Pandora’s popularity may be waning in Australia but it has just been ranked the No 2 luxury jewellery brand in the US by Unity Marketing.
Conducted last month, the company’s latest survey of “1250+ luxury consumers” with an average income of $US300,000, found that Pandora trailed only Tiffany in “number of purchases” in the US luxury jewellery market.
According to Unity Marketing president Pamela Danziger, the perhaps surprising result fits right in with Pandora’s stated goal of becoming “the world’s most recognised jewellery brand.”
She said that despite the brand’s obvious popularity many jewellers were largely unaware of its impact on their sales.
“At a recent conference I attended, a panel of jewellery designers all said they felt no impact of Pandora on their businesses but they may want to put their ears a little closer to the ground, because Pandora is gaining on them and is poised to be a game-changer in the luxury jewellery industry.”
She said the “paradigm-shifting jewellery brand”, which gives customers the ability to design their own jewellery pieces, meets the needs of the current economic climate and luxury consumer behavior in two ways:
- First, luxury consumers consistently report valuing experiences over physical possessions when they make a purchase of luxury. The Pandora jewellery fits right in by allowing luxury consumers to pick pieces with meaning for them to commemorate a special experience, plus they get the experiential thrill of designing their own jewellery piece.
- Second, the unique nature of the pieces means that it is highly unlikely an affluent consumer will see her jewellery expression on the arm of another. This is critical in this time of increasing class warfare and backlash against the rich, when an identifiable piece of luxury jewellery that obviously comes from an expensive brand may make a tone-deaf statement in a climate of continued economic uncertainty. Pandora jewellery allows the personality of the wearer to be more important than the branding message.
She stressed however that the rise of Pandora is not the only “non-luxury” player threatening luxury brands.
“In the luxury market, competition is coming from unexpected places,” she said. “Just because your brand is “luxury” doesn’t give it immunity from competition from non-luxury players or a guarantee of keeping your affluent customers.”
“Mass brands – like L’Oreal Paris, JC Penney’s, Ann Taylor, and Amazon.com – are all getting more than their fair share of sales among luxury-leaning affluent consumers.”