How to sell more jewellery to men and pensioners

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Can Harrison Ford inspire a generation of older men to wear earrings?

I was watching a brief interview with Harrison Ford over the weekend when I was reminded of what is jokingly referred to as the world’s greatest marketing slogan.

The inclusion of the instruction on the back of every shampoo bottle to ‘wash, rinse and repeat’ had the potential to double demand for the product at a stroke.

Harrison Ford, in his promotional interviews for the film Extraordinary Measures was wearing an earring as prominently as a pirate.

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What an opportunity. Could the jewellery industry double in size by appealing to men as well as women?

We’ve been to this point before, with many male role models inspiring brief surges in sales of men’s jewellery.

Tutankhamen, Julius Caesar, Francis Drake, Bros and P Diddy have all been responsible for driving up jewellery sales through the ages.

For reasons that are hard to pin down beyond men’s general antipathy towards shopping and grooming, buying and wearing jewellery is a fashion trend that has never spread beyond the most dandy of the male species, and even then it has typically fizzled within months.

The behavioural economics of the current recession make it even more beneficial to target men because they have curtailed their spending less than women, according to a study by Empathica.

The researcher, which questioned 7000 people in North America, found that 72 percent of women cut their spending in 2009, compared to only 62 percent of men.

For droves of men to start wearing jewellery again, it might require a rush of celebrities with a little more fashion savoir faire than Mr Ford to lead the pack.

But a long march starts with a single step, so jewellers can only hope that the rugged actor inspires a generation of grey-haired male imitators.
 

 

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