Jewellery: Emotional Product, Rational Buyer - Sandeep Kulhalli, VP, Tanishq
Jewellery for a very long time was a space owned by local vendors and manufacturers with a restricted consumer reach. The situation took a flipwhen the jewellery industry witnessed the nationalization and internationalization of brands – a similar trend that turned the face of the apparel industry.
According to research, the domestic gems and jewelry industry is likely to double in the next five years due to growing demand of bullion for investment and ornaments for household consumption and gifting purposes. A study titled ‘All that glitters is gold: India Jewellery Review 2013’ conducted by consultancy firm A T Kearney, forecasts India’s gems and jewelry market to achieve the size of INR 500,000 – 530,000 Crore by 2018 from the level of 251,000 Crore in 2013.With such statistics, the Indian jewellery industry seems poised for a glittering future. EE, in conversation with Mr. Sandeep Kulhalli, VP – Retail and Marketing, Tanishq, on the importance of customer engagement in the changing face of the market.
“It’s a very involved category with high value that is mostly bought by women. Engaging customers is extremely important if brands want to differentiate themselves and provide great customer satisfaction. Jewellers need to evolve as it is no longer a buy-sell experience. Tanishq is the face of the modern contemporary retailer. We have gotten rid of the old and ancient baggage with our evolved strategies. Jewellers need to get over the old style of smooth talking, inventory show, and use of personal relationships, etc. Tanishq has always given customers space. Hard selling is not the way we push sales, we are more engaging. Assisting the customer through every step from selecting the designs, to the final purchase is where our focus lies. Besides that we also have a number of loyalty programs, Golden Harvest programs, etcthat help cement relations, and enabling customers to buy their next jewellery from Tanishq, especially on special occasions,” says Mr. Sandeep Kulhalli. Tanishq comes up with a number of offers especially on special occasions such as Diwali, Dhanteras, etc when it is considered auspicious to buy gold by the Indian consumer.
We all know how the Indian consumer has evolved and become ‘hybrid’. Going by the changes in the Indian consumer’s tastes and preferences, Tanishq turned its focus on design considering how price was no longer the deciding factor when it came to final purchase. Since the customer changed, Tanishq stepped up their game and decided to get up-close and personal with their target consumer to build relations. Their latest Confession of a Bride campaign targeted consumerist brides and young girls, giving them a platform to share their wildest wedding confessions, from which a lucky winner will have her wish come true by Tanishq. “We believe in engaging with our customers and being a part of their lives. We keep in touch with them for their anniversaries, birthdays, and all special occasions – wishing them a week in advance while also suggesting them gifting options at the store – again keeping in mind the privacy of the customer while not pushing him too much. Our sales are professional and transparent. Jewellery is an emotional product that’s bought very rationally, thus communication is very important,” says Sandeep.
“There is a very strong connect with the category. Men influence the sale just as much as the women as they are the ones who mostly fund the jewellery. There are a lot of emotions that go into jewellery buying due to marriages, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Our industry is blessed with that kind of consumers. This category therefore needs a trained staff to cater especially to the target customer. We have a lot of sessions for our staff that trains them how to treat a customer and give him the whole ‘Tanishq’ experience along with the guarantee that we provide so that the customer always comes back to us for repurchase,” says Sandeep.
Tanishq is also known for hosting a number of events such as Doctors’ Day, Teachers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, etc. to keep the customer engaged. “We organize these events in select stores and hotels where we invite our target customers and get them to share their experience with the others. For eg. with our Doctors’ Day initiative, we thanked doctors for their great work, people wrote nice things for the doctors that they were grateful to. We achieved three objectives from this initiative – a) Doctors have a great propensity to have high incomes and are big buyers, b) they have busy lives, no time to socialize. Tanishq took this initiative to allow them to let their hair down and have fun and c) We fulfilled our social responsibility of thanking doctors for their great work,” divulges Mr. Sandeep.
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