Right-Hand Rings, Year Two
The DPS announces a manufacturers' design competition to stimulate creativity
The Diamond Trading Co. continues to promote right-hand rings heavily, earmarking 25% of its worldwide marketing budget for 2004 to the effort, says Robert L. May, senior partner/director of operations, and David Ramirez, manager of manufacturer programs, at the Diamond Promotion Service. At the MJSA Expo in March, the two men detailed what DPS and jewelers have learned so far in selling the category.
Retailers who enjoyed success with right-hand rings in 2003 thoroughly trained their staffs, advertised the category widely, targeted women who buy for themselves as well as men looking for a gift of love, held special events and placed the rings in a prominent position on their sales floors. They avoided mixing old-fashioned styles with new ones. They worked with suppliers to identify styles their customers might like and created an inventory that connected with local preferences.
The north-south configurations of right-hand rings havent sold as well as more traditional east-west band-style settings. This may be due to the newness of the style rather than a dislike of it, says May. Among east-west styles, the bamboo-style ring, with its rows of horizontal bands, has been popular, as have geometric designs, squared shapes and bypasses. The trade should continue to work on creative designs that go beyond tradition, the DPS urges. DPS also announced in April a manufacturers design competition to encourage new designs. The winners will be displayed at the JCK Show Las Vegas in June.
Were still working on making it a cultural imperative to own a right-hand ring, says May. Ads will likely feature aspirational styles to add excitement and differentiate right-hand rings from total-weight rings featuring smaller diamonds.