Why Small Jewellery Brands Are Big Business In China
18 August 2020
Author: Jasmine Waters
There’s a very small chance that your consumer self hasn’t spent some amount of time in a Jewellery’s picking out a piece for yourself or a loved one. In the Western world, we think nothing of giving this type of gift to ourselves and others, naturally a part of our social material desire. In China this hasn’t necessarily always been the same story, but the pandemic has accelerated a change in consumer demand that may have been gradually on the cards already. As more market opportunities open up for smaller brands, how can they capitalise on these changing needs?
What is the Chinese market like?
In pre-pandemic life, China was already one of the world’s largest consumer bases for jewellery products, already accounting for almost 30% of global sales according to Euromonitor. Within this, there have been radical changes over a number of years, with jewellery originally seen as a one-off investment because of the content of gold. As with much of the industry, this focus is now shifting to not just the quality of the products themselves, but also the extended meaning behind it. Particularly around this time with Qixi, there is now a driving need to ensure that the events of 2020 don’t diminish the ability to be able to give gifts and show appreciation of loved ones. This coupled with a new generation of consumers who think differently about purchases, the opportunity for smaller brands to shine within the market is now more apparent whatever. Although the competition is high, the move to predominantly online sales has provided a spotlight for the small, independent brand to step into – but what should they do to ensure success overseas?
How can brands seize their moment?
The main difference in how jewellery in China is now the added emphasis on having a strong and relatable brand story. Despite there still being more traditional, conservative views present across the country, the growing younger consumer base means there is real room for experimentation here, to cater for faces and voices that aren’t seen elsewhere. With products needing to have both sentimental and monetary value, consumers need to be able to see themselves – as well as their lifestyles – within the brand messages they see. This also needs to be communicated clearly, as mixed signals can draw much unnecessary criticism and confusion. Online retail value has increased by 71% since the pandemic began, giving a platform for the many to be seen and heard. This leads into brands needing to include the growing male consumer, instead or purely focusing their efforts on women. The male Chinese market is seeing an extreme growth in forms of self-expression, as well as female consumers increasingly looking to buy male-centered products as gifts. Possibly thanks to the outcome of 2020, consumers are now not holding back to express for themselves and others in the form of jewellery, with the meaning behind its worth constantly evolving. Small and independent brands can use their ability to provide a personal, connected brand journey to ensure they make themselves known within this ever-growing market sector.
Photo source: https://www.pexels.com/@adriannaca