In Depth: Battling COVID-19 fatigue & fluctuating gold rate, jewellery brands bank on festive marketing

Festive jewellery

New purchase trends are emerging for jewellery brands to adapt to as business bounces back to normalcy, we take a look at their festive marketing strategies.

Festive marketing and the overall festive season are of increased importance for jewellery brands this year. One, the marriages and occasions postponed from the prime of wedding season are slated to take place now. Two, consumers gear up to act on the pent up purchase urges, as well as use the excess savings from the lockdown. Three, consumers are now serious about savings and in an Indian context gold plays an integral role here.

However, converting these consumer insights into a transaction for jewellery is tad more difficult with the Coronavirus fatigue combined with fluctuating gold prices. At the time of filing the report, the price of Gold in Mumbai was INR 52,770, an extremely steep rise from Gold rates last year, which ranged between INR 38,000 to INR 40,000. Addressing this and many other concerns, jewellery brands have been harping on festive marketing tactics.

For jewellery brands, festive marketing this year is all about reassurance and compassion. Digital has become a key tool for marketers to put forth and build their narratives, reaching people via screens.

Festivities Without Worry

COVID-19 has brought with it a need for businesses to assure customers on several levels, purchase-related and otherwise. To do so, PNG Jewellers is concentrating their efforts to offer customers a Diwali with no worries. While a part of it is about reassurance in regards to the end of COVID-19, the other is about telling customers to concentrate on designs rather than worry about the fluctuating prices of gold this year which has been a major concern.

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In regards to communication channels, the brand is trying to up their game. “For the last two years, we have seen a trend in jewellery where customers would browse online, buy offline. Now we are taking things one step ahead and giving them the option to do via video call,” Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director, PNG Jewellers tells us.

He adds, “We also have an option of jewellery on wheels where the customer can the brand’s representatives would go to the customers’ house and showcase the jewellery there.”

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The fact that the adversities of 2020 have nudged people into being more vigilant about savings has proven to be a plus for jewellers as it’s a key buying trend this festive season. The Indian thought process of saving money through purchasing gold comes in handy Gadgil tells us while explaining key purchasing trends for the year. Others on the list include festive and wedding purchases along with small impulse buys.

Tapping Varied Mediums

At Khimji Jewellers, the focus is on finding innovative ways to reach audiences where they are by activating online as the experience centre for consumers. Digital is helping them showcase their products as well as work on brand visibility even as TV remains a big part of the marketing strategy.

“We are activating www, digital and social media without completely abandoning TV and Print. We are on TV in a big way because of it being a family fireplace. We are present in the cloud, in our showrooms, on social media as well as on activated platforms like WhatsApp,” Nishit Nanda, CEO, Consumer Business at Khimji Jewels tell us.

Talking about the expected purchase patterns for the year, Nanda explains, “There has been a shift in the taste and preferences of the buyers. Customers are looking for trendier and more lightweight jewellery that is budget-friendly and can be worn more regularly, rather than occasion specific.”

Customer-Centric Campaigns

Even though traditional ATL Media like Print and Outdoors continue to be important for Reliance Jewels, the brand has substantially increased its portion of spends online, particularly on social media. They believe it is no longer an option but a necessity and that the tone and messaging of such digital campaigns should be customer-centric and engaging.

Influencer marketing is a key part of such communication around jewellery, especially during this year’s festive season.

Talking about 2020 and the impact of the pandemic on marketing strategies for this year’s festive season, a Reliance Jewels spokesperson tells us how there has been a shift in buying patterns as weddings scheduled for the first two quarters of the year got postponed.

“There are fewer wedding events and attendees, and hence the average investment in a wedding has comparatively shrunk. This surplus budget is kept aside now allowing more investment in gold as a security for the future.”

“We are also witnessing a surge in old gold exchange, and pre-booking jewellery, anticipating that prices will increase in the short and midterm,” they tell us.

Also Read: Inside Zivame’s lingerie festival amidst lockdown

Influencers To Ambassadors

In 2017, Mithila Palkar did an unboxing video for Mia by Tanishq. Cut to 2020, she is their first brand ambassador. Influencer marketing is clearly key to Mia’s festive marketing strategy for a large part of their portfolio is light-weight jewellery that can be gifted. Indulgent purchases form a core area of business for Mia.

This year, they roped in several influencers to highlight precautions being undertaken at malls and to build confidence in consumers to step out to shop. It was an essential move for a lot of Mia’s standalone stores are situated inside malls in various cities in the country. On digital, they are working with Gaana and Hotstar as well as leveraging IPL.

Talking about prominent customer purchase patterns, Shyamala Ramanan, Business Head, Mia by Tanishq tells us, “There is a lot of pent-up desire that we can see. People have missed a lot of milestones like birthdays and anniversaries. Ours is a great brand for gifting and so we are seeing good traction on our site as well as online marketplaces. Things are bouncing back and it’s very encouraging.”

Online Business, Online Marketing

For Shaya by CaratLane, a brand that was born on Instagram, social media has always been a core marketing channel. This Diwali, they have launched an aggressive Diwali sale and a new festive collection. To support these on the business end, they are concentrated on improving the quality of conversations and increasing their promptness in replies on social media.

Mimi Hrahsel, Business & Creative Head for Shaya tells us, “One big shift that has already happened is that a lot of people who were not warming up to online shopping yet have now shifted to online shopping. Brands have also evolved their business models to be able to give a more omnichannel offering to their customers.”

“For us, our biggest influencers are our customers. Influencer marketing is not something that we are pursuing heavily right now, but we are definitely doing some experiments around this. If we figure out a unique model that’s working for us, it could become an important part of our marketing strategy,” she added.

Key Trends in Festive Marketing of Jewellery

There are certain key trends that can be observed across jewellery brands and their festive marketing strategies, irrespective of whether they sell wedding gold jewellery or smaller indulgent gifting options.

  • Jewellery brands are focussing on upgrading e-commerce and digital experiences, completing the loop online itself.
  • Influencer marketing is a key tool for brands to highlight products and new ranges.
  • A special focus is being put on fulfilling the needs of those who are looking at gold as an investment this year.

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