LONDON — Danish jeweler Pandora has mapped a shift in its design and communication strategies to address what it sees as a change in consumer behavior and the rise of the “self-empowered” female shopper.
The new strategy includes an extension of the brand’s product offer, with a renewed focus on categories such as rings and earrings, in addition to Pandora’s signature charm bracelets.
“I think that, in the past, we were designing charms — and then jewelry. What we do now is design concepts for jewelry and within those concepts there is the charm category,” said Stephen Fairchild, senior vice president and chief creative officer at Pandora.
Fairchild added that the introduction of stackable rings in 2014 has attracted a new consumer. At the same time, existing customers who associated Pandora with charm bracelets have started responding to the rings.
The collection consists of a series of delicate designs in sterling silver, yellow gold and diamonds. Prices range from 35 pounds, or $50, to 399 pounds, or $576. Sales have increased by 73 percent in the last year and now make up 12 percent of Pandora’s total revenues.
Earlier this year, the Copenhagen-based firm said it expects group revenues this year to increase to about 19 billion Danish kroner, or $2.8 billion at current exchange. Sales in 2015 totaled 16.7 billion Danish kroner, or $2.5 billion, while net profit gained 19 percent to 3.7 billion Danish kroner, or $551 million.
The markets bringing in the highest revenues in 2015 included the U.K., Australia and the U.S. From a growth perspective China, Italy and France were among the highest.
The next category the Copenhagen-based jewelry brand plans to focus on is earrings.
“In the jewelry industry, the largest category is earrings, so you will see a big push on our behalf in the next year. Ultimately we want to design collections which are sets and encompass all the different categories,” said Fairchild.
The company has also re-evaluated the needs of the 21st-century consumer and shifted its communications and product strategies to reflect them. It worked closely with the consulting and trend forecasting agency The Future Laboratory and tweaked its strategy on the basis of their research.
“Women are much more self-empowered, more confident within themselves, and also very confident in self-purchasing,” said Fairchild. “Whereas in the past I would primarily say that the jewelry industry was all about gifting, the interesting shift is that now the consumer is willing to gift to herself.”
The brand’s latest campaign, “Unique As We Are,” launched last month alongside the spring 2016 collection and reflected the new outlook. Photographed by Cass Bird, the campaign features women of different ethnicities and backgrounds in natural makeup and understated clothing, wearing Pandora jewelry.
“We believe in the longevity of this new outlook, this is really a platform for the next three to five years. There are so many different stories to talk about, so we feel this really has a lot of different legs and can be communicated across different channels,” said Fairchild.
Last month the company released “Unique Thank You,” the second phase of its campaign, dedicated to Mother’s Day. It consists of a video where eight daughters are asked to write a sentence of gratitude to their mothers. The mothers are then asked to spot the message addressed to them.
“It’s the same platform, but here the storytelling is about the relationship between mother and daughter. It’s not just about the perfect things in life. The story can be based on an argument where mother and daughter then come back and say they love each other,” said Fairchild, adding that the campaign is meant to be relevant to today’s relationships.
Fairchild said the shift in focus comes from a global perspective: “I’m a big believer of simplify and amplify. Within our total assortment we have to understand that there are [regional] differences, but we take on a global point of view and embrace one message when it comes to our key products and the way we talk to our consumers.”
The company plans to focus on branded sales through Pandora concept stores, as well as shops-in-shop, to reinforce its new direction. There are more than 250 concept stores set to open this year, 60 percent of which will be in Europe, 20 percent in Asia-Pacific and 20 percent in North and South America.
The stores’ merchandising will also be adapted to reflect the different categories.
“We started off by categorizing our stores, as we wanted consumers to know that we didn’t just have charms and bracelets. I think the second phase will be looking at how the consumer touches and feels her jewelry, how she tries it on in-store,” said Fairchild. “The way a woman interacts with the product today is very different. She would normally look at her earrings in a tiny little mirror while now she actually goes and looks at her entire outfit. There’s a whole other story of how a piece works with how she is dressing and I think that is where we are trying to really look at how to merchandise the stores better.”