How to make your brand tick

The SGL Retail Jeweller India Forum 2019 had a session on ‘Designers on the high street’, which talked about creativity and the various ways to attract the attention of not only the youth, but audiences across the age spectrum.

The session was moderated by NavinJashnani, Managing Director, SamaJewellery, and the panel consisted of Latika Khanna, Founder, Latique; HarshadAjoomal, Founder & Creative Head, H.Ajoomal Fine Jewellery; and Poonam Soni, Founder, Poonam Soni Signature Line.

The panellists shared their experiences, and talked about how thinking out of the box paid off for them. Talking about what makes her brand click, Soni, said, “When I started out, I wanted to introduce a very distinct style and design. I went for fusion and thematic jewellery in a big way and introduced an amalgam of semi-precious stones and mixed metals. These ideas were ahead of time and many people discouraged me, telling me this would never take off. But the consumer acceptance was phenomenal, and that reaffirmed my faith in myself, and my hunch that people  were ready for a change was proved right. Since then, colourful and thematic jewellery has become my USP.”

As for Khanna, keeping the customer in the centre and then curating and creating collections accordingly are her business drivers. “Our muse is an independent woman, who is well-travelled. The way things are going with high-street fashion, you have to always keep on innovating,” she said.

Panellist Ajoomal had interesting insights to share. Last year, his company, H.Ajoomal Fine Jewellery, started an e-commerce unit for a prêt line of jewellery, called Hcraft. It is aimed at a younger audience, which is more fashionable and ready to try new styles. He stated that the younger generation is looking for something to appeal to its senses.

“For the young generation, jewellery is not something that has intrinsic value. What it wants is relevance, and the styles should appeal to their senses. They look at celebrities as their icons, and scan social media to see what they wear and how they carry it. So, we too take inspiration from celebs in order to reach the younger customers,” Ajoomal said. He added that the industry cannot afford to neglect millennials as they account for a large chunk of the customer base.

Sharing her rich experience in boosting growth in the industry, Soni highlighted the need to protect artisans, and to educate their children. “As a brand, our objective should be not only to sell jewellery, but also to protect the roots of the industry. We work keeping in mind both the consumer and the industry. We treat our collection as art pieces, where each piece is unique. We need to listen to our clients and tweak our style to suit their preference,” she said. The panellists also talked about how they add value to their products. “Our objective is to appeal to our target audience by making our products relevant to them,” said Ajoomal. Khanna also touched upon this facet, adding that companies have to give clients what they are looking for. Soni shared her insights, saying, “A designer is a kind of an innovator who sets the trends. Before selling to the customer, you yourself have to be convinced about your product. As for us, we prefer to set the trend, rather than follow what others are doing.”