Upmarket Daisy

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Daisy changes its demographic by positioning itself for luxury market.

Daisy has positioned itself as an affordable middle market product with rings ranging in price from £18 to £400. The jewellery is currently silver or gold plated, but Daisy is planning to create a range of precious jewellery in September.

“We’re changing the demographic again, “says James. “I want to be like Giorgio Armani and appeal to people on different price levels.”

But regardless of materials or price levels, Daisy is keen to remain within the aspirational fashion sphere and to reinforce its position as such it signed model Cara Delevinge as the face of the brand.

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James describes signing Delevinge, goddaughter of actress Joan Collins who some have tipped as the face of 2010, as “a costly exercise” but he believes it is worth it. “Daisy is not a flash in the pan and we want to invest in the brand in the same way as Thomas Sabo has,” he states.

Gaining editorial in women’s consumer magazines is the ultimate goal for every aspiring jewellery brand and from the very beginning James was keen to forge links with various titles and even moved his office from Portobello Road, spiritual home of Westminster Silver Guild, to central London to be closer to the magazines’ HQs.

Daisy has had some success in achieving editorial and wanted to reinforce this with an advertising campaign. This however, proved to be too pricey when James was quoted £12,000 for a single full-page ad in Grazia magazine. Undeterred, James continued to woo the consumer journalists without blowing his budget and it paid off.

Grazia got back in touch with him and asked him to provide goody bags for its Style Hunter feature and he agreed. In return, when Daisy held a party in Portobello, Grazia acted as an official partner, providing magazines for the goody bags, sending photographers and making sure the party was packed with fashionistas from its office.

This type of reciprocal marketing is a strategy that some bigger jewellery brands have been employing for some time. Stephen

Webster, for example, has links with Grey Goose vodka; the drinks brand provides the jeweller with free vodka for its events and in return Webster promotes Grey Goose, going so far as being pictured with a bottle in the background of photoshoots.

As well as working with Grazia, Daisy has forged a strong relationship with nail varnish brand OPI. At the same party that was supported by Grazia, OPI had a table in the Portobello Road members club with beauticians on hand to provide free manicures for guests.

These partnerships help Daisy to appear like a bigger organisation than it actually is, which is intrinsic to its plans as it is setting itself up as the next big thing in branded jewellery and its plans to exceed the boundaries of the UK market.

To support this international growth Daisy has plans to exhibit at international watch and jewellery fair BaselWorld. James visited the show for the first time this year and was impressed with what he saw.

Not many British brands exhibit at the show, but James believes its key to becoming an international player and is hoping to join the exhibitor list in the next two years.

“I was phenomenally impressed; it’s a very different league and I can’t wait to exhibit there,” says James. “There is no way that we can avoid doing the show as we need to get our product to that audience.”

And while talk is cheap, Daisy has already taken its first steps on the road to global distribution. The brand has already had considerable success signing up retail partners in the Republic of Ireland through distributor AE Mollins, where the brand is now stocked in 45 stores.

“It’s daunting, but it’s very interesting with the overseas markets, as you never know which one is going to work out,” says James. “We found with Ireland that when we started to do press there it had an immediate effect as it’s a very tight community.”

But looking further afield, Daisy is in talks now with Canadian retailers and hopes to enter the market in August or September. And even further afield, it has entered into negotiations with retail stores in Australia.

James also has his sights set on Japan, the Middle East and South America, and believes Daisy’s London connection will see it well in overseas markets. “We will have London as part of the branding,” he adds.

The other key to unlocking the brand’s global potential, according to James, is the internet. “If you want to become a global brand, the easiest and cheapest way to spread the word is online,” he says.

The brand has just started trading online at its website daisyjewellery.com, which hosts the brand’s full range of 750 stacking rings. The issue of brands selling direct to consumers online is a sensitive one, and usually comes with some backlash from retail stockists, but James is convinced that by doing so, Daisy will be helping its retail partners rather than stealing business from them.

“It’s not a selfish decision and it’s not just about making money for us” says James. “We’re building a brand and we’re building it from scratch; we couldn’t rely on our stockists to raise our profile, we have to do it and once we have it will increase sales for them in the medium term.”

Dasiy has worked with design agency Brilliant, the same agency that has created its website, on a virtual stacking ring tool. The web based programme allows users to choose from a selection of rings to create a stack which is then displayed on a virtual hand. The skin tone of the hand can be changed to match the users’ and is finished off by applying a virtual slick of OPI nail varnish.

James says the tool, which allows users to post their designs to Facebook, has huge viral potential and will help to spread the word about Daisy. “We need to be the driving force behind the concept and tell millions of people about this, and the stack ring design tool will do this,” he says.

He also intends to use the intelligence garnered from the online application to move the brand forward by taking note of popular and unpopular ring styles. “It’s a chance for us to get much closer to our customers and test out new products,” says James. “We want them to be involved in the development of the brand instead of standing back and waiting to see what goes in the net. It doesn’t work like that any more.”

Another sales coup that James believes will raise the profile of the brand is a deal with Ernest Jones. The brand will be stocked at 20 Ernest Jones stores around the UK in prime shopping centre locations, as well as on the retailers transactional website, ernestjones.co.uk.

The deal with Ernest Jones has ensured Daisy a high-profile position in the UK market. “They seem to know their stuff inside out and have helped move our business forward,” says James of the team at Ernest Jones.

Daisy teamed up with an American designer to create a special display unit for Ernest Jones that James believes will make selling stacking rings easier. “The hardest thing about stacking rings is the display,” he says.

The matt black display, which took four months to develop, is the size of an Apple Mac screen and can be displayed in a variety of ways including under counters and in windows. The display has space for promotional materials, tens of rings displayed on removable horizontal and vertical display solutions, and also has a moveable coloured model of a hand which can be used to view the rings.

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