May 20, 2003
Right Hand Rings Ready To Launch
The official launch for retailers of the Diamond Trading Co.'s new right hand ring campaign will occur at the Couture Jewellery Collection and Conference beginning May 24 in Scottsdale, AZ, and continue at the JCK Show - Las Vegas, beginning May 30. Retailers will get details of the program at each venue.
DTC's Diamond Promotion Service describes right hand rings as substantially different from diamond engagement rings, three stone rings and diamond anniversary bands. The designs should be oriented in a north-south direction and use a lot of open, or negative, space. Rings can contain a mix of round or fancy shapes and should include at least one diamond of 20 points or more.
DTC will promote right hand rings in four different styles: modern vintage, contemporary, floral and romantic. To help manufacturers envision these styles, DPS took the unusual step earlier this year of creating generic examples of the four styles that met its other criteria for the right hand ring. DPS gave manufacturers different configurations for inspiration. The styles were created after consultation with merchandising and design experts and can be adapted to many different price points.
Six of the generic DPS styles will appear in the fall consumer ad campaign for the new category, along with 10 other designs created by seven other designers and manufacturers: Universal Pacific, Beaudry, Kwiat, Michael Werdiger, Leddel Intl., Carelle for Philippe Diamond and DesignWorks. The commercial designs were chosen from among 300 submitted, according to Sheryl Silberg, director of market initiatives for DPS, who says manufacturer response to right hand rings has been enthusiastic.
The Target Market
Research conducted for the DTC showed that women like diamond fashion rings and already buy a substantial number of them - it's already a $5 billion category, according to Brandee Dallow, manager at the Diamond Information Center. "The desire is there, we just want to breathe more life into it," says Dallow. The profile of a consumer who might buy such rings is a woman who has likely been married at some point, received diamond jewelry before, and needs no one's permission to treat herself. She's proud of her own accomplishments and is evolved, savvy and affluent. Unlike the female targets in other DTC campaigns, who are typically in the 25-54 year old age group, DTC is aiming for women 35 to 64. Though the ring can be a self-purchase, the DTC also anticipates that women will ask for right hand rings as a gift from a significant other.
The ad campaign is directly to women and encourages them to desire the new product category because of its broad range of designs and the statement such rings make about themselves. Each ad features four rings depicting the four styles (modern vintage, contemporary, floral and romantic) and a photo of a fashionable woman who epitomizes the target audience. The tag line for the campaign in each ad is: "Women of the World, Raise Your Right Hand." Ad copy encourages women to think of rings for their right hands as expressions of personal style for the independent, worldly, assertive sides of their personalities, as distinct from their family commitments. One excerpt: "Your left hand loves candlelight. Your right hand loves the spotlight." The ads will appear starting in September in single pages and spreads in a broad mix of lifestyle and fashion magazines.
DPS will provide retailers with a wide range of support materials, including a CD ROM of artwork, counter cards, in case signage and ad materials. It is also working with display and packaging companies to have tailored right hand ring products to help jewelers reinforce the idea. DPS wants jewelers to make right hand ring displays easy to find, while also training sales associates to cater to women looking for these rings. Retailers will be encouraged to make an in-store diamond experience for women that's created especially for their needs.
by Peggy Jo Donahue