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Rapaport: Take Millennials Seriously When They Tell You What They Want

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They want to have a say. So let them.

Martin Rapaport focused on the rapid pace of disruptive change during his annual Rapaport Breakfast at the JCK Las Vegas show on Wednesday.

Change is not just about technology. People are changing the way that they think. It’s a double whammy of change.

We’ve heard over and over again that the millennial mantra is “spend money on experiences rather than stuff.” That’s also been interpreted to mean “life is about memories, not diamonds.”

But keep in mind that diamonds represent the “mother of all memories,” the physical embodiment of the memory of an engagement or other life-affirming event.

“We don’t sell the product. We sell the idea behind the product,” Rapaport reminded the audience.

So, how to deal with those problematic millennials and why do you have to? Well, we all know they can’t just be ignored. Millennials are 27 percent of the population and the engagement ring buyer is the jeweler’s feeder stock.

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“We can’t lose the engagement ring market. That is the foundation, the basis of what is going on around here,” Rapaport says. “Jewelers can’t afford to lose consumers who decide that diamonds are dirty or conspicuous or ostentatious … .”

So, what to do?

Take seriously their desire for something that’s customized. They want to have a say. They want it to be an experience and they want the engagement ring purchase to be fun

”Jewelers can’t afford to lose consumers who decide that diamonds are dirty or conspicuous or ostentatious.”

So hire some millennials, particularly young women who are passionate about shopping for jewelry, who can make the experience more fun. Add energy and youth and personality to your company culture.

Concentrate on communications. Reach out to them where they are. They are not reading their email. They’re texting and they’re using social media to communicate.

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Instead of fighting the internet; be the internet.

“You have to be everywhere,” he says.

Determine what you can do better than anyone else, what you are passionate about and ask yourself if it can be profitable and sustainable. The convergence of those three things is the key to finding success.

Finally, be ethical about sourcing. Dig deeper. Ask questions. Join organizations fighting the good fight. Not only because it’s important to millennials, but also because it’s the right thing to do as human beings.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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Rapaport: Take Millennials Seriously When They Tell You What They Want

mm

Published

on

They want to have a say. So let them.

Martin Rapaport focused on the rapid pace of disruptive change during his annual Rapaport Breakfast at the JCK Las Vegas show on Wednesday.

Change is not just about technology. People are changing the way that they think. It’s a double whammy of change.

We’ve heard over and over again that the millennial mantra is “spend money on experiences rather than stuff.” That’s also been interpreted to mean “life is about memories, not diamonds.”

But keep in mind that diamonds represent the “mother of all memories,” the physical embodiment of the memory of an engagement or other life-affirming event.

“We don’t sell the product. We sell the idea behind the product,” Rapaport reminded the audience.

Advertisement

So, how to deal with those problematic millennials and why do you have to? Well, we all know they can’t just be ignored. Millennials are 27 percent of the population and the engagement ring buyer is the jeweler’s feeder stock.

“We can’t lose the engagement ring market. That is the foundation, the basis of what is going on around here,” Rapaport says. “Jewelers can’t afford to lose consumers who decide that diamonds are dirty or conspicuous or ostentatious … .”

So, what to do?

Take seriously their desire for something that’s customized. They want to have a say. They want it to be an experience and they want the engagement ring purchase to be fun

”Jewelers can’t afford to lose consumers who decide that diamonds are dirty or conspicuous or ostentatious.”

So hire some millennials, particularly young women who are passionate about shopping for jewelry, who can make the experience more fun. Add energy and youth and personality to your company culture.

Advertisement

Concentrate on communications. Reach out to them where they are. They are not reading their email. They’re texting and they’re using social media to communicate.

Instead of fighting the internet; be the internet.

“You have to be everywhere,” he says.

Determine what you can do better than anyone else, what you are passionate about and ask yourself if it can be profitable and sustainable. The convergence of those three things is the key to finding success.

Finally, be ethical about sourcing. Dig deeper. Ask questions. Join organizations fighting the good fight. Not only because it’s important to millennials, but also because it’s the right thing to do as human beings.

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular