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Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2007 at 10:15 am

Marketing Jewelry to Women

By Holly Buchanan
July 31st, 2007

sentiment sellsEvery piece of jewelry tells a story. Ask any woman about a piece of jewelry she’s wearing and you’ll hear a tale of romance, travel, adventure, friendship, celebration or personal epiphany.

I got this in St. Martin. I looked at it in the store and I loved it. My husband snuck back the next day and bought it as a surprise.

Jack bought this for me when he was in Asia. It’s Burmese jade. It’s a really powerful stone. The ancient Chinese believed it provided protection and could even make you immortal.

This charm is an angel’s wings. My sister gave it to me before she moved to the west coast to let me know she’d always be looking out for me.

My parents got this for me as a graduation gift. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college.

I bought this for myself the day I found out I was cancer-free.

I found this in a tiny little shop in Nantucket and thought it was the most beautiful shade of blue I’d ever seen. Every time I touch it, it reminds me of walking along the shore and staring out into that beautiful sea.

So I wasn’t surprised to read Roy Williams’s Monday Morning Memo reciting the story of a jeweler who gave away 500 free charm bracelets. The people around him said he was crazy, and that he’d lose money on the deal. But this jeweler knew better.

Sure enough, after giving away 500 free charm bracelets, he sold $100,000 in beads and charms. Only 28 people who took a bracelet failed to buy a charm for it.

Jewelry is about relationships; relationships with our spouses, our new loves, our family, our friends, and ourselves. The jewelry we wear speaks volumes about who we are. Women love talking about their jewelry. But I would argue that it’s less about bragging and more about communicating; communicating something about who they are and what’s important to them. Yes, sometimes what they’re communicating is “He spent a lot of money on me,” or “This is one expensive piece,” or “I have fabulous taste.”

But there’s much more to it than that.

So, please, enough with these ads showing fashion models with pouty looks on their faces. Show me some jewelry ads that focus on what the jewelry’s communicating. Close-ups of the piece of jewelry are nice so you can see what the jewelry looks like, but what does it mean to the person wearing it?

Perhaps more jewelery designers should take note of Di Modolo’s success promoting not just their jewelry, but insight into a woman who wears it.

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Comments (24)

  1. [...] I came across this article that has some interesting thoughts on marketing jewelry to women. [...]

  2. Hello Holy,

    Great article! You have just explained exactly the insight behind my new accessories ecom site. I believe strongly in the “story” and the romance behind jewellery/accessories. I started my company based on my personal experience with telling the story of my jewellery.


  3. Since the web address didn’t come up if you are interested, you can see the stories at

    cheers (again)

  4. Patricia,

    You do indeed have some great stories – about the jewelry on your site and how you chose that jewelry.

    What I think would be helpful – would be to highlight those stories more from the product pages. If your pathway to a product is through a category (bracelet, necklace) you may miss that wonderful story.

    Consider either having a brief summary of the story on each product page, or a clear link from the product page saying “learn more about what makes this piece special.”

    Fabulous jewelry – love your stuff!


  5. I definitely agree with your suggestion about the marketing approach, but I have to disagree with you on this:

    Ask any woman about a piece of jewelry she’s wearing and you’ll hear a tale of romance, travel, adventure, friendship, celebration or personal epiphany.

    While I’m sure that there are women out there who feel that way, I’ve never met any. And I’m the daughter of someone who describes herself as a “crow” because of how much she loves shiny things like jewelery. Most of the women in my family have stories about important pieces of jewelry — their wedding ring, a favourite necklace that their partner got them, etc. — but regular jewelery is… well… jewelery.

    Speaking for myself, if you ask me about something I’m wearing I’ll tell you where I got it (if I can remember) and I might tell you why I like it. But “a tale of romance, travel, adventure, friendship, celebration or personal epiphany”? I own one ring that has a story attached to it (which is the only reason I keep it around, because I certainly don’t wear it anymore).

    I know that speaking in hyperbole (“[a]sk any woman”) in order to help sell your idea, but the truth is that reiteration of stereotypes like that are one of the reasons why marketing to women is so abysmal in the first place. We’re treated as this large homogeneous demographic, when in fact our tastes are just as diverse as men’s are. Our personalities and how we feel about products and marketing are just as diverse as men’s are.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that, while portraying women as people who make emotional connections with their jewelery may be better than those ads where women become nothing more than the (bored looking) display pieces for the product, it serves no one to use the idea that the emotional connection is something that all women have.

  6. Tekanji,

    Thank you for your well thought out post. I battle stereotypes of women almost every day in my work. So I couldn’t agree more that you can’t say “all women will……” or “all women think……” I’ve recently finished a book battling that very topic.

    Many women I’ve talked with do feel that their jewelry tells a story. But yes – do some women buy or like jewelry simply because it’s a beautiful object? You bet.

    I speak out because the jewelry industry has some serious stereotypes when it comes to women. Take engagement rings – I’ve talked with many men who sell diamonds – across the board they all say one thing – “all the woman cares about is size.” Are there women who only care about size? If it’s less than 2 carats don’t even present it? Yeah – they’re out there.

    But I’ve also talked with many women who care about other things. I’m curious – if the only thing women care about is size, why do couples who shop together (where the woman has more of a say) spend LESS than guys who shop alone? If the only thing she cares about is size- wouldn’t she be pushing for the largest, most expensive diamond??

    It’s dangerous to stereotype. It’s dangerous to think “all women” think and act alike.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  7. Hello!
    I agree, that each piece of jewelry leaves a special impression on each woman and sometimes we tend to wear this or that thing only because it is dear to us as memory. But personally I try not to stay in the past, but move forward, leaving all bad behind and all good in my heart. I try to create some new “up-to-date” memories which are sure to be with me for some period of time. Besides, I try to go hand in hand with fashion and give prefernce to online shops. They are rather safe, convenient and offer a wide range of things. For my birthday my husband presented me with a White Gold Medium Chain (, I really adore it and even after 15 years of our married life we didn’t fail to organize a romantic supper, thus managed to create another sweet memory with a new piece of jewelry!!!

  8. Dear
    I am DESMOND KEN, a native of Darfur-Sudan in Africa and my father was the Chief Executive Officer of BAKRI KEN Diamond and Gold Mining Company in Darfur Sudan ,I am 22 years of age.

    I must apologise for my using this medium to reach you for a transaction/ business of this magnitude, but this is due to confidentiality and prompt access reposed on this medium.

    My father before his death had Deposited some consignment in a security company right here in Ghana, West Africa, upon his death I found out those consignment were still in Ghana and are still there presently and I can get them out of there with your humble assistance.

    I have decided to seek a confidential co-operation with you in the execution of the deal described hereunder for the benefit of all parties and hope you will keep it as a top secret because of the nature of this transaction. While l am in Ghana West Africa at the moment,i have finally located the Security Company

    . I need a trustworthy individual with financial stability that will assist me and my younger brother to get these boxes out of the security house and Africa as a whole and help in investing the funds because my father made an agreement with the security company that the next of kin(me) should have a foreign partner that we aid me in investing at the collection of Our family Treasures.

    That is the major reason we are seeking for your kind assisstance because we do not need to stay here one minute longer,’the hawks have hovered over us long enough and we wish to be free finally’ that is why I am seeking the help of a foreigner in this transaction so that we can retrieve the consignment from the security company and shipment to you and quietly leave Africa.

    Not withstanding the content is not made known to the company, they thought it is some family belongings as it was deposited as family treasures e.g precious stones, since my father had his own mining company between the bounderies of Ivory coast and Ghana before the war broke out weeks ago between different rebel factions group fighting for different purpose.

    More so, we are handicapped in the circumstances, as the laws of Ghana cannot allow us to carry out such a huge amount of money out of Ghana and Africa hence your importance in the whole transaction. Should you be willing assist in the transaction, your share of the sum will be 15% of the $15 million, 80% for me and 5% for Expenses During the Transaction and miscellaneous expenses.

    The business itself is 100% safe on your part provided you treat it with outmost secrecy and confidentiality. Also your area of specialization is not a hindrance to the successful execution of this transaction. I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.

    Endeavour to contact me immediately through my private email address to confirm whether or not you are interested in this deal. If you are not,it will enable me scout for another foreign partner to carry out this deal.

    I want to assure you that we are in a position to make part payment of this claim possible provided you can give us a very strong Assurance and guarantee that our share will be secured and please,remember to treat this matter very confidential.

    Once again, remember that time is of great essence in this transaction.
    I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation.
    Thanks and God Bless.

  9. I have a website with beautiful jewelry. I want feedback on the site based on your own marketing interests. I value the opinions, good or bad, so that I can make this site successful. there are no pouty sullen women on this site. My jewelry is for HAPPY jewel loving people who wear it TO MAKE THEMSELVES FEEL GOOD only.

  10. Hi Renee,
    I just checked out your website and your jewelry is great. I too design jewelry and have not taken the step (or investment) to have a web page launched. Your wire wrapping is great and you have good prices, not too high and not too low. Keep up the good work and congrats.

  11. While I can’t speak for all woman I can tell you my opinion.I think that woman desire something that reflects who they are.Wether it’s a mother that wants personalized jewelry of her kids or a young woman that wears a delicate pendant they are simply making a statement about themselves.


  12. Great article. But I think it is a bit hard to marketing jewelry to women online. Because most women will like to shop at offline instead of online, so it make they need a longer time to make a buying decision.

  13. Great Article!

  14. @Renee: You have beautiful Jewelry. We sell rings and bracelets too.

    This is a great article. Thanks so much.

  15. Great article – Jewelry and art is about the connection to a place, a moment in time and even to the artist or creator.

  16. Great article.I agree, that each piece of jewelry leaves a special impression on each woman and sometimes we tend to wear this or that thing only because it is dear to us as memory.

  17. great article…im new in jewellery design n i find out this very interesting page for refresh my idea soon wiil launch my jewellery brand i will show online feel free to have a look in future…:)

  18. One reason, both men and women wear jewelry to express their personality, individuality, and style. By wearing unique pieces, we try to convey to people around us that we are different. For this exact reason, people tend to feel embarrassed when seeing someone wearing the same clothes/accessory in the same event.

  19. Hello,
    We deals in jewellery from the ages and now launched showroom with the name of SUNAAR Since Generations here we our primery aim is to provide Jewellery Gold Diamond Jewellery or Silver Jewellery at lowest rates anybody interested can contact us .
    We have launched Gold jewellery with lowest margin in 13000 Rs per 10 Grm and with minimum making cost of 5%
    Please help us to spread this information all across. TRUST US WE VALUE FOR YOUR VALUABLES.


  20. I Like those jewelery products.
    Its brightness is very impressive.

  21. giving away free stuff is a good thing, but how can you be sure that people will come back for paid stuff??

  22. On the surface it seems a crazy idea to give something away for Free, but then the charm bracelet isn’t much good without charms to go on it, so I can understand the idea behind it. Very clever piece of marketing.

  23. That is a brilliant way of making money and such a clever idea. Knowing that people would come back to buy the charms was a very clever move. Selling jewellery online is difficult because you can’t see certain aspects of it, like the way it catches light or the way it would sit around your wrist or neck. I do think the story aspect about the pieces is right though and online jewellery just doesn’t have the same effect.

  24. I must admit that was a rather ingenious way of growing his business and it shows that this jeweler had a lot of insight into marketing jewelry to women. But nowadays, anyone who attempts such a strategy will only do it after a long and meticulous market survey. No one is willing to risk losing money on an idea that might or might not work.

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Holly Buchanan is a marketing to women consultant specializing in marketing to women online. You can read her blog at She is the co-author, along with Michele Miller of The Soccer Mom Myth - Today's Female Consumer - Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys.

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