Professional Jeweler Archive: Platinum's Fresh Start

August 2003

Feature


Platinum's Fresh Start

The push for platinum paused this year, but look for more momentum this fall


With a fresh global branding initiative and a new chief in the U.S. office, Platinum Guild International heads out of the gate for fall at a furious pace. “Despite economic downturns, we are increasing our global marketing budget this year, as well as our dedication to creating, expanding and strengthening consumer and trade markets for platinum jewelry in the U.S. and in other markets,” says James Courage, PGI’s CEO worldwide.

Huw Daniel, new PGI-USA president, heads the campaign to introduce platinum’s new branding components to the U.S. He showed several elements during an interview at the recent JCK Show in Las Vegas, presiding over a new booth that included platinum’s fresh logo. The design and font have a retro-modern feel, as if mirroring the continued consumer interest in neo-retro styling, especially in platinum bridal jewelry.

Platinum promotion also features a new key color – a pale blue that conveys what PGI learned in consumer focus groups: Consumers say that when they think of platinum, they see this color and water. The blue is complemented by white, since platinum also brings to mind purity in consumers’ minds. The new campaign goes beyond the word “precious” and uses three others: “pure,” “rare” and “eternal,” to reflect the intrinsic values of platinum, the status, individuality and sense of style that wearing the metal imparts to its customers, says Daniel.

All of these elements will tie in to platinum’s fall ad campaign, which will debut in a blitz of more than 100 pages in bridal, lifestyle and women’s magazines. The campaign’s theme will be the inner strength of the wearer’s personality and her relationship, which are mirrored by the metal she wears, says Daniel.

Though the bulk of U.S. platinum promotion will remain focused on the bridal category – where it’s had the greatest success – Daniel plans to keep platinum hearts and other fashion jewelry in play. He says he’s been in discussions with the Diamond Promotion Service’s Richard Lennox, a former colleague, about the powerful potential of women who buy jewelry for themselves. DPS aims at this market with its new right-hand ring campaign. “This market is really a great focus for platinum just as it is for diamonds,” says Daniel. A new Web site will allow women to try on platinum pieces through virtual technology.

The platinum rebranding initiative won’t leave jewelers behind. PGI-USA plans new training programs to help sales associates overcome any intimidation brought on by platinum’s higher price. “Some sales associates have trouble justifying platinum’s price,” says Daniel. “Our program will give them the language to have confidence in selling platinum.” A new trade-only Web site is in the works as well, with practical tools to help jewelers produce and sell platinum jewelry, including marketing support material and other services.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Tubular hoop earrings feature diamond drops with a total weight of 0.24 carat. Suggested retail, $1,900.

Scott Kay Platinum, Teaneck, NJ; (800) 487-2724 or (201) 287-0100, www.scottkay.com.

Photo by Robert Weldon.

Platinum heart pendant with 0.02-ct. center diamond is shown on an 18-in. chain. Suggested retail, $438.

B.A. Ballou, East Providence, RI; (800) 755-7099, (800) 755-7988.

Turning Point bands are part of the Partners for Life collection. The styling has been well-received by the gay and lesbian communities and also appeals to the traditional wedding market, says the company. The three rings in each band move in either direction around the circumference of an inner base. The moving parts are available in platinum and other metals.

COGE Design Group, Dallas, TX; (800) 289-2643 or (972) 713-9927, sales @coge.com.

Platinum bracelet is set with 0.43 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $6,300. Platinum rings feature diamond accents. Suggested retail, $2,699-$3,737.

Vendorafa, ViewPoint Showrooms, New York City; (212) 696-1870, fax (212) 213-5494, www.-ViewPointShowrooms.com.

Platinum heart pendant. Suggested retail, $299.

Stuller Inc., Lafayette, LA; (800) 877-7777, fax (800) 444-4741, www.stuller.com, info@stuller.com.

Platinum chain is set with six platinum and five 0.10-ct. diamond stations. Suggested retail, $1,220.

Herco, San Francisco, CA; (415) 543-1580, fax (415) 398-3699, herco@hercojwl.com.

Platinum sphere pendant is shown on a chain and includes 0.50 carat of brilliant pavé and bezel-set diamonds. Suggested retail, $2,187. Rings sold separately.

Harold Freeman Jewelry Co., New York City; (800) 221-4092, fax (212) 691-9528, www.haroldfreeman.com, sales@haroldfreeman.com.

The Platinum Guild’s new logo in pale blue and white.

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications