In one of the most riveting Knowledge Forum series organised by the GJEPC during IIJS Virtual 2.0, Paola de Luca, the founder of The Futurist Ltd, threw light on Consumer Trends & Industry Innovation, a relevant theme for our industry today. The session was hosted by Dolly Choudhary, Director, Promotions, Marketing & Business Development, GJEPC.
Paola stressed upon the fact that we were living in the times of unprecedented transformation across social, political and digital areas. “We have entered a ‘Phygital’ era. In times of social isolation and lockdowns, empathy is the key – to observe, listen, and check how consumers and markets have changed. This social shift is affecting our daily market dynamics. Unless we are not connected with our surroundings, we will not be able to forecast what the consumer wants in terms of jewellery.”
These times when we are limited socially and physically will create strong paradoxes — “we are appreciating human connection, the physical presence, and this is going to generate extreme emotions, and, in turn, an emotional euphoria which will translate into economic euphoria.”
Forecasting, according to Paola, is about design thinking and innovation. New values are fast emerging and this is how the industry can be well prepared in advance, she advised.
Paola laid emphasis on using interdisciplinary social media platforms to stay relevant. Although live, virtual events and trade shows generate great hope and opportunity for business, virtual shows will not be a substitute for physical events, she noted.
In order to recreate strategies it is important to study demographics — from Boomers to Millennials, Genz and Gen Alpha. Study consumer buying patterns, what are their values, how much are they willing to spend, etc.; this will help build product lines in terms of design and appeal, and ways of marketing and communicating with consumers.
Here are a few guidelines Paola outlined:
IM.Perfection is about embracing the flaws – fragility and cracks. Society is getting more inclusive and people are celebrating individuality. So how does this translate into jewellery creations? Consumers are appreciating organic shapes, inclusions in gems. The world over, international designers are using India’s trends of using sliced diamonds into their own design language.
Love is a universal emotion, and more so, since we have been in isolation for so long. Diamonds continue to remain symbols of love, but consumers are also embracing diversity and accepting colour gemstones, enamels in bridal jewellery.
Messaging is also gaining more importance now in order to stay connected. So, jewellery with personalised messages is gaining popularity.
Diversity is celebrated. The world is a borderless village and how will this translate into the way we are wearing jewellery? The younger generation in India and abroad is no longer buying matching sets. One of the major trends is recycling old heritage jewellery by giving it a new flavour — thus highlighting the fact that self-styling and individual expression are prominent. In jewellery, we will see more mixed mediums, coloured metals, the use of titanium and aluminium in mass or high-end segments will be prevalent.
Paola concluded, “Today the consumer is no longer only the one who buys products and services. With new technologies, they are empowered to take up the role of designing their own products – they want affordable diamonds, small pointers in lightweight collectibles. Sustainability – luxury and social issues will intertwine and become a catalyst to conversations. So one will see recycling of metals as well. The future is in progress. We must learn and relearn with fresh perspectives and adopt interdisciplinary approaches time and again.”