OPINION: Analysing Emozioni with Adryan Cresswell

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HD group head of commerce Adryan Cresswell explains what has made Emozioni so successful in the last 12 months and describes the twist on the coin concept that has proved so popular with customers.

“If the traditional bead and charm brands are a celebration of your life’s journey, Emozioni is your travelling companion.”

Two years ago we began to develop a new collectible jewellery brand, which we called ‘Emozioni’. The first task we set ourselves was to establish what our new brand would stand for. We opted for a brand truth that we hope is unique andchallenging. We rejected what had come before and hoped our new approach to the market would be embraced.

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“We decided to reject nostalgia and embrace the exact opposite.”

The link between collectible jewellery and nostalgia or symbolism seems set in stone. It would have been perfectly reasonable to assume we would produce a collectible brand inspired by sentiment and meaning, just like the traditional collectible jewellery brands.

The trouble was, we simply could not get inspired by creating yet another jewellery brand trading memories and meanings. We wanted to create a corner all of our own, away from the traditional collectible brands and the established competition in the market.

The thought of designing coins inspired by ‘love’ and ‘happiness’ left us jaded. Walking down that well-trodden path would leave us destined to be another face in a large and intensely competitive crowd. Instead we decided to reject nostalgia and embrace the exact opposite. We wanted to challenge the premise that collectibles and sentiment are inseparable.

“We wanted our brand to be about making precious moments rather than celebrating them.”

We all know that the traditional charm and bead brands allow consumers to celebrate their precious moments through jewellery, collected and worn predominantly around the wrist. However, we wanted our brand to be about making precious moments rather than celebrating them. This makes Emozioni the antitheses of the collectible status-quo.

Rather than looking back and reflecting, Emozioni celebrates the here and now. The Emozioni brand is a passionate advocate for ‘living in the moment’, or ‘vivere il momeneto’ — an Italian phrase that we have adopted as our tag line.

Most importantly, we have found that this brave new attitude appeals to a wide portion of the market.

“Emozioni’s attitude introduces a new type of consumer to collectible jewellery, whilst not alienating the traditional collectible jewellery consumer.”

Let’s deal first with the traditional collectible jewellery consumer. Those who celebrate memories of course also like to ‘create memories’ otherwise they would have few memories to celebrate. So, the notion of ‘living in the moment’ sits comfortably with them.

Then there are those who may find the traditional charm and bead brands a little conservative. This market is perhaps more fashion-aware and less sentimental than your typical charm and bead collector. They may have shunned collectible jewellery to date. But it is this buyer, or type of individual, who really loves Emozioni. I have lost count of the number of women who have said, “I never really wear jewellery, but I love Emozioni.”

So, Emozioni’s attitude introduces a new type of consumer to collectible jewellery. Traditional footfall can be increasingly difficult to capture for today’s jewellers, so encouraging this wide breadth of target audience into stores is a real benefit.

“Emozioni is now sold in more than 420 doors in the UK, and Christmas sales of the brand were 316% up compared with the previous year.”

It’s interesting that once you have established what a brand stands for, everything afterwards becomes focused
to support the brand attitude you have established. The jewellery brief almost writes itself, as does the creative brief and the tone-of-voice. With a strong character developed and understood by all, product development for Emozioni is a real pleasure. Fortunately, Emozioni hasn’t just been embraced by the team at Hot Diamonds Group, it’s been embraced by retailers and consumers too. The brand is now sold in more than 420 doors in the UK and Christmas sales of the brand were up 316% in 2014 compared with the same period in 2013. What’s more, if we could personify Emozioni, I get the feeling she would fit in very nicely at Hot Diamonds.

“When we decide to launch a new concept, we aim to go from ‘idea’ to ‘launch’ in four months.”

For me, the last four years in the jewellery industry have been fascinating. During this time the jewellery and fashion worlds have become increasingly intertwined. This has presented exciting challenges for us and, I am sure, many other jewellery companies competing in the market as well. The most obvious challenge is the requirement to reduce the time taken between design and launch of new collections so that ‘newness’ is always relevant and fresh. We have had to focus on running tight critical paths when developing newness in order to pass this benefit onto our customers.

When we decide to launch a new concept, we aim to go from ‘idea’ to ‘launch’ in four months, including packaging, point-of-sale design and production. Previously, this kind of product development would have taken us a minimumof eight months, so we are proud of our advances in this area. Being able to achieve this has opened the door to many opportunities for us, and accelerating our ‘speed to market’ is probably one of the biggest cultural changes our company has had to make in the last four to five years.

A note on Hot Diamonds

In January HD Group – the parent company of Hot Diamonds and Emozioni – released its 2014 report, highlighting a 70% increase in sales of Hot Diamonds collections within its independent store network. Additionally, sales of the brand, which specialises in sterling silver and diamond jewellery, rose 101% in
2014 compared to 2013, with strong retailer sell-out.

Hot Diamonds managing director Sanford Simpson, commented in January: “It is still a challenging retail market although we are seeing signs of increasing consumer spend and confidence. Under these circumstances we are very satisfied with our Christmas results within the independents sector and would like to thank our retail partners most sincerely for their ongoing support.

This feature appeared in the March issue of Professional Jeweller. Read it here.

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