The decline of Swarovski and Pandora is a lesson for APM

nikisho Date:2021-08-13 15:41:07
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Under the “loser” girl’s strong purchasing power, another jewelry company is going public.


On June 29, European jewellery brand APM Monaco (” APM “) filed an application to list on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. According to the prospectus data, the total revenue of APM in 2020 was HK $1.92 billion, with a year-on-year growth of about 4.5%, among which The Chinese mainland became the largest market, accounting for 57.2% of the total revenue.


APM is prospering, but others in the luxury jewelry business are having a hard time.


In the past year, swarovski has made several rounds of layoffs due to the pandemic and restructuring plans, as well as reported plans to close stores. Bloomberg also reported that Swarovski’s revenue took a hit, with overall sales likely falling by a third last year to about 2 billion euros.


In addition to Swarovski, Pandora’s situation is also worrying. In 2020, Pandora’s sales were down 12 percent from a year earlier, while organic growth — the natural growth of sales and profits from existing resources and businesses — was down 11 percent, according to the financial report. In the first quarter of 2020, revenues plunged 41% year-on-year to DKR 4.172 billion, with a net loss of DKR 24 million. Total revenue for the second quarter also fell to DK2.876 billion from DK4.693 billion a year earlier, with a net profit loss of DK175 million.


From century-old companies to Internet celebrities, the decline in luxury jewelry seems to be particularly pronounced. But why, in this context, does APM fare so differently? In the light luxury jewelry field, what are the factors that hold back the development of the brand “changhong”


The rise of APM


APM was founded in 1982 in Monaco by Ariane Prette. APM started out providing design and manufacturing services to European jewelry retailers. In 1992, APM moved its production base to China and officially launched its namesake jewelry brand in 2012. Although APM does not have a long brand history to tell, APM quickly became popular in China with its differentiated brand positioning, product design and marketing approach.


Based on its early design experience and regional genes, APM has always emphasized that it is a “jewelry brand from Southern France”, and its external publicity pays special attention to “elegance, fun and comfort”. For example, when the official account of APM on Weibo opened its stores, its external publicity mainly focused on “South French style and fashion experience”, “comfortable and comfortable” and other words, so as to strengthen the impression of consumers on the brand.


In terms of products, APM knows well that young people love new and hate old, so it takes the design ability as one of the selling points of the brand, and keeps releasing about 30 new models every month. While luxury brands such as Tiffany may only launch one or two new collections a year, APM is almost catching up with FMCG brands. With such a high-speed innovation, APM successfully created the popular Six-star series, and thus improved the brand recognition.


At the same time, in the independent design of explosive products, APM is also keen to “imitate” the popular single products under the major luxury brands: Bulgari’s most famous snake jewelry series, Celine letter bracelet, Cartier bracelet and other explosive, can be found here in APM similar. “Luxury flat” has therefore become a popular feature of APM. Since APM is almost a brand oriented to the Chinese market, its marketing hand plays in the market are quite a lot.


APM Monaco


APM’s popularity began with star power.


Although in order to maintain the brand image of “from the South of France”, APM released in many channels almost all the material by European and American models interpretation; But really known by the public, or because of the star “goods” : APM high density cooperation with a number of stars, Yao Chen, Fan Bingbing, Yang Ying, Zhou Dongyu, Dilreba, Yang Mi, Zhao Wei, Zhou Zhennan and many other stars have worn APM in the press conference, red carpet, variety and street shoot.


Besides celebrities, KOL and KOC are further expanding their brand awareness.


APM has cooperated with many KOLS and KOC. For example, when searching the keywords of APM jewelry on microblog, most of the results are recommended pictures and pictures of A Chin, Miya, Vivian and other KOLS and KOC. It can be seen that the density of placing is large; During 618 this year, APM also cooperated with THE 618 Grass conference of B station, aiming to boost the conversion rate during the shopping festival with the help of the influence of UP master.


In addition, offline stores are also one of the marketing points that APM attaches great importance to.


APM stores are located in the bustling shopping mall, and most of its “neighbors” are high-end luxury brands such as Chanel, DIOR and Cartier. The reason why APM chose to integrate into high-end business and luxury business circles is to make its brand image look more high-end.


With a combination of online and offline, APM has become the most popular light luxury brand. According to the prospectus, from 2018 to 2020, APM’s marketing expenses reached HK $6.6 billion, HK $8.4 billion, and HK $9.284 billion, accounting for nearly half of its total revenue over the years. APM is a brand that thrives on marketing.


Pandora, swarovski of the same style routine


In fact, APM is not in the marketing level of “talent”, and the old-timers Pandora, Swarovski, these three brands in the marketing level of play have a lot of similarities. Pandora and APM were born the same year, and started out as a small craft shop. The reason why Pandora became a red brand, first of all in the product to make a difference.


Unlike most jewelry brands, which sell complete pieces at once, Pandora’s most iconic hit is the Charms of its string bracelets, which are sold apart from the beads. The unit price of a single bead is less than 200 yuan, and consumers can buy and match them freely according to their own preferences. This method of sharing purchase greatly reduces the cost of a single purchase for consumers, and also provides them with reasons for continuous purchase. “Do-it-yourself” has therefore become the brand’s biggest characteristic.


In an effort to get a strong bond with consumers, Pandora also increased the number of new trips from two per year to seven per year starting in 2013 to increase its long-term appeal to its target audience. With a personalized assortment of products, Pandora esitates the “love” narrative that most jewelry brands use, and instead tells consumers a story that women can “show and express themselves.” In this way, in line with the rising trend of female consciousness, Pandora successfully achieved empathy with consumers.


Brand concept store lettering service


At its peak, in fiscal 2018, Pandora spent $1.303 billion on marketing, accounting for 36.05% of its revenue, according to financial data. This has helped make China Pandora’s fourth-largest market in terms of sales, after the US, UK and Italy.


Swarovski, founded in 1895, focuses on telling consumers the story of a “century-old Austrian crystal empire” : Swarovski’s founders invented high-quality artificial crystal, and since then the family has been committed to allowing the public to enjoy “crystal like” jewelry at a price close to the people. Swarovski in the external publicity of “artificial crystal”, also avoid saying “artificial”, but efforts to “crystal” the word close.


Of course, in the product, the main “crystal” Swarovski products are mostly “crystal decoration”, at the same time, Swarovski also will be the shape of the brand logo swan series, the devil’s eye and so on to create a explosion, greatly enhance the brand recognition. With brand positioning and products in place, Swarovski also hopes to use the power of marketing to increase its brand premium.


In offline channels, Swarovski not only pays attention to store location, but also created a new concept crystal Room in Chengdu in 2019. Different from most stores, Swarovski Crystal Room store not only integrates traditional imitation crystal elements, but also adds digital technology services, which is swarovski’s attempt to improve brand reputation and brand tonality with new visual design and service experience.


Why light luxury must be strong marketing


In conclusion, it is not difficult to see that Pandora, APM and Swarovski have become the most popular light luxury jewelry brands in the market, not because their products themselves are so unique and precious, but because marketing has become the main driving force. The use of “925 silver”, “gold-plated”, “artificial crystal” such as the material of the three, is bound to have to do enough work in brand positioning, building, marketing, channel, in order to successfully enhance the brand premium, balance the mediocre material.


And the “ordinary” of the product itself means that it must use marketing to create its own differentiation, in order to avoid being buried in many similar brands. Just as Trout’s positioning theory says, in the case of increasingly fierce competition with homogeneous products, enterprises must differentiate their competitors and strive for the first place in a certain field to achieve better development.


Obviously, Pandora rhetorics of female personality and self expression “image, swarovski advocated by the” low price can get crystal act the role ofing is tasted “, APM provided by the “south France amorous feelings of fashion, the design feels jewelry” are actually let brand can differentiate in competing goods market, so as to make a significant impression in the consumers’ mind. Once consumers accept the design created by the brand, it will naturally become the first choice for consumers to pick.


As important as the concept of brand positioning is the creation of a burst of money.


If brand positioning is to let consumers psychologically distinguish the brand from competing products, then the explosion of products is the true landing of brand differentiation and product differentiation. After highlighting different people, the brand needs to embody the concept it advocates through a differentiated popular style, so as to avoid leaving consumers with the suspicion of “self-talk”. Pandora Charms string, Swarovski “Swan crystal pendant, APM’s signature hexagram star accessories are all popular products in line with its brand concept.


Specific to marketing level, star, KOL is always out of the ring. Celebrities have many circles of fans, and their appeal and endorsement ability are neither positive nor negative, which can bring a lot of sales and exposure to the brand in a short period of time. Therefore, choosing to cooperate with celebrities has become the common choice of many brands. Considering the large number of competing products, the three brands have been cooperating with a large number of stars, Kols and KOCs at a high frequency to maintain the popularity of the brand.


As for the location of their stores, the three light luxury jewelry brands, without exception, regard the high-end business district where luxury goods gather as the base of their stores. The scene where luxury goods gather has usually created a high-end and fashionable atmosphere in the psychology of consumers, and the store implanted in this scene can naturally take advantage of the psychological advantages of consumers and make the brand look more high-end and fashionable.


But it has to be admitted that marketing is able to make a new brand quickly out of the circle of fame, but not make the brand long red.


Consumers are not silly, relying on packaging upper can only fool consumers for a while, time is long, the defects of poor materials will appear, the dissatisfaction of consumers. Once the most popular Pandora is often joked that “925 silver also want to sell so expensive”, Swarovski is often ridiculed for “artificial crystal”, “the product cost performance is not worth the price”. What’s more, its relatively cheap production technology, material, but also makes the market “imitation without pressure”. The proliferation of fakes will further accelerate the rate of brand “decline”.

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