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GUEST COLUMN: How do jewellers cater to the ‘less is more generation’?

Ella Drake_ Ro Copenhagen

Words by Ella Drake, country manager, Ro Copenhagen (UK)

At a time when the array of consumer choices in life are overwhelming, simplicity is becoming a selling point — a reflection of the millennial mind set ‘less is more’.

The millennial generation is by far, one of the most challenging demographics to understand.

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Whether analysing from a social, political or economic point of view, many millennial traits and idiosyncrasies test the status quo. As a millennial myself, I’m here to discuss a few ideas about what we want from a product and our retail expectations.

More of us value personal growth and experiences over acquiring material possessions that don’t hold sentiment or value in our lives. We want the possessions that we do have to improve our day-to-day lives and enrich it with social dialogue. This is a much longer lasting reward for millennial consumers, rather than the quick gratification that a frivolous purchase offers. The ‘less is more’ concept has several ways of being interpreted, but a key one is that Generation-Y sees less significance in a society of cluttered consumption, preferring one richer in quality and substance instead.

So how do we cater for this atypical market?

Modern heritage brands rely on story-telling, immersive marketing retail experiences and a clear, reliable aesthetic. This sounds achievable, but rarely do brands get it right.

At Ro Copenhagen, purpose and an engaging experience that immerses us in the story of the product are two factors that contribute to the appeal of the brand and its offerings.

At Ro, product collections are more steadfast from season to season; we don’t introduce new product lines for each quarter or occasion in the jewellery calendar. In contrast to fast-fashion, Ro stands by its considered and timeless designs, adding to its existing range only when there is another chapter to tell in its story.

Ro’s Fine Oak collection is a mainstay of its range and personifies the rich cultural heritage that runs through the brand. Each 18ct gold piece is set with ancient, petrified native wood from peat-bogs near the holiday home of Ro’s founder Helle Nissen. The history of the wood is that not only of Ro but also of Denmark. It is a brand story such as this that carries on from the product through to the consumer, for them to incorporate into their own personal narrative.

Like much of Scandinavian design, Ro’s aesthetic is built around timeless simplicity and effortless grace. It is all at once contemporary and classic; minimal and full of sentiment. One of the most important aspects of the brand for Helle Nissen is that its collections transcend trends and time, that the inherent characteristics of different pieces remain constant so that a piece from a new collection can be worn alongside one from five years ago.

As consumers navigate the vast ocean of “choice fatigue”, tell-tale signs in the market for the last couple of years prove that there is a resurgence in demand for higher carat gold, and that purchasing quality over quantity is becoming a mainstream desire. The Deloitte’s consumerism report issued for 2017/2018, found that the top three attributes of a material good that encourage purchasing are that it’s high-quality and will last a long time, it makes them feel good, and wanting to treat oneself in recognistion of meeting a personal goal.

It is these key offerings from Ro Copenhagen that position it as a brand that millennials can understand and buy into. Of course, the fine jewellery brand’s consumer base reaches far beyond any one demographic; it’s pared back and clean lines are truly cross-generational.

Tags : Ella Drakemillennial retailmillennial shoppersmillennialsRo Copenhagen
Stacey Hailes

The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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