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Courting the Female Self-Purchasers

Floroscent cover story

Times have changed and so does our women of today. Now they enjoy financial independence, they travel the world and they are involved in decision making, more than ever. Keeping in step with this changed outlook of our modern women, jewellers have altered their brand narratives in order to strike a meaningful conversation with them. Now the campaigns talk about women’s aspirations and milestones. Different mediums are being explored to connect with them. Certainly, the industry has come a long way in terms of branding. Praveer Sinha has the report.

Of late, leading jewellery houses and national level jewellery brands are doing #socialmedia campaigns and marketing activities to attract a new breed of buyers. They are targeting a demographic, which is highly valuable in today’s day and age and yet is widely an underserved powerhouse. We are talking about the financially independent woman of today or as they are called ‘self-purchasing females’ in the business world.

Earlier self-purchases of jewellery by women was a little-known trend in the gem and jewellery sector. But today huge numbers of woman are financially independent and they are now able and willing to buy their own jewellery.

A growing trend

‘Self-purchasing females, a customer segment that has grown more than 50 per cent in the last decade, now accounts for 30 per cent of the total diamond market’, reported De Beers in its Diamond Insight Report 2018. The study revealed that the self-purchase of diamond jewellery continued to rise – particularly among younger women – reaching one-third of all pieces purchased.

Moreover, in a new report by MVI Research titled ‘Self-Purchasing Females: Luxury Growth Demographic of Opportunity’, it was disclosed that more than half of millennial age women indicate themselves as the primary buyer of jewellery in their households. Released in August 2018, the study finds that the growth in jewellery demand was fuelled by a self-purchasing market led by women with a strong affinity for white-gold jewellery (35 per cent), silver (17 per cent) and platinum (15 per cent).

Another, interesting fact highlighted by De Beers report was that the average amount women spent buying for themselves increased to the level spent on gifted pieces.

Jewellery by Rupam Singhal
Jewellery by Rupam Singhal

Recognising women power

Attracting female self-purchasers is now a major cornerstone of major jewellery brand’s marketing strategy. To encourage female self-purchasing of diamond jewellery, Forevermark has recenlty launched the ‘Better Half Within Me’ campaign in India. The media campaign aimed to cash in on the relatively large number of women who currently enjoy increasing levels of economic power and want to celebrate their personal achievements.

“Most women these days are breaking clichés by buying diamonds for themselves. With our ‘Better Half Within Me’ campaign, we aim at giving these empowered women the choice of the half-carat diamond as a precious, long-lasting representation of their individuality and a mark of their achievement at an attractive price point,” said Sachin Jain, President, Forevermark India.

Bhavishya Kelappan, Business Head, Mia by Tanishq, too feels that financially independent woman are being targeted with more advertisements now-a-days and the traditional narrative has changed.

“The young, modern Indian woman of today is open to new ideas and designs and is always the thinker, whether in her professional or personal life. They no longer look for validation from family, peers or significant others. They are instead taking charge of their lives or indulging in pursuits that may have been considered beyond their ken earlier,” she shared.

She added that Mia’s communication has been crafted to bring to life the fact that whatever women do, they do it in their own unique way. “The critical aspect to keep in mind is that the space is a little crowded and brands have to work that much harder to be in the consideration set for her share of -wallet,” she advised.

For online jewellery retailer CaratLane, the core audience is the young women, who are more likely to buy jewellery for themselves. “There has been a fundamental shift in the consumer outlook. Our customers are largely in the age group of 25 to 45 years, with the core segment being young, successful and financially independent Indian millennial women – breaking through stereotypes to forge a new identity which reflects in their sense of style. These women base their decisions on the power of knowledge and access to information,” revealed Mithun Sacheti, Founder and CEO, CaratLane.

What drives ‘em?

A study on jewellery purchases by the market research firm Mintel showed that more than half of the 2,000 women who took part bought jewellery simply to treat themselves. ‘Traditionally gifted by men to their partners, women today are just as likely to buy their own jewels, for fun, as an investment or as a satisfying way to spend a bonus or celebrate a personal event, whether that is a promotion or to commemorate a special memory or a trip,’ the report stated.

According to Pratap Kamath, Managing Director, Abaran Timeless Jewellery, Bangalore, self-purchasing is primarily driven by women wanting to control what they get. “They are no longer waiting for their men or partners to buy them jewellery. They now buy jewellery as tangible evidence of their successes and as a reward for their hard work. More frequently, the purchase celebrates events such as promotion at work, a significant birthday and an important anniversary. And they are not the predictable anniversaries, such as weddings, but events such as a bonding experience with someone like a friend or a child,” he informed.

Jewellery by Minawala
Jewellery by Minawala

Evolved outlook

Taking note of the jewellery preferences of self-purchasing females, jewellery designers and fine jewellery brands have begun to evolve their designs around it.

Commenting on the transformations in the Indian market and the trends at present because of the rise of self-purchasing females, Rupam Singhal, Head of Design and Product Development, Orra Intergold Gems Pvt. Ltd. said, “The scenario has changed from the last 5-10 years. The new woman is more aware about jewellery today than in the past. Today, she has a greater sense of style and design than before owing to the global exposure. The self-purchasing women of today are more design and quality conscious now, instead of just price. Now-a-days, they acknowledge combination of metals and gemstones and want quality products,” he updated.

‘Unlike past, today’s women are clear, as to what they want and what they are buying,’ feels Sonam Gupta, jewellery designer and co-founder, Zurie Design Studio.” Usually, our jewels are part of the bohochic trend which is mostly loved by the women between the age group 18 to 35 and they are now preferning to buy their own jewellery. They demand sensitive designs. Cheap or expensive that hardly matters; they are more interested in innovative designs and not in price. For a majority of them, the brand does not matter; satisfaction should be fulfilled with the design,” she mentioned.

The Indian jewellery market is changing rapidly and the behaviour of the consumers is also changing accordingly, explained Sonal Sahrawat, Creative Head, Sonal’s Bijoux and Adawna. “Self-purchsing women are more aware and are very clear about their requirements. They are ready to experiment with designs and stones to make their jewellery stand out. This attitude inspires us to experiment more with our design concepts and provide our patrons with not only unique designs but also with uniquely cut gemstones, which we procure from various corners of the world,” she added.

Shaya by CaratLane
Shaya by CaratLane

Connecting with self-purchasing females

While striking a chord with the self-purchasing women, brands are moving away from pure product pitching to connecting with their consumers on a deeper, emotional level. They are going beyond product and become more relevant in consumers’ lives.

“Self-purchasing woman does not follow the labels or trends blindly. She wants her jewellery to reveal something about her unique self and taste. She is pretty sure about what she likes and is fond of intricate detailing. She is well-travelled, open to diversity and like to have her own expression. Consequential changes are under way, both in consumer behaviour as well as in the industry itself. Jewellery players can’t simply do business as usual and expect to thrive. They must be alert and responsive to important trends and developments or else risk being left behind by more agile competitors,” pointed out Shehzad Minawala, Creative Director, Minawala.

“The jewellery industry needs to change dramatically because even today, just about every jewellery product that winds up being worn by women is either made by men or the organisations are run by men,” said Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing. “So the industry needs to embrace this opportunity, it needs to bring more women into the pipeline—the product development pipeline, the management pipeline—and it needs to understand that this consumer really needs a female voice and a female aesthetic talking to her,” he added.

Quite clearly, striking the right chord with the self-purchasing females will be going to be a big growth opportunity for jewellery brands, retailers and manufacturers that are willing to develop new approaches and new language for self-purchasing women, trying to appeal to them and capture their attention.

 

Sachin Jain Forevermark India“Most women these days are breaking clichés by buying diamonds for themselves. With our ‘Better Half Within Me’ campaign, we aim at giving these empowered women the choice of the half-carat diamond as a precious, long-lasting representation of their individuality.” Sachin Jain, President, Forevermark India

 

Rupam Singhal , Orra“The self-purchasing women of today are more design and quality conscious now, instead of just price. Now-a-days, they acknowledge combination of metals and gemstones and want quality products.” Rupam Singhal, Head of Design and Product Development, Orra Intergold Gems Pvt. Ltd.

 

Pratap Kamath Abaran Timeless Jewellery“Women now buy jewellery as tangible evidence of their successes and as a reward for their hard work. More frequently, the purchase celebrates events such as promotion at work, a significant birthday and an important anniversary.” Pratap Kamath, Managing Director, Abaran Timeless Jewellery

 

Shehzad Zaveri Minawala“Self-purchasing woman does not follow the labels or trends blindly. She wants her jewellery to reveal something about her unique self and taste. She is pretty sure about what she likes and is fond of intricate detailing.” Shehzad Minawala, Creative Director, Minawala

 

Mithun Sacheti CaratLane“Our customers are largely in the age group of 25 to 45 years, with the core segment being young, successful and financially independent Indian millennial women – breaking through stereotypes to forge a new identity which reflects in their sense of style.” Mithun Sacheti, Founder and CEO, CaratLane

 

Sonal Sahrawat, Sonal’s Bijoux“Self-purchsing women are more aware and are very clear about their requirements. They are ready to experiment with designs and stones to make their jewellery stand out. This attitude inspires us to experiment more with our design concepts.” Sonal Sahrawat, Creative Head, Sonal’s Bijoux and Adawna

 

Sonam Gupta Zurie Design Studio“Our jewels are part of the bohochic trend which is mostly loved by the women between the age group 18 to 35 and they are now preferning to buy their own jewellery. They demand sensitive designs. Cheap or expensive that hardly matters; they are more interested in innovative designs and not in price.” Sonam Gupta, Co-founder, Zurie Design Studio

 

Bhavishya Kelappan Mia by Tanishq“Women no longer look for validation from family, peers or significant others. They are instead taking charge of their lives or indulging in pursuits that may have been considered beyond their ken earlier.” Bhavishya Kelappan, Business Head, Mia by Tanishq

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