JCK 2024: Our Top Five Marketing Takeaways

We had the pleasure of attending JCK 2024, one of the jewelry industry’s largest global buying and trade shows. We saw tons of beautiful jewelry, attended JCK Talks, spoke with industry experts, explored trends in the industry, and hung out with some amazing people.

The weekend included a lot of conversations about marketing in the jewelry space and marketing trends in the industry. Here are our top five marketing takeaways from JCK:

Natural Diamonds Need Some Love

The biggest topic at JCK 2024 focused on natural diamonds. As lab-grown diamonds continue to gain popularity with consumers, the jewelry industry is selling fewer natural mined diamonds. This has led to decreased revenue for jewelry retailers, who don’t make as much money from a piece of jewelry featuring lab-grown diamonds versus natural diamonds.

During a talk hosted by the Natural Diamond Council, panelists discussed the need for jewelers to start positioning natural diamonds as real, rare, and responsible.  The hope is that focusing on scarcity as well as the lifetime value of natural diamonds will help encourage more consumers to choose a natural diamond over a lab-grown diamond despite the price difference.

A separate talk from De Beers also focused on the sustainability of natural diamonds, ethical mining practices, and the positive economic benefits diamond mines have in places like Botswana.

Over the next several months, expect to see industry leaders like De Beers and Signet Jewelers start emphasizing the value of natural diamonds. Expect this effort to include practices like romancing the diamond’s provenance and emphasizing the lifetime value of natural diamonds – especially in the bridal category.

 

The Rise of Micro-Communities

Micro – or niche – communities are spaces filled with people with shared interests around a particular topic, profession, or hobby. Micro-communities tend to be small groups that are heavily involved in communal activities on a social platform.

Examples of micro-communities could be marketers for jewelry on LinkedIn or watch enthusiasts on Reddit.

While micro-communities are small by definition, they wield a tremendous amount of influence due to the valuable conversations they have with an incredibly engaged and focused audience.

Both retail and wholesale jewelers can benefit from identifying and participating in micro-communities formed by jewelry lovers. It is a great place to identify trends, get qualitative feedback on products, and build a relationship with consumers.

The Rapid Evolution of AI

AI continues to be a growing topic at JCK. While most jewelers at the show have yet to use AI to dramatically transform their business, many jewelers have at least played around with AI tools like ChatGPT.

Several of the JCK Talks focused on (or included) discussions about using AI. It has the potential to help manage inventory, create a better digital ecosystem for jewelers, aid in design, and help level up marketing initiatives.

 

The Late Nineties and Early Aughts are Back!

In fashion, everything old becomes new again. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to late 1990s and early 2000s fashion trends.

Pants are getting baggier, shirts are more relaxed, and jewelry is also having a bit of a throwback moment.

At JCK 2024 we saw a lot of chandelier earrings, chokers, and anklets. We even saw a couple of arm cuffs that looked like they were straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Now is a great time to embrace these product trends. But remember, this is a trend steeped in fashion, so your jewelry imagery and lifestyle imagery should be cohesive – both embracing current fashion and design trends.

The Importance of Inclusion

One of the most interesting topics at JCK 2024 was inclusion. However, the focus on inclusion this year evolved from previous years.  Instead of focusing on attracting minority communities, many of the discussions focused identifying the needs of local customers.

There was a call for jewelers to really understand their community and how best to serve their needs. One great example was from a jeweler that has made efforts to expand their range of sizes. Over the past couple of years, the jeweler remarked that they had several potential customers leave in tears when they found out that the piece of jewelry they fell in love with was not available in their size.

To make sure that they could address this customer pain point, the jeweler worked with their partners to ensure that they had a wide assortment of sizes across their product lines and had the ability to resize their products as needed.

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