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Want To Win The Bridal Game? Start With Knowing Your Customers.

Want To Win The Bridal Game? Start With Knowing Your Customers.

by Ellen Fruchtman, President Everyone wants to win the bridal game. But, like any game, you can’t be considered a contender unless you understand the rules. And, understanding the rules means it starts with understanding the buyer. And, that all leads back to one tactic you simply can’t overlook: research. Research on the Millennial market is plentiful online, not to mention the several studies completed by some industry giants within the jewelry industry. But, be cautious. Have you ever taken the time to read the research currently available on luxury purchasing or Millennial views on diamonds? It’s murky at best. For example, it isn’t prudent to survey a demographic of those ages 18-34 unless you’re segmenting that demographic. The difference between how an 18-year-old thinks, acts, and shops, is quite different than someone who is 34. Whether or not the study dove deeper into breakdowns within the study is not readily available for your reading pleasure. Industry media reporting such studies simply report the findings. In turn, you might make business or marketing decisions based on those studies. So, what are the first things you need to know when you’re reading outside research on the bridal market?
  1. Make sure the research is recent and focuses on those 25-34 years of age. With the average engagement ring purchaser age of 28-29, this demographic would be more in line for what you need to know.
  2. Make sure any study clearly spells out male and female responses.
  3. Make sure the research you are reading has an adequate sample size. The sample size should be based on the number of people in the designated group you want to study. A national company would be looking at a random sample of individuals (male/female) ages 25-34 across the US. If you were to conduct this locally (and more about that later), you would need to know the population of this demo in your immediate area. There are free tools to determine the sample size. Here is one:
  4. Ask what percentage of the sample size comes from your area of the country.
Does a nationwide study provide the insight you need to know? It’s a great guideline. And, in many instances, it will provide you with the answers you’re looking for. But, if you really want insight into a group of people within your own market area, you should consider conducting your own research.
Research on a Local Level
Hiring a professional is always the most prudent decision. But, this requires doing some due diligence in finding the right research company in your area, and can typically be out of reach for many smaller retailers. However, if you have a sales volume of a certain level and spend significant dollars year after year in your marketing endeavors, and have some concerns with direction and messaging, this might be the best place to invest some marketing dollars. If you can’t afford the endeavor, here are some things you can do:
  • Contact a local college or university and speak to someone in their marketing department. There might be marketing research classes who need a case study. You’ll need to provide insight and a little time, but you’ll be receiving a lot in return.
  • Determine if there are other luxury businesses in your area who are facing the same challenges and consider partnering with them.
  • Contact other retail jewelers in similar areas of the country (but non-competing markets) and put together a group of 4-6 retailers (or more) who can split the cost of the research. State or regional jewelry organizations would be a great place to put together a research consortium.
There’s a saying: You don’t know what you don’t know. Isn’t it time you do?
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