Gems and Jewelry Buying Behavior in Various Generations


The demographic structure in each period of time results in difference in values, attitudes and consumption behaviors. Consumers’ age and lifestyle are essential factors in determining their preferences in jewelry purchase in terms of designs, types of gemstones and materials, and pricing levels. Therefore, before marketing gem and jewelry products, entrepreneurs should clearly understand the target group in each market, as well as their consumption behaviors and characteristics of the products which cater for each target group. Today there are three generations of consumers who are considered the main groups of customers for gem and jewelry products: 1) Baby Boomers or Gen-B are those who were born between 1946 and 1964. They are generally hard-working, diligent and economical people. This large group of populations has high purchasing power and a positive attitude towards gem and jewelry purchase as gifts for themselves and their loved ones. As a result, most marketers put a particularfocus on this group. At 52 to 70 years of age, Gen-B people are senior consumers who prefer “luxurious, comfortable and high-quality” jewelry. Another important trait is the ability to preserve value and to be used for investment purpose apart from body decoration and statement of social status. Therefore, gold and/or platinum jewelry decorated with gemstones is suitable for this group. Moreover, Gen-B consumers often see advertisements on television and in magazines rather than on online media. Brands which gain favor in this segment can be considered as highly successful since these consumers have high brand loyalty. They are willing to buy from the same old brands and recommend them to their children and grandchildren. 2) Extraordinary Generation or Gen-X consumers are those who were born between 1965 and 1979, and are now 37 to 51 years old. They grew up during the age of wealth when the economy was on the rise and people had comfortable lives. This group is oriented towards work-life balance and informality. They easily adapt to cultural transformations and value creativity. Gen-X people are now at the working age with steady income and secure financial status. They have high purchasing power, spend money extravagantly and have trendy modern lifestyle. They grew up during the age of technology advancement so they are more prepared to live with modern technology compared to Gen-B. As for gem and jewelry purchase, Gen-X consumers tend to buy jewelry which “reflects their identities, has a fashionable look, and enhances their personalities.” According to a report by Pew Internet, Gen-X customers often make financial transactions and buy products online. Social media is another effective advertisement channel among this group, with lower cost compared to the use of other media like television and magazines, as well as distribution through counters and/or retail shops. 3) Generation Y or Millennials are those who were born between 1980 and 1997. At 18 to 35 years old, they are now teenagers and adults in early working age. This generation grew up with technological advancement, and as Gen B’s children, they have been well raised with higher education than every generation. They love to express themselves and are highly self-confident. Gen-Y consumers are impulsive buyers and like products which are attractive, eye-catching, presentable and fashionable, especially in IT category. Jewelry does not have as much influence on this groupas IT products like smartphones and gadgets. According to a study on Gen-Y’s consumption behavior in the US, jewelry and watch brands have simply fallen off the radar among this group of consumers though many of them still recognize the names of Cartier, Tiffany and Rolex. On the other hand, Apple is the top brand for young American men and women and it is believed that teenagers around the world are following suit. This is a tremendous challenge for gem and jewelry industry. However, these people can be persuaded to spend money on jewelry with “spot-on designs”-- the chic, hip and cool pieces with affordable price. The distribution channel for these convenience-oriented digital natives must surely be online media, which is the most convenient and fastest channel with low cost and high effectiveness. Gen-Y women often search for information through social media and read product reviews on blogs, Instagram and Facebook. Source : Gem and Jewelry Information Center The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) February 2016

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