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Indians are not hesitating to pay a premium for unique appearance: Nisha Choksey from Shobha Shringar

With limited availability of exquisite designs comes a better brand recall for those who take this route to market as consumers across all age-groups want to be treated with stand-out jewellery designs.

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Design appreciation is subject to individual consumer aesthetic. Thanks to social media, consumers of all ages are being exposed to current fashion. So consumers have become aesthetics and design aware. It presents an opportunity for jewellers’, who want to build a truly distinct brand identity, to choose exclusivity over mass production.

With limited availability of exquisite designs comes a better brand recall for those who take this route to market as consumers across all age-groups want to be treated with stand-out jewellery designs.

Our brand took the long and arduous path to customer loyalty by building a unique design language. This practice started about 23 years ago when I joined the family business as a designer. Putting my background in fashion design to use, thorough research went into Indian regional craft, the Christie’s and Sotheby’s bodies of work and even Egyptian gold jewellery to shape up an outlook on how we wanted our gold jewellery to be.

We realized that weaving artistry into jewellery design is the best way to have an endless scope for design exclusivity in the classic and staid gold category. We started exploring with small jewellery pieces. Overwhelming appreciation helped us understand how consumer behavior was working in our favour.

Even while dealing with exclusive collections only, the response from different age groups of customers were too varied and complex to draw an easy conclusion.

The consumer is exposed to tried-and-tested design trends at chain stores where commonly seen patterns and mass manufactured gold designs is shown. The challenge, in such a scenario, arises as to how a pro-design boutique brand can appeal to the general mass with its exclusive inventory.

The key to solve such problems is design awareness, which customers are bringing in these days. Even with excellent consumer profiling, a retailer needs to spend time to understand the needs of a new customer who walks in with a vague idea of what she wants to buy.

 It’s the gradual process of interaction and inquiry about that awareness which helps a brand exhibit the right pieces to the right person quickly and build on its design intelligence for product development in the future.

With a wide customer age bracket of 18 to 50 years, each of our customers has a different take on the same piece of jewellery. Lovers of heirloom pieces would want to grow fond of their jewellery as they age. Again, the same composition of the jewellery needs to be tweaked for a simpler, edgier and trendier look for a bold youngster.

Today, we are widely known for our unique designs in antique gold jewellery. Our clientele has expanded strongly through social media and personal references. Therefore, when we get clients from Chennai, Pune, Kolhapur, Bengaluru who are buying exclusive statement pieces for the first time, their interest and inquiry signify a slow but steady shift towards design-rich pieces. 

But does this strategy work well for all kinds of Indian jewellery customers? The heterogeneous nature of Indian jewellery market disagrees. Gold jewellery will always be split into multiple preferences active simultaneously because of varying consumer behavior. There are takers for both kinds of jewellery. People from tier 2 and 3 cities still buy jewellery for the investment value of gold. But customer awareness and change in mindset are influencing behavior there too.

As we further strengthen our brand identity by enriching design value and exclusivity, current trends help me infer that although there will always be a steady market for investment-centric gold jewellery, there is a burgeoning consumer segment seeking gold designs that appeal to their evolving sense of fashion and style.

As told to Shubham Dasgupta

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

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