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Locked In But Not Knocked Out!

Attention Jewellers! 

12 ways to strengthen your business while under COVID-19 lockdown

Hello my friends from the jewellery industry… Hope you are all at home & safe!

As India also goes down under a complete lockdown from today, as a precautionary measure to counter the global scare of CoronaVirus, all businesses are sure to suffer in some way or the other. While we maintain social distancing (the only cure!) and stay at home, we can use this extra time at hand to strengthen the core of our businesses. If you are wondering… how? Then, here is a list of 12 ways to step up and prepare your business for the second half of the year 2020. Hope this helps… Stay safe, stay indoors & keep washing hands!!

Gemstone Inventory of Khwaish Jewellers. Photograph styled by Preeta Agarwal
Juste Un Clou by Cartier, Cinemagia by Bulgari, Cactus by Cartier

1. Create New Design Ideas

      – Play with your existing stock of gemstones that has been sitting inside your safes for months & years and create some unique design ideas.

      – Design around unusual or unheard of inspirations that attract eyeballs once launched. Some of the most unique examples are Cactus & Juste Un Clou (Nail) by Cartier, Noah’s Ark by Van Cleef & Arpels, Cinemagia by Bulgari & many more.

      – Design a few one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces that will generate praise, media attention and attract eyeballs to cut the extensive competition like the eye piece by Messika that was featured by every jewellery journalist & blogger.

      – Create practical pieces of jewellery that stand out from the crowd by incorporating elements like storytelling, spiritual meaning, sustainable materials & processes etc.

 

Amrapali necklace designed using parts from existing inventory

2. Refurbish your existing inventory

      – Create content for your social media from old and new jewellery together. Make fun compositions for pictures according to gemstone, metal color, technique or even merchandise. Storytelling engages your audience and makes an impact. 

      – Re-group your old merchandise, stock that has not moved since over a year. Merge them into compact collections creating a narrative. Keep in mind your target audience and connect to them through the storyline. 

      – Identify your dead jewellery inventory, that which has not been enquired about for more than 3 years. As the trend keeps evolving, similarly your jewellery needs an upgrade. Redesign/ remodel this categorized inventory according to the current trend. 

 

Different rings for a different audience from Malabar Gold & Diamonds- Solitaires for engagements, couple bands and men’s rings in a variety of gold colours
Unconventional photo shoot for a Jadau (Kundan Polki) jewellery that created a stir. Jewellery by Ghatiwala Jewellers & styled by Preeta Agarwal

3. Strategize for the latter half of 2020

      – Plan the launch of your remodeled recollection based on the upcoming events and exhibitions in 2020. Use occasions or festivals as an opportunity to promote your upgraded designs. 

      – Take this time to give thought to the details because each detail adds up to the success of the project.   

      – Evaluate how your brand can leave a lasting impact on the market. 

      – Assess the quality that can make you stand out from the crowd and use it as your USP. Remain authentic by knowing what you bring to the table. 

      – Through your photo shoots aim to target specific audiences with respect to their lifestyle.

      – In a time where the technological development has reshaped the social media presence of the jewellery sector, it’s crucial for the products to be efficiently captured. And a quality picture is the result of a good composition. Plan unconventional photo shoots that can make your products stand out.

 

Tiffany & Co.’s Advent Calendar
Screenshot of Monday.com website

4. Design an event planner till March 2021

      – All of us are collectively facing an unwanted break in our business operations. Once we resume, the remainder of 2020 will stand as a huge challenge. However, we can overcome it with proper planning and timely execution.

      – Most of the exhibitions will now overlap because of being postponed/ cancelled. Prioritize your B2B & B2C exhibition calendar.

      – Create marketing material right now to be used later to accelerate your growth. 

      – Discrete your strategies. One can be short term which is immediately post COVID-19 free India and second can be long term plans for next 2 years probably. Planning beforehand helps you to organise things in a better way. 

      – Write down a potential list of clients (short term) who you need to touch base immediately as work life gets back to normal as well as a desired list of clients (long term) with whom you have always wished to work.

      – Virtual planning! One tool that I use for all my planning is www.monday.com (introduced to me by my dear friend & jewellery insider Katerina Perez). Monday helps you organise all your thoughts, to-lists, calendars, reminders, expenses, data, team tasks … all in one place that is accessible on your phones and laptops. One wonderful feature is that you can choose to share specific boards with your team members and keep a track on their work progress. 

 

Boucheron’s new ad campaign keeping the millennial audience in mind along with their logo as part of the layout.

5. Re-visit at your brand collateral

      – Company Logo & brand DNA!

      – Brand Lookbooks/ Collection catalogues

      – Brand & spokesperson profile

      – Other marketing materials- packaging, stationary, gifting, displays etc.

      – Reassess if any of these need an uplift or upgrade.

      – Make certain that your brand’s graphic language and color scheme are in sync. 

      – Also, while you reassess, make sure to keep the millennial audience in mind.

 

6. Revamping the Digital Presence

      – Make your social media platforms (website/ social media page/ apps) more customer friendly.

      – Or upgrade it graphically, make the content crisp. No one has time to read too much!

      – Study your own brand and ensure that it conveys the same look & feel on each platform. 

      – Observe your strategies. Focus on your strengths & show them visually.

      – Recognize your own loopholes and work on them. Be one step ahead by knowing your weaknesses. 

      – Evaluate if you need to hire help to make a bigger impact.

      – Remember: Brand Presence is more important than brand awareness. 

 

From design to final product- The Bulgari Diva Watch

7. Re-look at all your brand operations

      – Take a thorough look at the entire operation system: from design to manufacturing, customer facing to end packaging. 

      – Remember that these levels co-exist. A fault in one can overflow and cause faults at other levels too. So, ensure that the transition from one operation to another is smooth.  

      – With this extra time in hand, you can incorporate an upgrade in the operation that was lacking.

      – Assess if you need to add more levels to operate systematically. 

 

Melanie Georgacopoulos’ innovative brand with a unique concept, manufacturing skills & display ideas.

8. Study other brands, competitions & idols

      – What exists and what new can be introduced.

      – Who is doing what? Stay up to pace with the global jewellery industry.

      – Study the journey of your idol brands as well as upcoming new names. Do note what good/ interesting/ out-of-the-box idea they implemented to reach where they are today.

      – Infuse the good work but do not forget to make it all about you & your brand. Taking reference and plagiarism are two different things. 

 

Masterclass with Anna Wintour & Online Course by Joanna Hardy

9. Knowledge upgrade

      – Sign up for webinars like 

                     > Udemy (https://www.udemy.com)

> Jewelry Industry Summit https://www.jewelryindustrysummit.com/webinars-2/ 

      – Sign up for online courses by experts like 

                     > Joanna Hardy (https://www.learningwithexperts.com/jewellery)

                     > Christies (https://www.christies.edu/online/courses/continuing-education/online-courses/history-of-jewellery-design?sc_lang=en)

                     > Masterclass with Anna Wintour (https://www.masterclass.com/)

      – Online resources website like

                     > Katerina Perez.com (https://www.katerinaperez.com/)

                     > The Jewellery Editor (http://www.thejewelleryeditor.com/)

                     > How to Spend It (https://howtospendit.ft.com/watches-jewellery)

                     > The Jewellery Cut (https://jewellerycut.com/)

Christie’s Online course on History of Jewellery

10. Research & more research! 

      – Look out for new materials that you can use in your own product.

      – Hunt new jewellery manufacturing techniques that can enhance your offerings.

      – Study new gemstones & colour combinations that can appeal to your target audience

      – Trends that are currently in fashion & forecasts for the second half of year 2020 & year 2021.

      – While looking ahead we also need to look back at history and find trends that can make a comeback. Research on movements like Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Minimalism, Industrial Revolution, Pop Art, Surrealism, Mughal Era and more.

– The Christie’s Online Jewellery Course on History of Jewellery Design can be quite useful. https://www.christies.edu/online/courses/continuing-education/online-courses/history-of-jewellery-design

 

Preeta Agarwal admiring the collections at David Webb

11. Understand your clients better.

      – Strengthen your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). 

      – Study your last 2 festive season’s client list and note the changes. This will help you to understand the evolving market and your specific footfall.  

      – Understand your client’s data w.r.t. age, gender, occupation, income, decision makers, behavioral patterns, customer vs. consumer, market competition, surveys etc.

 

Designer Anand Shah with his team, Preeta Agarwal and The Jewellery Intensive participants

12. Think of your staff too!

      – Find innovative ways to educate/ train/ strengthen your staff.

      – Your care towards your staff at this time will reward you with a lifelong loyalty.

      – Help your lower income-bracket staff with money, food, medicines.

 

Having said all the above, I would also advise you to spend time with family, make a routine, help the women with household work (as they are working on overtime now), play with kids & meditate! Can’t say it enough… so once again… Stay safe, stay indoors & keep washing hands!!

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