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Articles from STERLING SILVER JEWELLERY (846 Articles), STAINLESS STEEL JEWELLERY (156 Articles), PLATINUM JEWELLERY (49 Articles)











A silver lining for every generation

Silver jewellery is widely popular across all ages. Stephanie Chan explores how generation-specific marketing tactics can strengthen sales.
Uberkate
Uberkate
IBD
IBD
Pastiche
Pastiche
Innerpower
Innerpower
Pastiche
Pastiche

Sterling silver jewellery continues to be a strong performing category and there are plenty of retailers who now consider it a cornerstone of their business.

The recent spike in interest can largely be attributed to three sources: the way in which silver has been marketed to Generation Y; the enormous variety of designs now available; and the metal’s lower price point compared to other white metals. All of these factors play a role in the popularity of silver surpassing both generational and gender boundaries.

Now in high demand across a wide range of ages, silver presents retailers with endless sales opportunities and those who tailor their marketing campaigns to target different age demographics can achieve additional boosts to silver sales.

Generation Y
Known for cool and contemporary styles, silver jewellery continues to be popular amongst Gen Y both locally and internationally.

According to Michael Barlerin, director of The Silver Institute’s Silver Promotion Service in the United States, the most recent research conducted for the organisation shows that consumers aged between 20 and 40 form the primary demographic for silver jewellery.

Barlerin says this is due to various reasons: “This is partly due to silver jewellery initially being acquired in the teen years and becoming the start of a ‘silver wardrobe’. While it is conjecture on my part, I think gold jewellery is often thought of as ‘my mother’s jewellery’.

Additionally, platinum jewellery is obviously part of the white metal preference but often, due to price point, only a potential consideration in bridal merchandise.”

The study – organised by trade magazine National Jeweller – was based on US-based findings but Barlerin says there are strong similarities between the US and Australian marketplace.

Closer to home, Sarah McMichael, manager of Charlton Jewellers in Auckland, says she finds that the store’s Gen Y customers are particularly attracted to branded jewellery and respond well to social media marketing, especially when images of celebrities wearing jewellery are used.

“A good example of this is when Jamie Ridge, a young Auckland socialite, put up a picture of herself wearing a Daniel Wellington watch on Instagram. Sales of this product went up immediately,” she explains, adding, “With this group, it is not so much as just putting up pictures of products but finding examples of people wearing the product that works.”

Debra Templar, retail expert and founder of The Templar Group, agrees that photo-sharing platforms like mobile app Instagram are a “must”, in addition to a Facebook presence, which she says needs to be used to engage with customers in a meaningful manner.

“Just having a page full of ads won’t work,” she says. “You need to show the benefits of your products, include the latest trends and images, and information on celebrities wearing your style of jewellery. Get a conversation happening around your product.”

Templar describes Gen Y as living “virtually attached to their mobile phones” and says retailers need to ensure that the majority of their marketing reaches Gen Y customers via this device.

“Service and quality are important to Millennials [Gen Y]. They are the masters of word of mouth. With a mobile phone at their fingertips they can leave wonderful reviews on a number of online platforms but they can also leave derogatory remarks,” Templar warns. “Set up Google Alerts so that any time your business is mentioned online you get an alert. You can then respond accordingly.”

When it comes down to in-store sales discussions, McMichael says that Gen Y customers are interested in what is new, who is wearing what and which products are the best sellers in the range.

“I also find it helpful to know which looks have been shown in which fashion magazines and which looks are currently in style. For example, the hot look for this season is bangle and necklace layering, and I have found that being able to show people how to achieve these looks and which pieces to use has been very effective for sales,” she says.



Generation X
While younger generations tend to be more interested in the fashion appeal of silver jewellery, consumers aged between 35 and 50 – Generation X – often look for pieces that hold sentimental meaning. This could be the reason why the majority of customers for the products supplied by Homage Personalised Jewellery, which specialises in silver jewellery customised with messages, names and important dates, fall into the Gen X demographic.

“They [Gen X] are looking for beautiful, high-quality pieces of personalised jewellery that not only serve to display their status in life but also to show the emotional connection they have to loved ones,” Homage director Adam Young says.

He finds that unlike Gen Y customers, who tend to buy pieces that can be added to over time (like charm bracelets), Gen X customers will often buy a similar item but as a completed piece with more expensive embellishments.

Templar says Gen X shoppers have reached a profitable period in their lives and may be more likely to make higher price point purchases. “It appears that Gen X is outspending their parents (Baby Boomers) in multiple high-end product categories.”

Although having disposable income might put more expensive jewellery items in Gen X’s sights, Templar warns that retailers cannot count on brand prestige alone to court this generation.

“Provide lots of accurate information with your product or service to get their attention and let them know why your products and/or services are such good value.”

Given that this demographic regularly consumes marketing messages from all main media channels – including social media, mobile and TV – Templar recommends that businesses seeking to target Gen X opt for a multi-media engagement strategy.

“A successful campaign could include a social/TV promotion sending viewers to a Facebook page that connects them to a link to download a mobile app,” she offers as an example.

For Uberkate CEO and creative director Kate Sutton, the key to successfully targeting the 30- to 50-year-old age range via social media lies in the delivery.

“In all of our social media marketing we ensure that the dialogue is two-way; we speak to our audience as if we are having a conversation with them,” she says.

“They [Gen X] are a very savvy and well-informed group so engaging rather than telling is the key.”

She also recommends using “relatable and emotion-provoking” point of sale (POS) material when targeting this demographic.

For McMichael, direct email marketing is the most effective way to reach Gen X and the older Baby Boomer generation – generally speaking, people aged 50 and up.

When dealing with Gen X in store, she says, “Our approach is to find a piece that suits their individual style and taste while keeping up with the latest fashion looks. Sales discussions with these customers are not only based on looks, though – this is also a quality-focused market that likes to achieve value for money along with jewellery that will stand the test of time.”

For jewellery brand Innerpower, Baby Boomers are its target market for silver jewellery. Australia and New Zealand general manager Sonia Merlino describes the group as having “freer ways of thinking”.

“Retailers need to acknowledge their forward-thinking attitude, willingness to push the boundaries and the fact that most are never really going to be old in their own mind,” she says.

According to Merlino, Baby Boomers respond well to “straight talk” and “honest, non-over-promotional spin”: “They want the facts and figures but they also want to see how a particular piece of jewellery will fit into their lifestyle. They need to feel, see, and almost taste the desired product in their daily lives.”

To connect with Baby Boomers, Merlino suggests empathising with them.

“Have a laugh. Be interested in what they do now that the kids are all grown up and what they are doing with their new-found freedom. Add realism to lifestyle advertising when targeting this active generation. Retailers should be capturing their zest for health, fitness and youthful outlook in order to communicate with them effectively.”



Additional worthy mentions
While the above demographics cover the general scope of silver jewellery consumers, there are a couple of other groups worth considering. Barlerin says that silver jewellery also performs well in the US with the under-20 age group, known as Generation Z.

Lily & Lotty, distributed locally by International Brand Distributors (IBD), is one brand that targets Gen Z in addition to Gen Y. The supplier’s managing director Hannes Coetsee states that proper merchandising is essential in conveying a message and story about the brand to consumers. He suggests retailers use lifestyle images to portray the feeling and ambience of the brand or collection.

“The old saying that your window is a silent salesperson is so true, but a lot of the time, stock is being placed in neat rows without any thought going into the display at all,” Coetsee says, adding that it is imperative for sales staff to know the DNA of the brand and the inspiration behind the collection: “They should convey this to the customer in order to make the owning and wearing of the piece so much more special.”

Age aside, men are another lucrative demographic and it’s a market that Cudworth Enterprises aims to serve. The brand targets a wide age range of males – 25 to 60 – and its customers are generally corporate men that show a preference for designer suits and accessories.

When selling silver jewellery to men, Cudworth director Darren Roberts suggests discussing the luxury of the metal as well as how to care for it. To assist retailers, the supplier provides its distributors with POS material and individual product packaging that embodies the masculine nature of its target demographic.

Core marketing tactics
Modifying marketing approaches towards different generations can be useful but retailers and suppliers also believe there are some core techniques that are universally successful regardless of age or gender.

Gina Brown, owner of Whitneys Jewellers in Dubbo, NSW, has found that one of the most effective ways to sell silver to any generation is to encourage customers to try the piece on and experience the tactile pleasure of purchasing jewellery.

“No matter what age demographic you are serving, it is important to identify each customer’s individual needs through general conversation and open-ended questions,” Brown adds.

Kat Gee, designer and founder of Kagi, advises retailers to highlight that a piece of silver jewellery is a “failsafe investment” that can be worn with any outfit during sales discussions. “Focus on silver as a jewellery box staple and something that has an everyday elegance that can be worn for any mood, moment or occasion,” she says.

Larry Porter of Bolt International, local distributor for APM Monaco, swears by database marketing. “Together with in-store merchandising and monthly branding, database marketing is the key,” he says. “We have a customer VIP program and, every month, customers can be sent the latest catalogue that will entice them into the store.”

When considering how to provide a great in-store experience, Pastiche head of design and marketing Laurian Ryan recommends adopting innovative window and displays with a cohesive product selection, and then following this up with educated and friendly staff.

“Our advice to retailers is simple,” Ryan says. “Listen to what the customer wants rather than pushing what you want to sell them.”

The overwhelming consensus from both suppliers and retailers is that the most important ingredient in selling silver – or indeed, any jewellery – is to engage closely with customers. Appeal to their individual desires through marketing and then build a strong rapport with them in-store; however, understanding the generation from which they come and the subtle nuances in how this affects their buying behaviour can provide that extra dash of spice to help fulfil their specific needs.

Uberkate
Uberkate

Sterling silver jewellery continues to be a strong performing category and there are plenty of retailers who now consider it a cornerstone of their business.

The recent spike in interest can largely be attributed to three sources: the way in which silver has been marketed to Generation Y; the enormous variety of designs now available; and the metal’s lower price point compared to other white metals. All of these factors play a role in the popularity of silver surpassing both generational and gender boundaries.

Now in high demand across a wide range of ages, silver presents retailers with endless sales opportunities and those who tailor their marketing campaigns to target different age demographics can achieve additional boosts to silver sales.

Generation Y
Known for cool and contemporary styles, silver jewellery continues to be popular amongst Gen Y both locally and internationally.

According to Michael Barlerin, director of The Silver Institute’s Silver Promotion Service in the United States, the most recent research conducted for the organisation shows that consumers aged between 20 and 40 form the primary demographic for silver jewellery.

Barlerin says this is due to various reasons: “This is partly due to silver jewellery initially being acquired in the teen years and becoming the start of a ‘silver wardrobe’. While it is conjecture on my part, I think gold jewellery is often thought of as ‘my mother’s jewellery’.

Additionally, platinum jewellery is obviously part of the white metal preference but often, due to price point, only a potential consideration in bridal merchandise.”

The study – organised by trade magazine National Jeweller – was based on US-based findings but Barlerin says











ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie Chan • Staff Journalist

Stephanie Chan is a staff journalist for Jeweller. She has more than four years’ experience in business-to-business publishing, covering a wide range of industries.

Duraflex Group Australia
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