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Jewelry Consumers Talk About Self-Purchase, Synthetic Diamonds, and Price Thresholds |  April 13, 2016 (0 comments)


New York, NY—At the recent WJA In The Know conference, marketing expert Ben Smithee of The Smithee Group, moderated a discussion with three female jewelry consumers, each of whom has a different lifestyle and relationship with fine jewelry. Smithee’s goal was to uncover the drivers behind each woman’s jewelry consumption patterns.

The three consumers—Holly, Kia, and Elizabeth (no last names were used)--all talked openly about how they buy jewelry and its place in their lives. Holly, who is Asian, is married and has a young baby. She described herself as “obsessed with jewelry, it’s my most favorite thing in world.” Her father bought her a jade bracelet when she was a child—traditional in Asian culture—and she wore it constantly. “I feel naked without jewelry,” she says.

Elizabeth is white, married, and living in Brooklyn. She used to work on Wall Street but hasn’t worked in 12. She and her husband don’t have children. Her first and fondest jewelry memory was when she was in elementary school, she and her sister got tiny little gold bracelets with their names engraved on them. “It’s the first piece of jewelry I ever got,” she said.

Kia is African American, originally from Los Angeles but currently lives in Tribeca in lower Manhattan. She works as a risk manager on Wall Street, and describes herself as a frequent self-purchase. “I get jewelry for my birthday, lots of emerald! My mother was a jewelry connoisseur,” she says.

Ben Smithee: “What does jewelry mean to you?”

Smithee: Out of last five piece of jewelry acquired, how many were purchased by yourself? 

Smithee: Why did you buy jewelry for yourself?

Smithee: How do you ladies classify jewelry?  Fine or fake?

Smithee: What about mixing fashion and fine together? 

Smithee: What about jewelry shopping?  On a scale of one (low) to five (high), averaging together your last five shopping experiences, what is the score?

Smithee: How much sales help do you want?

Smithee: What brands do you like?

Smithee: Where do you go to shop?

Smithee: Where do you shop online for jewelry?

Smithee: How do you find what you like? 

Smithee: If I’m a designer, what's the best way to reach you, to get you to see my line and possibly buy it?  

Smithee: What about diamonds? What do you think about diamond jewelry?  Is it only for special occasions?

Smithee: Have you heard of lab-grown diamonds? What do you think?

Next, members of the audience asked questions directly of the three panelists. The first two addressed synthetic diamonds.

"When you hear it call lab-created, it doesn't sound good, but would another name make a difference?"

Kia: “It might but at the end of the day. I have to do my research and see what it is.”

“If it's 20% less and looks great, would you consider it?”

Do Millennials really value experiences over things?

What's the price threshold between self-purchase and receiving jewelry as a gift?

Smithee: Do ever buy custom jewelry?

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