Collaboration with digital influencers, stylists and content creators are the key to cater to the aspirations of the young, upwardly mobile luxury consumer, believes Sheetal Ranka, co-founder and the force behind Rare Jewels – A Ranka Legacy, a Pune jewellery boutique.
What was the reason for establishing Rare Jewels – A Ranka Legacy?
Ranka Jewellers has a 167-year legacy and enjoys immense goodwill and loyalty among middle- and upper-class consumers in Maharashtra. It is a go-to showroom consumers’ jewellery needs.
Rare Jewels was founded by my husband Vastupal and me in 2020 to cater to a niche segment of consumers.
Among Ranka Jewellers’ loyal consumers are bureaucrats, politicians, and industrialists. Our research indicated that such consumers prefer a different shopping behaviour. Jewellery as an integral part of their lifestyle, and so, styling, personalisation, and customisation are important for them. Jewellery buying is an emotional and multi-sensory process.
Look, touch, and feel are of utmost importance in jewellery retailing. Care has to be taken to ensure that the product is displayed aesthetically. We use curated instrumental music to heighten the brand experience as people tend to align their behaviour with the background music. We haven’t underestimated the power of smell either. Our specially procured fragrances have become a part of the brand experience. We can never underestimate the touch-and-feel factor in driving jewellery sales. Our gourmet entrees take care of the culinary needs of a consumer.
Tell us about the brand-building process of Rare Jewels.
We would like to live up to our name. Being rare is very important to us. It’s all about the old-fashioned word-of-mouth concept that works fine for us.
We have done four shows in the last two years. Two of them in our boutique, one in Kolhapur and the other at the India Trunk show. We received an extremely encouraging response to these shows.
We are among the first few jewellers in Maharashtra to collaborate with social media influencers.
During the pandemic we collaborated with a content creator and social media influencer, make-up artist, and fashion designer. One of our very successful associations was with the Bollywood and Lakme Fashion Week stylist, Mohit Rai.
These associations have been very successful for us. Today’s consumers read the fine print. When they read that the clothes worn by a celebrity are styled by a renowned stylist are accessorized by Rare Jewels, our brand gets noticed at the national level and that is a big plus for a two-year old brand.
Ranka Jewellers had brand ambassadors such as Vidya Balan and mother- daughter duo Dimple & Twinkle Khanna in the past…
Our associations with the Bollywood brand ambassadors were rewarding. It worked very well for our umbrella brand Ranka Jewellers.
Rare Gems is a niche brand, and we would like to grow gradually. Today’s consumer needs variety and novelty at regular intervals. Traditional marketing techniques such as expensive multimedia campaigns are very expensive, tend to be self-indulgent and need to be implemented over a period of 6 months to a year. Those days are long gone. In the present context, we need to engage our consumers daily. Social media makes this possible. In addition to influencers and stylists, our social media campaigns featuring our consumers have become popular. They are mutually rewarding as our brand becomes more visible and our consumers feel special as they participate in such promos.
What are the trends that you have witnessed in the last two years?
By virtue of our collaborations and cross promotions, we have become proactive. A brand cannot introduce new collections in isolation. We have become good at spotting trends. The consumer preference has shifted to lightweight ethno-contemporary jewellery pieces.
While wedding is an important occasion to jewellery buying a bride doesn’t buy only heavy sets. She plans for what she is going to wear for the next one year or so. We offer her a wide choice by pre-empting her needs.
Tell us more about your tie-up with JITO.
I am looking forward to JITO (Jain International Trade Organization) connect, an international convention and a coveted Global Business Summit that is scheduled from the 6th- 8th May in Pune. It’s a business conclave with 500 exhibitors and 500000 visitors are expected at the show. Rare Jewels is associated as a platinum sponsor with JITO connect. We will be styling 13 powerful women from politics, business, philanthropy, and those doing meaningful social work.
It is our way of acknowledging their contribution to society. Rare Jewels will be noticed by the international business community and will eventually benefit from the association.