Platinum Establishes Distinct Identity in India

Vaishali Banerjee
By Vaishali Banerjee

India is a mature jewellery market and the love for precious jewellery is embedded in our culture. What is more precious, eternal, rare and pure than platinum to celebrate our love for jewellery? It is the mystique and fascinating heritage of platinum that makes it so special. From the diamond-encrusted platinum for Maharajah of Patiala by Cartier to Elvis’s wedding band, platinum has always had a special appeal.

It was imperative that platinum found a need gap that it could fulfill and own over a period of time. Thus the strategy was to create emotional, value added branded propositions clearly positioned and differentiated from gold.  This branded approach has been well received by the trade as an incremental business opportunity, whilst being in line with shifting consumer trends at retail.

The strategy specifically aimed to deliver the platinum meaning and experience in an extraordinary way to drive aspiration. This was both through communication and the product itself. Positioned as rare, eternal and a more precious metal with the promise of everlasting love, platinum is now considered a befitting gift of love amongst couples, parent- child and siblings. Our recent consumer research shows that young audience associate platinum with love and commitment and believe that choosing platinum reflects their discernment.  Platinum has begun to establish a distinct identity within the vast Indian jewellery space.

The market has grown 10 times in the last six years and platinum continues to remain an important part of the retailers and manufacturers business development strategy.

Platinum Day of Love continues to be the largest segment with Platinum Love Bands accounting for 61% of the product sales. Men’s segment a comparatively newer category stands at 21%.

Platinum Jewellery (2)Leveraging platinum’s strong emotional and aspirational appeal in its core TG, we have expanded the platinum footprint into the bridal segment with Platinum Evara. The platinum promise for the bridal segment is ‘blessings of everlasting love’: that will bring the couple together – this has been established from the Platinum Day of Love.  Love that will bring two families together, because in India the wedding is really not only about the couple – it is about two families coming together, it is about this new family unit that has been created.  This is the current discourse in India and it is only right that platinum, with love, should appropriate this current discourse.

We went a step further with Evara and we said there has to be a visual mnemonic to this piece, because this is a piece that the couple will get at the wedding but will wear continuously afterwards, not like the wedding jewellery, which goes into the bank locker to come out on other wedding days.  This is a piece of jewellery that is a blessing from her parents or parents-in-law, and this is something that they can wear all the time.  Therefore, there is a Platinum Bond in every piece of Evara jewellery, because this Bond symbolizes the love that holds relationships together.

In its initial phase we have seen a positive response from both consumers and retailers. Platinum Evara has opened up additional volume sales opportunity for retailers. The retailers are upbeat for this category as the consumer response has exceeded their expectations. Pt Evara programme currently has 56 doors enrolled, with 29 Flagship stores & 27 Concept stores. Additional 41 doors are in the pipeline for being enrolled into the programme by December2015. All current 56 stores have reported sales. Necklace sets & bangles constitute 60% of Evara jewellery sales, balance being chains & bracelets for women.

For 2016, we will continue to maximize the consumer opportunity and desire for the Platinum by ensuring higher consumer engagement and conversion.  For both Platinum Day of Love and Men’s , the strategy would be to drive the right merchandising mix, consumer experience, training and retail activation to ensure conversion and prevent loss of opportunity. Since most of our core audience is online it becomes essential for us to be future forward in our digital strategy. We have an integrated marketing program led by digital to engage the consumer, build consideration and create brand believers.

With an aim to reach more consumers, we will target regional chains and large independents in tier two cities to increase retail presence for PDOL and Men’s jewellery.

Evara has exited consumers and retailers alike. We have an extensive and integrated marketing program that targets both the mothers and the brides to build relevance and embed Evara as a key piece of wedding jewellery.

With the support of the trade partners who believe in the category and are committed to drive it, we expect the bridal segment to contribute strongly to platinum growth in 2016.

(This article is penned by Ms. Vaishali Banerjee, Country Manager of Platinum Guild, India)