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THE DIAMOND MARKET

UNDERSTANDING THE NEXT GREAT JEWELLERY-CONSUMING GENERATION

The oldest members of the next great jewelry buying generation are only 25 years of age, and its youngest members still 15, writes Jonathan Kendall, in a recently released report by the Marketing and Education Commission of CIBJO, the World Jewelry Confederation. 

“Gen Z is coming to our markets very soon if it has not already arrived in reality,” Kendall writes. “Its members are forecast to spend a whopping $143 billion this year alone. So we better get them on side if we want a rosy future.”

“In fact, the future success of the jewelry industry will be dependent on understanding the needs and wants of Generation Z. Get this right and we can all look forward to strong profitable years moving forward. Get it wrong and we could be destined for the scrap heap – not overnight maybe, but ultimately,” he notes.

The report then provides a number of pointers.

A BUSINESS SAVVY GENERATION

Gen Z loves luxury as much as previous generations, but they are wary of buying on credit, having seen the disastrous impact this had on their parents, especially during the financial crisis of 2008. They are likely to save up for their next piece of jewelry rather than look for credit. 

Businesses need to take this financial literacy seriously to be trusted and build long-term relationships. This in particular will be important, as the members of Gen Z mature, and gains more spending power.

Around 40 percent of Generation Z’s members  want to become entrepreneurs, and about half of these say they want to invent something that is revolutionary, Kendall notes in the CIBJO report.

“We all know starting businesses is tough, so an opportunity exists to support budding young entrepreneurs. Industries and companies should be considering providing social entrepreneurship programs which could offer mentorships, networking, community and technical support. Such ideas would certainly influence for the better Gen Z’s perception of any business or brand” he writes.

Some 70 percent of the members of Generation Z consider sustainability to be an important factor in making a purchase, and  82 percent of its members are more likely to buy a product with good environmental credentials.  

More than any generation before them, Generation Z lives in the social media, comparing products, experiences and views continuously.

THE ENVIRONMENT IS A KEY CONCERN

Some 70 percent of the members of Generation Z consider sustainability to be an important factor in making a purchase. Some 82 percent of its members are more likely to buy a product with good environmental credentials. What’s more, Nielsen research shows that 77 percent prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products.

Eco-friendly products and brands are booming, and second-hand makes sense, because it involves reusing a product that otherwise may have been thrown away. 

One in three members of Gen Zs expect to buy second-hand clothes, shoes or accessories, which is some 46 percent up from the amount reported in 2017. Demand for second-hand, driven by Gen Z is expected to push the resale sector to $51 billion by 2023.

The jewelry industry is in an advantageous position when it comes to reusing, Kendall states. “This is no longer about the cheap looking second-hand pawnshop. This is about a proud new marketing message from leading jewelers, stating many of their products benefit from incorporating second-hand elements to design fabulous new pieces”.