The Luxury Education Foundation recently brought together representatives from the world’s leading luxury brands – a group that included Hermes, Dior, Chanel and more – to discuss how they’re dealing with a changing market. Millennial customers have less money than their parents did, and there’s a tendency to prioritize spending on experiences rather than possessions; this is a challenge for all fine jewelry brands. You can read an in-depth report here; we’re just going to focus on the parts that you can use to help grow your brand.
We were very excited to hear Henri Barguirdjian, the CEO and President of Graff, specifically call out the power of social media in this conversation. He said, “Number one, new consumers have educated themselves very quickly, and their knowledge of our world and our product is very impressive. If anything, the whole new way of communicating with social media makes our lives easier because you get instant reaction whether you are doing something right or wrong.”
This level of responsiveness from the public has provided Graff with a real time way to check whether an idea is on or off brand. Prioritizing those ideas that provoke buyer enthusiasm is an obvious best practice; we’re guessing those buyers couldn’t resist the Graff diamond encrusted Beats by Dre headphones that recently debuted.
Smaller brands can do the same thing: sneak peeks of design concepts on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook are an easy way to gauge buyer response. Barguirdjian pointed out that the negative feedback is more plentiful than positive, so don’t be discouraged by the trash-talkers: that happens to everyone. The ability to test ideas without committing 100% to them is a luxury previous generations of jewelry designers didn’t have available to them. Today, this testing may be essential to connecting with the Millennial customer who may buy less jewelry – but wants the pieces they do buy to be exactly right.