Fire. Kent Wong, managing director of the world’s largest jeweler, talks about his plans for the brand.
JCK: What do you see next for Hearts On Fire?
Kent Wong: We acquired the brand one year ago. We appreciate that we have a great team in Boston. We expanded the design team from one designer to six, and the designers are from all over—New York, Hong Kong. We are committed to producing the best design. We are also expanding the management team.
We will increase our investment in marketing. We have more than doubled the marketing budget this year. We will launch a new TV commercial to inspire customers to dream of diamonds.
JCK: Will Hearts On Fire expand into low-end price points?
Wong: We have a group of very loyal retailers. They believe the dream. It is not easy to sell Hearts On Fire. We cut the best of the best. There is a premium. We want to expand our customer collection. We have extended some of our designer collection by using the same designs at lower entry price points. We want to attract more customers into the brand.
JCK: In China there is talk of a shift away from luxury. Have you felt that?
Wong: The Chinese consumer’s buying preferences have changed. Maybe a decade ago, the Chinese customer spent on luxury products, like a watch. They wanted to show off their achievements. But the younger generation is no longer chasing after logos. They are chasing high-quality products and design. They want a personal connection.
Two years ago, we launched some new one-of-a-kind products to attract new customers. We are shifting into more design-driven product and also lower price points. The younger consumers need more storytelling. They like to share stories with each other through instant messaging.