Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Men’s bridal jewelry shopping habits


(New York) March XX, 2009 – Platinum Guild International USA (PGI-USA) has just completed a series of focus groups with the goal of getting inside the male psyche when searching for and buying engagement rings and wedding bands. More specifically, PGI-USA set out to dissect and understand men’s bridal jewelry shopping habits and attitudes and uncover what helps them arrive at a purchasing decision. The focus groups, held in Atlanta and Chicago, included interviews with pre-engaged, engaged and married men between the ages of 24-53. The key findings provide valuable insights that PGI-USA will share with their partners, providing them the knowledge and tools to increase their Platinum bridal sales.

“As a recent survey by Conde Nast Bridal Group showed Platinum is the most highly desired metal for wedding and bridal jewelry. By fully understanding the men’s bridal jewelry purchase process, we will be better equipped to help our partners fulfill their customers’ desire for Platinum and maximize their profitability through increased Platinum bridal jewelry sales,” explained Huw Daniel, President of PGI-USA.

Below, PGI-USA shares an overview of some of the focus group findings and offers jewelers the tools to translate these invaluable insights into higher Platinum sales.

Key Learning: Make the Metal Matter
PGI-USA’s research revealed men were more likely to purchase Platinum bridal jewelry when being helped by a sales associate who communicated Platinum’s intrinsic value and inherent characteristics. The two elements that resonated most with men were Platinum’s naturally white color and its ability to hold a diamond securely.

Platinum is naturally pure white, unlike white gold, so it casts no tint onto the valuable center stone, allowing the diamond to maintain its colorless appearance. A Platinum setting also holds a diamond most securely, protecting the couple’s investment throughout their lifetime and beyond.

Sales associates can turn these insights into a higher profit Platinum transaction by starting with Platinum first and communicating Platinum’s attributes at the beginning of each customer conversation: “While your focus may be on the diamond, don’t forget the metal choice is equally as important because the setting is what’s safeguarding your diamond investment.” Sales associates who make the metal matter to the groom and explain why it is important are more likely to close the Platinum sale and maximize their commission and store profit.

Key Learning: Let Him Feel the Platinum Difference
PGI-USA’s research revealed men are more likely to purchase Platinum for both her engagement ring and wedding band as well as his wedding band, after experiencing its heft, as they associate its weight with strength and durability.

Explained one pre-engaged focus group participant, “I plan to purchase a Platinum engagement ring because I plan on being with her forever, and I want her ring to last as long as we do.”

Sales associates can illustrate Platinum’s weight and secure the Platinum sale by implementing a “Platinum Drop Test” during their conversation with the customer. Simply instruct him to hold out his hand, palm up and open. The sales associate should then drop a white gold engagement ring into his hand, followed by a Platinum engagement ring. The weight difference between the two metals provides tangible evidence of Platinum’s heft and thus its durability to the consumer.

Key Learning: Wow Him with Platinum’s Rarity
“From museum pieces to estate sales at Sotheby’s, it’s clear that rare items are coveted treasures in our society,” says Huw Daniel. “It came as no surprise that our research revealed men were more likely to purchase Platinum bridal jewelry after learning about its rarity,” he said.

Capitalize on your customers’ understanding of rarity by using facts to explain Platinum’s uniqueness: “This precious metal is not only 30 times more rare than gold, but it is estimated that if all the mined Platinum in the world was poured into one Olympic swimming pool, it would only be enough to cover your ankles. Gold, on the other hand, would fill more than three pools.”

These facts speak to the male’s need for a visual prompt and will help him understand why Platinum is considered “the best.” And at the jewelry counter, sales associates can use this factoid with him to illustrate why he should consider spending more on Platinum, just like anything rare and desirable.

Key Learning: Don’t Forget the Wedding Bands
PGI-USA’s research showed men were attracted to the idea of “metal harmony” between the engagement ring and his and her wedding bands. One focus group participant stated, “When I think of Platinum, I think of sturdiness. Her ring is going to last forever, so I want my wedding band to do the same.”

After closing a Platinum engagement ring sale, sales associates should begin planting the seed for his and her Platinum wedding bands even if the wedding is a year away. The best way to maximize profitability and transaction size for your bridal business is to link the three sales and recommend Platinum for all three bridal rings. For more tips and formal training, take advantage of PGI-USA’s free Online Platinum Sales Training by visiting www.PlatinumLearning.com.

About Platinum Guild International USA
Platinum Guild International, the marketing arm for the worldwide Platinum jewelry industry, is dedicated to promoting Platinum and its pure, rare and eternal qualities to the consumer and the jewelry trade. PGI has offices in each of the world’s major jewelry markets, providing information, assistance and education on all aspects of Platinum jewelry. For further information please visit www.PlatinumGuild.com.
Special thanks to Heather Zachary Rogoff for this press release

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