This year at the thought-provoking 2014 Link Jewelry Talk, a unique blend of panelists shared their thoughts on the jewelry market, and specifically, the language of jewelry.
The speakers addressed some of the most challenging issues facing the global jewelry industry: craftsmanship, technology, the consumer, and emotion.
The language of jewelry:
Adornment, Acquisition, or Artifact?
Bringing together those who represent the jewelry wearer, the collector, the designer,
the investor and the brand, this discussion examined the range of motivations behind
the desire to possess and wear jewelry.
What does jewelry mean to each of the different players in the world of jewelry?
How is the language of jewelry evolving?
Jewelry as a functional object
Jewelry as art
Jewelry as an investment
Jewelry as a storytelling element
How are the different jewel motivations reflected in the creativity and production of jewelry?
“A story always comes with a beloved piece of jewelry. It’s a conversation starter.” Carmen Busquets
The big commercial question was, of course: “What do you see as the single most powerful trend in jewelry today?” All three business minds spoke with one voice: “Brand.”
“More and more jewelry is branded now,” and we need to understand personal and psychological ideals by equating the self expression that creators and wearers of jewelry seek with their own “personal brand.” – Sig. Baldan
Insight from Rita Clifton – one of the worlds leading branding experts.
“You need to be distinctive in how you talk to customers, in creating the experience of customers relating to you, to the collections and to the pieces themselves.There are real people modelling clothes in Net-a-Porter; you could have real people showing how what jewelry would work with what outfit, making suggestions – this can be done extremely well online.”
Carmen Busquets, who as a pioneer of online retailing for luxury fashion items, would have insight into how consumers bought jewelry online. “Jewelry goes with fashion more and more. The internet is the place for the next great retail interface. It can deliver multi-sensory experiences, it’s a great place for telling stories. You can show video, make cultural references; it can be more exciting and better on the net than actually having someone there in person.”
Shaun Leane was asked: “Where do you get your ideas from?” Mr. Leane quoted a wide range of inspirations from the natural world, literature, art and poetry. The heart of the matter is, “It’s human emotion. We build emotions in jewelry by building a relationship with the customer; we come to understand their colorways, their memories, their families; we create for them something that we know they will connect with.”
“The celebration of the birth or death of a loved one as a memoir, a memory, fascinated me. We try and inject that timeless, romantic element into our work. If you compliment someone’s jewelry they will start telling you a story. They’re re-living that moment of joy or grief; it’s not the carats or the cost. Jewelry is emotion and what it brings to our lives.”
An interview with Carmen Busquets
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL CONSUMER, AND WHAT LANGUAGE YOU THINK THE JEWELRY THAT YOU SELL SPEAKS TO HER OR HIM. “My customer is like me – they want originality, quality and individuality above anything else.”
WHAT IS IT ABOUT JEWELRY THAT FASCINATES YOU?
“You can express your creative individuality with it and you can send a message to someone with it too, as a gift.”
DO YOU THINK YOU CAN BETTER CONVEY THE STORIES BEHIND JEWELRY ON A SCREEN THAN IN A STORE?
Well online you have videos and tools to show not only the story of the designer, but also the story of the craftsmanship behind the piece. You also have audio, pictures, and you can zoom in to see details of jewelry to levels that the human eye cannot see. All this brings transparency and authenticity to the experience, and it educates both consumers and salespeople about the product.”
“The retail customer experience can always be improved. The three key magic words could be:
(a) become more user-friendly, (b) be more digital and
(c) make sure that the post-purchasing service is as elegant as your design.” – Andrea Morante