DPS Tells Retailers to Follow Their ‘Dreams’

To increase diamond sales, jewelers must become “dream-makers, not deal makers,” Diamond Promotion Service executive director S. Lynn Diamond told a standing-room only seminar at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas.

“Women want diamonds that match their dreams,” she said. “Diamonds are about romance and fairy-tale endings. Yet jewelers drift away from the dream [and sell on price] … Relentless price promotion can destroy all that a century of marketing has carefully built.”

The key is to connect with consumers emotionally, by choosing brands that fulfill their desires. “This creates a powerful connection,” she said. “If you have your heart set on a Lexus, will you feel the same driving a Camry, even though you know they are the same cars under the hood?”

DPS educational consultant Diane Warga-Arias later added that the diamond industry needs a makeover—beginning with retail stores.

“When was the last time a customer entered your store and said, ‘Wow!'” she asked. “If you want to impress, surprise, and delight your customers, you will have to change.”

Warga-Arias called the jewelry industry “really boring.… Can you imagine how a jeweler would sell a Bentley? ‘This is a really nice car, and by the way, it has a flaw right here. Can’t see it? Let me get you a microscope.'”

Instead, said Warga-Arias, jewelers should latch on to these trends:

  • Interactivity and discovery. Provide a shopping experience that’s full of both. “Consumers stay longer and buy more when they interact with the environment,” Warga-Arias said. An example: new Whirlpool stores that let customers test washing machines.

  • Retail-tainment. “Consumers want to be entertained,” Warga-Arias said, noting that “retail-tainment” should be “ever-changing, not static.”

  • Atmosphere. “Atmospherics” should go beyond ambience for “total sensory involvement.”

  • Enhanced convenience. “Women are out there, we have money, we have mobility, but we don’t have time,” said Warga-Arias. “Time is the ultimate commodity.” She noted that stores like Home Depot are instituting time-saving “self-checkouts.”

  • A new spin. Consider product concepts that put a new spin on old favorites, like “Rice to Riches,” a New York store that sells nothing but rice pudding.

  • Cross-pollination with other businesses. “Do you know the No. 1 caterer in your area on a personal basis, the No. 1 florist, the No. 1 bridal company?” Warga-Arias asked.

  • Branding and luxury. “Luxury has been redefined,” Warga-Arias explained. “Discount no longer means cheap, as Jet Blue airlines has proven.… Capitalize on the consumer’s desire for luxury.”