During the past pandemic-struck year, jewellery has stood as that marker of love and meaning among consumers, says Sujala Martis, Consumer Marketing Director, Platinum Guild International (PGI) India. She tells us more about the brand’s communication strategies in recent times and discusses the factors that are driving growth for the industry at large
Q] How would you describe PGI’s journey in the Indian market so far? What factors have contributed to the growth of the brand?
Platinum is rooted in the functional attribute of rare – being 30 times rarer than gold makes it a very unique, valuable metal, one that is truly precious. It also hence activates a different set of motivators in the consumer’s mind, taking the metal’s narrative away from the gold-owned need states of investment, security and tradition. Platinum has spun its storytelling via the more progressive values, thus striking a chord with the younger segment. Added to this is the platinum design language that is based on modern minimalism and meaning embedded in every design. These hooks work harder to draw the younger cohort in.
Platinum operates in three branded segments –
• Platinum Days of Love – our couple bands’ offering that was launched in 2009.
• Platinum Evara – established in 2015 that has today expanded its footprint into the young women’s self-purchase segment
• Men of Platinum – our offering aimed at men and launched in 2019
As a metal, platinum has, over time, built and continues to own a certain basket of attributes. With these as constants, we have been able to and will continue to unlock newer segments within the cluttered jewellery market. Today, the brand’s footprint has grown and stands testimony to the space we have carved for ourselves and the value we deliver.
Q] PGI marked the beginning of the year with two campaigns for Valentine’s Day and for Women’s Day. Tell us a bit about both these, and the response you saw.
For Platinum Days of Love – February becomes a key month, given Valentine’s Day and the continuation of the wedding season. Since 2021 started with a positive, buoyant outlook, it seemed like the apt time to mark a love that not only brought couples through an unimaginable year but also gave them the confidence to power on towards the future. #StrongerInLove as a platform brought that to life, with a three-part video series featuring three real couples, including celebrities like Gauahar Khan and her husband, who had gone through trials and challenges of a relationship in the midst of the pandemic. This video series was distributed via social media, video platforms, and even Worldwide Media with whom it was co-created.
Our most recent has been Women’s day on Evara, #SheLeadsWithHeart was an initiative that celebrated the many shining examples of women who transformed the way leadership roles were perceived against the backdrop of this pandemic. We also had women leaders posting this on their LinkedIn feed as a statement of what they stand for and clear evidence of how relevant the subject had become, more so given the current times.
Q] What, according to you, are the trends that have propelled growth for the industry?
Jewellery is symbolic of relationships and milestones. Ours is a predominantly young country – this generation of millennials and Gen-Z have grown up in a more modern, confident, and open India; they are more ambitious, and aspire towards a better life. They fuel our consumption culture. Younger consumers also view jewellery differently now – it is not only a store of value but a vessel of meaning too. This audience is also perennially looking for what’s new, so the design is a big draw here – a range of frequent new collections provoke this desire in a world that is far more outer directed. Lighter format, multiple occasion-driven jewellery drives consumption further. The affinity towards Digital also pushes the category.
ABOUT THE BRAND
Platinum Guild International (PGI) is a marketing organisation with the vision to develop the global platinum jewellery market as a new demand source for platinum. It was formed in 1975 with specialist teams dedicated to growing the global platinum jewellery market through consumer and trade-facing programmes in the four key jewellery markets of China, India, Japan and USA.
With 19 years of experience spanning advertising, marketing & brand building, Sujala Martis currently heads the Consumer Marketing function at Platinum Guild International (PGI)’s - India. Before making the transition into the world of marketing two years ago, Martis spent 17 years of her career in advertising.
Adaptability, agility, and inventiveness are truly the codes that count. We need to be able to learn, unlearn, and relearn, and be flexible enough to pivot at any point.
Q] Since Digital has seen massive growth in the past few years and especially during the pandemic, how has your industry and brand adapted?
The reliance on e-commerce, social commerce, shoppable content, and data plays a larger role. AR, virtual/video selling and online pre-booking are means of contactless selling that are now playing a more active part in our new reality. For Platinum, considering our younger audience profile, digital is an always-on channel for us. Using various platforms to drive familiarity and romance with the metal, to build the lure of design, to engage audiences in conversations around values that are relevant to them, to connect with them via the right tone of voice and emotion is the focus. And to that extent, we cover the entire spectrum basis where our audiences and their affinities lie. Since we are a guild and work with retail partners, our attempt is also to always enhance visibility and share of voice on partner handles and platforms since that is where our buying audience resides.
Q] What are the changes you have seen in consumer sentiment during the pandemic?
When it comes to consumer sentiment, of course, it is impacted. Consumers now lean towards what delivers value and has personal meaning. They have looked towards our category as a certain reaffirmation of life in the midst of the pandemic, a marker of relationships, milestones, and values that matter. COVID-19 has created a stronger sense of appreciation and gratitude towards one’s partner for example, and jewellery has stood as that marker of love and meaning, holding a special place as consumers seek to reaffirm their relationships.