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.”