Gold Gimmicks

November 1998

Precious Metals:News

Gold Gimmicks

Promote affordable gold with a "concept" and customers will line up at your counter to snap up a cute idea. That's what happened to Circle of Wishes

'Ya gotta have a gimmick if you wanna get ahead," sang the burlesque queens to Gypsy Rose Lee in the Broadway show Gypsy! The same might be said for affordable gold jewelry these days. Jewelers competing to sell gold in a marketplace with a bazillion outlets from Sam's Clubs to Sears need a reason for consumers to buy in a jewelry store instead.

Today's fine jewelry manufacturers call "gimmicks" by fancier names. They're "lifestyle marketing" or "visual merchandising" schemes, but the essential idea is the same. Charm customers into the "concept" and it doesn't matter that they could buy gold jewelry cheaper elsewhere. They buy it from you because you've got the gimmick they like. From baby shoes to licensed products such as Harley-Davidson jewelry, the idea has been wildly successful.

A year ago, Renée Ricca of Circle of Wishes Inc. introduced the Seven Wishes Collection, a line of affordable gold charms featuring the seven wishes of happiness, health, love, long life, friendship, peace and prosperity. Ricca wanted to sell to independent jewelers with reputations to uphold, so she knew the line had to be well-made and have good weight. The strategy worked; independents are among her best customers, she says. She has extended the line to include baby jewelry, men's cuff links and a ring that can double as a seal (with accompanying sealing wax and envelope), which added to the line's appeal to doting grandmothers, lovesick boyfriends, New Age fans and other consumers looking for an affordable gift that says something meaningful. The line's suggested retail prices range from $100 to $850.

Ricca pushes her "gimmick" with a packaging concept she commissioned from Levine Design, New York City. Featuring collectible tins, pouches and coordinated bags and gift cards to explain the seven wishes, the line also provides displays and signs. Ricca took her cue from cosmetics advertising, which has persuaded millions of women to drop major cash to be one in spirit with Elizabeth Hurley of Estée Lauder fame, for example. "The whole package is the packaging," she says simply.

The line ties into several trends, including the resurgence of interest in charm bracelets, pendants, message jewelry and big white shirts with French cuffs, which she hopes women will fill with her cuff links.

She also recently introduced gemstone accents to the line. Citrine is happiness, amethyst is health, garnet is love, chrome diopside is long life, pink tourmaline is friendship, blue topaz is peace and diamond is prosperity. Jewelers can specify more expensive gemstones if their customers are interested.

Circle of Wishes Inc., New York City, (888) THE WISH or (212) 213-2739, fax (212) 213-2853.

Packaging is key to the success of the Seven Wishes Collection.

Seven Wishes Collection cuff links convey the messages of health (left) and long life. Packaging reinforces the New Age-y message.



Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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