IJL kicks off with focus on brand building
LONDON, September 5, 2010 – International Jewellery London (IJL) opened today with a focus on how to build a brand successfully in a highly fragmented industry.
“You have to find a new niche that no one else is doing and do it in a slightly different way,” said Jenni Middleton, Editor of Retail Jeweller magazine, at a well-attended seminar at the start of the trade fair, which runs until September 8.
Hazel Kay, a senior independent industry consultant, who had previously worked for the Diamond Trading Company, told the event that if you have a unique idea for a brand, it is vital to protect it to prevent someone else copying it.
Intelligent investment in public relations was worthwhile, but advertising does not always work, a panel of industry experts said.
“You have to package what you are selling in a way that is so compelling that retailers have to take it,” Kay said.
Jayant Raniga, brand manager with east London retailer PureJewels, said, “If a brand is successful, it’s really difficult as a retailer to say, ‘I will not take that particular brand on.’”
Kay said that in the highly fragmented jewellery trade, there were many very similar products on the market, and so the real challenge was to produce something different.
“If you see the same charm bracelet, why would you buy it? You have to be slightly original, slightly distinctive,” she said. “You have to make your brand rise above the others you are competing against.”
Kay added, “Be distinctive, single-minded, consistent, and try to be the most relevant to consumers that you can be.”
Cutting-edge designs are an important way forward for up-and-coming brands.
The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning “Mad Men” television series is having an impact on design, Kay said.
“The Mad Men phenomenon underlines 1950s glamour. There is a return to voluptuousness, to perfection,” she said.
Middleton said chunkier and multi-functional jewels are big trends.
Retail Jeweller magazine is launching a “mentor a designer” programme in which established designers will work with newcomers, she added.