Words of Advice: Disruption in Gem and Jewelry Business
Changes are inevitable, especially in this era when it is believed that everyone must have at least heard of or known about ‘Disruption’. The word refers to significant changes in the environment that bring more attention to such conversions, particularly those driven by technology, which are the key mechanism of change in many fields. Similarly, changes have been observed in the gem and jewelry business. Changes caused by technology might be minor, major, quick, gradual, low-profile, high-profile, imminent, or stagnant. Let us examine the changes and their intriguing elements.
- Lab-Grown Diamonds: The term should be a familiar one as the products were initially offered 20 years ago. At present, their recognition rate has risen over 60%. The change is considered as a major and high-profile one during the initial period. Later, their recognition were gradually built up until now. Similar to the earlier phase, arguments about the scarcity of natural diamond supply, unethical labor practices, and carbon emissions of diamond synthesis continue. The importance of these difficulties varies according to the circumstances of each entrepreneur. Yet, the trading value of synthetic diamonds has steadily increased.
Business Tip: A higher trade value for synthetic diamonds implies more opportunity to profit from them.
- Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a digital asset that has received significant attention recently. In the digital age, NFT is a 'one-of-a-kind' asset. Despite the fact that it is an intangible asset, it may be exchanged like any other asset. Its appealing feature is that it is akin to a one-of-a-kind item of collectibles. NFT products have been offered digitally in the gem and jewelry business. Bulgari, Tiffany's, and Räthel & Wolf all have digital jewelry brands in NFT. Since the transition is still ongoing, large companies believe that brand name jewelry on blockchain might be one of retail's prospects.
BusinessTip: Attempt to study and comprehend changes. When their directions are still unclear, take your brand to the realm of NFT.
- Blockchain Technology has been more engaged in the transparency and provenance tracing of diamonds. With potential limitations and consequences, as well as consumers' focus on the aspects, some entrepreneurs have attempted to find a way to manage the effects of technology in order to respond to consumer demand. For example, Wwake, an American brand, posted photographs and video clips of a female jeweler making a ring on its Instagram account. The posts attracted considerable interest from viewers. Its application significantly increases the transparency of today's customers and their confidence in products.
Business Tip: Any technological impact may be both beneficial and negative; leveraging a negative impact to transform a crisis into an opportunity may result in a positive outcome.
- Zero Tolerance 4C's Consumer Guarantee uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to analyze gemstones. Certification results offered are more than a certification report because they include refund guarantee. This gemstone testing service is a major, high-profile, and definite change as it created great enthusiasm. The change has roused players in the market to keep up or improve their performance. This is because if consumers become aware of such change and clearly demand more than a certification report, it may be too late to adapt.
Business Tip: Some changes occur without any signs or warnings. However, these changes are real, and you may face their impacts without being prepared. Thus, placing importance on changes in related environments and contexts may assist you in surviving today’s changes.
- 3D Printing is a way for simplifying 3D jewelry prototype printing for both simple and complex items. The approach simplifies the procedure, decreases production time, and speeds up jewelry item modification. Obviously, technology brings about evident and good improvements by lowering prices and allowing products to reach customers faster.
Business Tip: While technology may expand and simplify client engagement in design, the process will soon become routine and lose its distinctiveness.
- SENSORY EXPERIENCES creates an ambience of jewelry physical store, which has been a standard practice for all brands. Consequently, touch and sensory experience is a new tool for linking sales for fresher and deeper approach. With this positive change, Swarovski launced a 'Wonderlab' store to express the brand's inspiration as if it were coming directly from the headquarters. Tiffany & Co. recently launched its Blue Box Café, which offers a real-life 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' experience in order to develop new experiences and strengthen consumers' experience and relationship with the brand.
Business Tip: Creating a fresh experience through an idea and an approach can serve as a bridge between a brand and its customers. As a result, any brand may exploit its distinctness to connect with its customers.
- Website: The number of people who access brands through online media is increasing recently. Providing a good experience through businesses' websites and various media is essential. Using high-definition imaging technology and 360-degree video, for example, may make jewelry communicate with clients as if they were gazing at the items with their own eyes. Augmented Reality (AR) is another approach for providing consumers with a virtual experience of items. These changes may appear to be minor, yet they may make a significant difference in the relationship between brands and customers.
Business Tip: In the era when diverse technologies are rapidly evolving, employing certain important aspects to bring about advantages is highly advised.
- Gen Z grew up in a technologically oriented society. Though, their purchasing power may not be high, it can be said that this demographic has substantial influence on other generations’ decision. According to Pew Research statistics in the US, Gen Z embraces diversity in society and cares about climate change and racial value, which differs from prior generations.
Business tip: In the future, Gen Z will become high purchasing power consumers in the future. As a result, we must be prepared by staying focused on their views and values as well as reaching to this generation. Creating a brand for them would be perfect.
- LGBTQIA+: Gender transition is a significant societal development. According to De Beers, same-sex couples are an important market category to target. 72% of American homosexual couples see diamonds as an important part for special occasions in their life. They generally have higher income than heterosexual couples. Producing advertisements ensuring all consumers of your brand’s support for them is another recommended marketing strategy.
Business Tip: If you consider that everyone is your consumer, showing them that living together in harmony is crucial in today's environment may help you acquire societal support. This is because marketing to a certain population may no longer be effective.
- Body-Positive: Producing products for all has become common. For plus-sized consumers, looking for suitable jewelry was extremely difficult. Providing jewelry for all can give a feeling of universal beauty and self-esteem for plus-sized consumers, which is one of the current trends.
Business Tip: Apart from sexuality, another problem that should be addressed is body positivity. Customers for your brand might be anyone with any body shape.
Disruption is caused by several factors. A noticeable change occurs when numerous things completely change at the same moment or around the same time. Understanding, studying, and planning to cope with them are therefore critical. A small adjustment in the corporate sector, in particular, may have a huge influence. The adage "better safe than sorry" is timeless.
Gem and Jewelry Information Center
The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization)