Jewellery Brands Ride High On Cultural Nuances This Festive Season

Industry experts discuss key trends in the category this festive season, how cultural nuances are being paid attention to, and more

The festive season in India is synonymous with vibrant celebrations, cultural traditions, and a surge in consumer spending. During this auspicious time, the market for jewellery experiences a significant boom as individuals seek to adorn themselves with exquisite pieces that reflect their cultural identity and enhance the festive spirit. Leading jewellery brands strategically leverage this opportunity to connect with consumers through compelling advertising and marketing campaigns that not only showcase their latest designs but also tap into the rich cultural nuances of the diverse Indian population.

In the realm of jewellery advertising, brands employ a multi-faceted approach to captivate the audience. Social media platforms, television, and print media become the canvas for showcasing the intricate craftsmanship and unique designs of their collections. Moreover, recognising the cultural diversity across different regions, successful brands tailor their campaigns to resonate with specific traditions, creating a more personalised connection with consumers. This nuanced marketing strategy not only drives sales but also strengthens the brand's image by aligning with the cultural values that hold significant importance during the festive season. As trends in jewellery preferences evolve, the intersection of tradition and modernity becomes a key focal point for brands, ensuring that their offerings resonate with the contemporary consumer while preserving the timeless allure of cultural heritage.

BW Marketing World spoke to jewellery stalwarts who discuss key trends in the category this festive season, how cultural nuances are being paid attention to, and more.

Jewellery trends that are catching up this festive season

Sampurna Rakshit, Marketing Head, Mia by Tanishq is seeing a resurgence of timeless classics. “This is why this time for Diwali we have launched classic styles like Chandbalis, Nakshatras, Navgrahas etc with unique Mia spins that are modern and lightweight but retain the core essence and symbolism of these timeless motifs. With an overall trend of increasing gold prices, there is an increasing demand for lightweight daily wear jewellery.”

Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director, Kalyan Jewellers understands that the revamped interest among younger, millennial consumers towards the yellow metal, has led to acceleration in demand momentum for traditional temple jewellery as well as polki and uncut jewellery pieces. At the same time, there is sustained demand for dual-tone jewellery designs as well as diamond jewellery pieces, which offer versatility for both casual occasions as well as wedding and festive celebrations. 

He adds, “As the industry gears up for a robust and bustling wedding season, another key aspect is the unprecedented shift from unorganised to organised jewellery players, wherein we stand as a key beneficiary. We believe our aggressive marketing strategy clubbed with this transition will play a critical role in boosting our growth momentum.”

According to Harshna Pasari, Head of Marketing, BlueStone, this festive season, the fine jewellery landscape is buzzing with exciting trends that reflect a modern and vibrant sensibility. Consumers are steering away from traditional plain gold and are opting for a diverse range of materials, such as diamonds, gemstones, and even the sleek look of platinum.

“Matching sets have made a stunning comeback, allowing for effortless coordination and an overall put-together look. Y necklaces and multi-wearable jewellery pieces are adding a dash of versatility to festive ensembles, offering a seamless transition from day to night. As for textures, enamel is captivating consumers, offering intriguing colour contrasts and an unexpected playfulness.

Unusual ring shapes like vanki and chevron are crowd favourites as well, as they infuse a fresh twist into conventional ring styles. This season’s jewellery trends are a bold proclamation of personal style, welcoming a modern perspective on fine jewellery. At BlueStone, we're attuned to these evolving trends, as we understand our consumers' desires and needs. Our collections embody the spirit of modernity, seamlessly aligning with the preferences of the discerning, contemporary consumer,” she brings out.

Current festive season vs previous festive seasons

Mia by Tanishq is very bullish on the upcoming festive season. “As a brand we are scaling rapidly and are seeing high double-digit growths this year vs the same period last year. With rapid retail expansion we now have 150+ standalone stores across the country in addition to a massive network of Tanishq stores as well as our website and marketplaces. This season we have also launched our own Mia app to provide an even better experience to our shoppers. An important building block for us this time is also our omnichannel growth vs last year. While we are a digital first brand, a lot of the people that come to our website also want to try on the products and get the physical retail experience. Thats where our omnichannel business has a huge potential. We have an entire team set up for Diwali readiness for the same,” reveals Rakshit.

Kalyanaraman says, “With the festive and wedding season around the corner, we are witnessing a positive sales momentum in the pre-Diwali season and expect it to be sustained till January 2024. This year, the industry is benefitting from the extended wedding season as it coincides with the auspicious occasion of Diwali and Dhanteras.

Targeting the new-age audience, we have introduced strategic changes to our media mix, through revamped budget allocation towards digital platforms, including social media and OTT platforms. This season, our primary focus is on the consistent creation of short-format video content, particularly in vernacular campaigns, effectively strengthening our digital engagement. Our marketing and advertising expenditure is around two per cent of the total annual revenues.”

This festive season, being one of the first ones post the pandemic, brings a unique blend of optimism and anticipation, setting it apart from its recent predecessors. Pasari points out, “With a palpable eagerness to make the most of these moments that are full of hope and promise, we're confident that spending on fine jewellery will continue to stay strong. We're well-prepared to offer our customers an abundance of exquisite pieces that beautifully encapsulate the essence of these cherished occasions.”

She goes on, “A notable shift in consumer preferences is evident this festive season as people move away from purchasing jewellery solely for investment. Now more than ever, consumers are in the pursuit of pieces that they can seamlessly incorporate into their lifestyle and one such category is watch jewellery, which accentuates the look of their smartwatches, an accessory most people wear on a daily basis. The festive jewellery shopping landscape is evolving and consumers of today want the perfect blend of elegance, versatility and personal expression.”

Focusing on cultural nuances

India is a very diverse country rooted in a rich cultural fabric. “While Mia is designed for the modern Indian Gen Z / young millennial woman, what we understand is that all of them are not only proud of their respective traditions but also celebrate them in their own unique ways. This time we have used a very relatable insight about how there is a star in each one of us and in moments of hesitation Mia has consistently been there to provide that much-needed boost of self-assurance. The film is rooted in the cultural insight that young Indian women today believe in the spirit of collaboration far more than competition and this sisterhood is a very powerful inspiration for an entire generation,” tells Rakshit.

Kalyanaraman asserts, “Considering jewellery preferences vary every 100 kms in India, influenced primarily by the diverse culture and background of consumers, we have been following a hyperlocal strategy at Kalyan Jewellers to engage with the company’s target audience. Our hyperlocal strategy has been an integral aspect to the brand, be it our product offering or our marketing campaigns in vernacular languages. Following this strategy, we have been successful in creating a niche market positioning as India’s national-local jeweller, competing with the likes of pan-India as well as local jewellery players. We believe it has enabled us in appealing to a wide audience by attempting to understand the local market preferences and trends in various geographies.”

Pasari comprehends, “At BlueStone, we understand that jewellery, in the Indian context, goes beyond mere aesthetic appeal. For Indian women, their jewellery holds a profound place in their hearts, and is deeply intertwined with their lives. It's an incredibly high-involvement and emotionally charged category that carries immense sentimental value. Moreover, there is an auspiciousness that’s associated with jewellery, especially during the festive season.”

“We recognise that gold jewellery holds a value for consumers that goes far beyond its bullion value, and with the Big Gold Upgrade, we give them just that. By giving them an upgraded value for their old gold, for example, giving customers the value of 22kt gold for their old 18kt gold, we’re acknowledging the sentimental value of their gold, along with the material value.

This offer becomes increasingly relevant this festive season as consumers want to exchange their old gold for trendier designs, and jewellery that they can actually wear instead of just letting it sit in a locker. With this offer, consumers are assured that they’re not only upgrading to designs that suit their personality and lifestyle more, but their old gold is also getting the value it deserves,” she states.

In conclusion, the festive season in India serves as a dynamic stage for jewellery brands to showcase their artistry, employing strategic advertising and marketing that delicately weaves cultural nuances into contemporary trends. This harmonious blend not only elevates the allure of the brands but also resonates profoundly with consumers, making each festive celebration a unique opportunity for both tradition and innovation in the realm of exquisite adornments.