Last year I wrote an article about jewelry marketing and got asked on stage to talk about one of the aspects I mentioned: diversity and inclusivity. During that event on stage, where I sat with a great group of people, I felt a growing tension in the room. What was happening?
The jewelry insider and the jewelry outsider
Jewelry has never been an obvious choice for me. I wasn’t surrounded by art-loving family members, nor did jewelry play any significant role in my family. There was no secret attraction from my side, I did not know I loved jewelry until I stumbled upon it. The magic happened from the moment I entered this beehive called Valenza (Italy) where everybody seemed to be doing something in jewelry.
I see it as a down to earth fairytale. A term that feels like a contradictio in terminis, but really offers the juxtaposition of always being able to look at the jewelry world as an insider AND outsider. The insider part has grown over the many years spent in actual work within the jewelry industry. The outsider look is the ability to observe the consumer whose days aren’t filled with thoughts about jewelry. I always think about that consumer.
In the jewelry marketing blog last year, I talked about the ‘’older white male’’ perspective on marketing and promotion of jewelry. It seemed that diversity, inclusivity, and authenticity as a cultural movement had not yet entered the ivory towers of those who promoted luxury and more specifically; jewelry.
What has changed in this weird 2020?
Everything and nothing.
We saw the rise of BLM. Last year we talked about inclusivity and diversity as something that we observed in culture and amplified by the voices on social media with the rise of the new generation. All trends mentioned in that article, like so many trends, have either accelerated or changed completely.
Sometimes at the very same time. Again, these are interesting times! An example of this? E-commerce and the rise of local retail! We bought more online than ever before, yet we have also found a very new and fresh love for local stores.
Time to pick a side
Politics today- with the many dividing populist players, have also brought forward groups of people and more global awareness of acknowledging the state of the planet’s climate problems. We understood that we had to do it ourselves and no longer lean back and look at a-sometimes denying problems-government. This has grown to massive organizations and voices that now get the platforms they deserve.
But what does this mean for your jewelry business? You don’t have to march, you don’t have to shout, but you need to look inside your own company to see what your values are. You also need to understand who your clients are and what their values are.
What is inclusivity?
Inclusivity is not just using the image of a full-bodied woman, to give an example.
It’s also thinking about her when you create your collections. This is where we go wrong in jewelry. It’s astonishing, but many bracelets and necklaces come in sizes that aren’t for full-bodied women. Why do women’s bracelets only come in sizes up to a maximum of around 19cm?
The same goes for men, obviously. I can hear you think almost: because we can’t customize our collections to every customer that doesn’t fit the standard sizes. Well hello, this is the time to take action and show that you see this group and solve their problem. This is using the love for inclusivity and showing it in your marketing while solving an actual problem.
Big brands hire managers that focus solely on inclusivity and diversity. But for all of you, all the rest of you, this is the time to have conversations with each other. Try to find good examples. Not from companies much like yours, but try to get inspiration from other industries.
Look at how Calvin Klein used a black full-body female to promote their underwear. Look what P & G did with their Emmy Award-winning ad: The Talk. Look at how ThirdLove (bras and underwear) has ALL body types (and ages) represented in their collection AND their images.
There are so many inspiring companies. My tip would be to ask yourself and your employees to gather them and to create a board on Pinterest.
So how to be on the right side with your jewelry marketing?
Remember that I mentioned earlier that tension in the room during my appearance as a panelist? That room was filled with people from the jewelry industry. Most of them, biased and very outspoken about whether lab-grown diamonds were legitimate products for jewelry. The lab-grown diamond industry tried to push its market by showing the many things wrong throughout history with natural diamond mining and selling. Vice versa, the natural diamond industry fought back and talked about the minimum difference in footprint in the production process. Both were right, both were wrong.
I felt how almost everyone sat at the point of their chair. Ready for yet another battle between these two opponents. And just as I sat there, I felt that feeling I described before: I am just as much an insider as I am an outsider. What are we talking about? We should, as an industry with our clients, our final clients at heart, provide all the information to the public. In a transparent and objective way.
The choice is yours as a company to work with the stones you choose. The client isn’t silly and should be taken a lot more seriously. I felt a little disappointed how so many in this industry live in a weird bubble. They should try to step back and take off their biased glasses and look at their final clients with fresh eyes.
How to achieve all this?
By being humble. By stopping boasting about your company. I am so tired of that approach and believe me, your future client isn’t going to be impressed by you only shouting and not listening. By being humble and trying to define who is your target audience. What are their interests? How are their lives? How can you solve their questions and problems?
How to be inclusive, conscious, sustainable, authentic, and transparent?
Again; be humble. Sit down and have that target audience in mind. Authenticity can’t be faked. People will notice if it is. Greenwashing your product will cost you dear if it’s shallow or fake.
I think that one of the key values we’ll seek in employees in the coming years will be empathy. You know why? Empathy makes people human. Empathy is authentic. A message created with empathy in mind will look so much better than your brand trying to be something it’s not.
If you start to think about empathy and feel it in all the way down to your gut and use it in your conversations, you’ll understand what your brand brings to the table. Now use that!
Categories: Frauenschmuck und Accessoires