Putting Soul into the Design Process at Insignety
By David Brough
Insignety offers unique software that makes it easy for retailers to create and personalise jewellery together with their customers, CEO Mark Bos tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.
Q. Insignety offers state-of-the-art software to retailers allowing customers to configure their ideal ring. What is unique about this product in the market?
A. Insignety is a totally unique brand unlike any other in the market place.
It empowers the consumer to create individual and personalised designs from the soul that unfold before their eyes in store.
We believe life’s special moments should be celebrated and captured in personalised designs. We provide our retailers with an end-to-end in-store design solution that is unique in the industry. It gives them the best of both worlds: attentive and personalised customer service with the added value of revolutionary real-time pricing and imaging. Our retail partners provide their consumers with an interactive, fun and intuitive experience.
In just four easy steps, we make it easy for our retailers to create and personalise jewellery together with their customers. You don’t need any design qualifications or CAD knowledge to use our software and it has been designed for any staff members to operate, requiring very little training. What’s more, our software won’t let you design something that cannot actually be made…..very clever!
It’s an experience that only Insignety can provide. Putting soul into the design process is at the heart of Insignety. And this is only the beginning….at Insignety we never stand still.Q. What offering is available to customers in terms of choices of precious metals and diamonds, and in what colours?
A. Insignety provides high-quality and distinctive products and services to consumers who have high expectations. That’s why we work exclusively with the best craftspeople and use only the very best materials, precious metals and techniques. Sustainable and certified.
We offer a choice of 9, 14 or 18 carat white, yellow, pink or red gold or 950 platinum. We offer a wide range of the finest quality natural (mined) and lab-grown (made) diamonds and even some beautiful shades of coloured diamonds. The natural diamonds are all sourced from reliable partners who comply fully with the Kimberley Process and our standard quality is D/E/F colour, VVS clarity. The lab-grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds in terms of their physical and optical properties. These high quality, ethical diamonds have today become a socially responsible and environmentally friendly alternative to natural diamonds.
Q. What type of customer experience does Insignety offer?
A. “Jewellery players can’t simply do business as usual and expect to thrive; they must be alert and responsive to important customer trends and new technology, or else risk being left behind.” McKinsey Insights 2020 Report
Despite the increase in online shopping, consumers continue to make the most of their purchases in brick-and mortar stores because online shopping fails to deliver one critical thing: experience.
We feel that retailers need to keep their consumers interested and have to create an exceptional, intuitive and personalised in-store experience. We think the U.K. is missing a brand that offers all of these crucial elements for jewellery retailing in the present day and into the future. Insignety responds to these trends by offering a complete experience.
Insignety enables our retail partners to provide their consumers with a completely unique shopping experience, unlike any other. It is totally interactive and gets the consumer involved throughout the experience, making it possible for them to design one-of-a-kind jewellery together with the jeweller through our revolutionary and intuitive software.
The consumer sees their design choices come to life on screen, before their eyes in the simplest of steps with options to add many patterns, different finishes, lines, diamonds in various settings and very importantly, the price is on screen and updates in real time, alleviating any potential awkward budgetary questions with the customer.
Perhaps the most magical part of the Insignety experience is being able to personalise their design with a fingerprint, heart beat or handwriting of their other half or children using hardware we provide within our design units. This all appears on screen in a matter or seconds and can be added to either the inside or outside of their design and amazingly, at no extra cost whatsoever.
The interaction with the consumer that our retail partners have is much more in depth with Insignety and captures their emotion in a fantastic in-store experience.
Q. What is the appeal of “made” diamonds versus natural stones?
A. Made diamonds offer the consumer a choice in much the same way as Cultured Pearls versus natural or treated Rubies versus non-heat treated. At Insignety, we are very conscious of our environmental impact and our ethical responsibilities and felt it very important to have both ‘made’ and ‘mined’ diamonds in our portfolio. It is a subject that many UK retailers are wary of but that is largely down to a lack of education. Some retailers have asked us if ‘made’ diamonds are synthetic stones but when we explain the way in which a ‘made’ diamond is formed and the benefits that offering these diamonds can give, they are often much more receptive to the idea.
‘Made’ diamonds have the same optical, physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds but are completely ethical, less harmful to our environment, have no issues around traceability and are also less expensive than mined diamonds, offering consumers more value for money.
At Insignety, we firmly believe that ‘made’ and mined diamonds can coexist alongside each other and the demand for ‘made’ diamonds will come, being driven by the consumer. It is a market that is growing at a fast pace in America, and it will only be a matter of time before our UK consumers start asking for this ethical and environmentally friendly alternative.Q. What trends are you seeing in terms of customers’ choices for natural diamonds compared with “made” diamonds?
A. In our experience across mainland Europe so far, consumers are much more open to the thought of ‘made’ diamonds. When consumers design their ring in our software and see the price update live on screen, they can sometimes end up creating a design that is outside of their budget.
When we switch their design from mined to ‘made’ diamonds the price of the stones reduces by around 30-40% often enabling them to have the design they truly want, which the consumer is delighted with.
We find that one concern our retailers have is that they think the consumer will spend less if ‘made’ diamonds are given as an option, but our experience shows that they still spend their original budget and ‘made’ diamonds simply enable them to have a design that was more extravagant than they expected to be able to afford. The end result is another extremely happy customer!Q. What are your plans to roll out Insignety products to retailers around the world, and do you have plans to exhibit at any international trade fairs after your recent participation in International Jewellery London (IJL) and INHORGENTA MUNICH?
A. We have a very clear strategy at Insignety and by 2020 we aim to be a European market leader in the high to mid-range, affordable luxury jewellery market. This means + 1,200 Insignety Design Points and a European network of dedicated flagship stores, showing all that Insignety has to offer. We have already had strong interest from countries outside of Europe, including India, Canada, America and China so maybe we’ll be a global market leader! We are very conscious however, not to expand too quickly to ensure we maintain our core brand values and quality.
With regard to international trade fairs, we will be returning to Inhorgenta in 2019, and we are also considering other shows such as Vicenza, IJL and even JCK in the future. Nothing has been firmly decided on at this stage though.Q. Insignety already has a flagship store located near the museum quarter in Amsterdam. How is the store doing since its launch in December, and do you have plans to open more retail units? If so, in which markets?
A. As a brand born in Amsterdam, opening our flagship store in the heart of city was an easy decision to make and we are delighted with the success since opening. The store is becoming busier and busier every week with the response from consumers overwhelmingly positive.
We would like to see more Insignety flagship stores opening across key European cities in time but have no firm plans for exact locations at the moment.