Younger consumers are turned off by bling but still crave something real.
This June at the JCK Las Vegas show, the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) will unveil an industry milestone: the first category-driving campaign for diamonds not sponsored by De Beers.
The DPA’s campaign grew out of its research on millennials, including extensive surveys and focus groups conducted by its marketing firm Mother New York. I will take a deeper look at this research in an upcoming issue of JCK.
But last week, Mother New York senior strategist Thomas Henry—an echo boomer himself—provided a sneak peek at the DPA’s research at the agency’s headquarters. Among the main points:
– Millennials graduated into tough economic times.
“Compared to our parent’s generation, we have more debt, less job prospects, and are less likely to own a home than the previous two generations,” Henry said.
That means they are less able to achieve the same ideals of previous generations—whether it’s a house, car, “all the trappings of the 20th-century consumer ideal.”
– Yet, they are still optimistic and upbeat.
“The overall theme that comes out is social freedom has a much bigger impact on their happiness,” Henry said.
– Diamond jewelry can seem “too formal” for this generation.
As one focus-group respondent said: “If I see a girl wearing diamond earrings, I would assume they were from Forever 21. I would never assume they were real. I would never expect anyone to wear something that expensive walking around on the street.”
– They value experiences.
“Rather than material possessions being their currency, experiences increasingly are their currency,” Henry explained. “They may not have as much as purchasing power as the previous generation, so they are finding their happiness in other places.”
Experiences also dovetail perfectly with this generation’s ability to share things on social media. And when they do buy something, they want it to have personal meaning.
“Rather than material possessions being their currency, experiences increasingly are their currency.”