Although gold is intricately woven into the tapestry of Indian culture and traditions, there is a perception that it is limited to the bridal segment and older women. The World Gold Council (WGC) and the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) recognised this lacuna and the role gold could play in the young, modern Indian woman’s life. The WGC and GJEPC have announced a strategic partnership for generic gold jewellery marketing in India.
Gold in India has been a versatile instrument of investment and adornment for such a long time that we perceive its value to be intrinsic and self-generated. While traditional gold ornaments are still de rigueur at wedding ceremonies, today’s drastically changing societal norms and values have weakened the bond between gold and the younger generations. The industry can no longer take for granted gold’s eternal desirability.
With rising numbers of women in the workplace, gold’s safe-haven role as a repository of wealth (read streedhan), too, is slowly taking a backseat to sophisticated financial instruments vying for her attention.
Tradition and religious belief may well continue to be future drivers of gold jewellery. But the industry recognises that gold must somehow redefine the symbolic role it plays in order to make itself relevant to future generations.
The recently announced WGC and GJEPC tie-up to promote gold jewellery in India does just this. It encompasses a jointly funded multimedia marketing campaign aimed at increasing gold jewellery consumption in India, especially among millennials and gen Z.
According to the WGC’s ‘Retail Gold Insights: India Jewellery’ report, a third of Indian women aged 18-24 years had purchased gold jewellery in the 12 months preceding the conducted survey in 2019. The report indicated that their future purchase intent could be higher, especially in urban areas, if gold could become a means of self-expression and prestige.
This finding presents an opportunity for the gold industry to work collectively to make gold jewellery more relevant and contemporary, leading to a consequential shift. This joint partnership will work to make gold jewellery more relevant and desirable through an evocative multimedia campaign.
Somasundaram PR, Regional CEO, India, WGC, commented on the partnership: “The Indian gold jewellery market is an astonishing blend of craftsmanship and creativity, symbolising centuries-old manufacturing skills that have shaped our passion for gold. However, buying habits are constantly changing and marketing efforts of many products create a strong appeal addressing consumer instincts for experiences and instant gratification. Indian gold jewellery linked largely to planned buying for traditional occasions, may be missing a crucial link to many other life-worthy moments that younger audiences cherish.
“We are working together with GJEPC to create this crucial link. Together we will work on a campaign that amplifies a universal message about gold in one’s life whilst positioning Indian handmade jewellery in a very modern context. This should spur the Indian gold jewellery industry to act in unison to compete at the top end of the curve in the evolving consumer preferences, and create a strong global influence as a jeweller to the world. Through shared goals and an aligned mission, the WGC looks forward to a successful partnership with GJEPC in supporting the Indian gold industry through this generic category campaign by showcasing the cutting edge, modern contemporary gold jewellery to our consumers.”
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, commenting on the partnership, said, “GJEPC is delighted to collaborate with World Gold Council (WGC) for the Nation-wide campaign to promote gold jewellery. The objective is to develop a sustainable model for an industry led initiative to drive growth for Gold Jewellery in the market; maintain high desirability & drive consumption amongst consumers in India. I am confident , WGC’s broad experience and deep knowledge of the factors driving market change, will certainly help craft a campaign that will drive gold jewellery consumption among the millennials and Generation Z consumers. I believe that, while there is a renewed interest in handcrafted gold jewellery, we need creative solutions to match the contemporary woman’s aesthetic sensibilities. We are moving towards the age of personalisation and self-expression, and desirable gold jewellery designs have to address that need. The campaign would bring alive the modernity and versatility of gold to consumers reinforcing the value of gold.”
Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions, Marketing & Business Development, GJEPC, noted, “Although reverence for gold in India goes back centuries, being woven into mythology, sacred ceremonies and weddings, of late we have seen an emotional disconnect from gold among the Millennials and Gen Z. Making gold relevant to them is the underlying aim of this campaign supported by the GJEPC and World Gold Council. What better metal than gold to create heirlooms for the future, crafted with ancient techniques that are linked to our rich history, but articulated with a modern design lexicon so as to inspire the new generation. And the cherry on the cake is gold’s undisputed intrinsic value that only rises with each generation.”
Branding and generic advertising are two ways for gold to overcome its current existential crisis. They have become a necessary survival tool for luxury products to build a desire to own and ascribe value to them. The WGC-GJEPC joint marketing campaign, which will be rolled out in next few weeks in India, has its work cut out.