Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works. - Steve Jobs
The world market has become a place of strategic tie-ups and alliances. It is the combination of strengths and talent of both the retailer and the designer together that eventually forms a successful design.
Questions that Jewellery designers should ask themselves: 1. Why should I collaborate with a retailer? 2. As a jewellery designer will I be able to create a new design language that brings new thought, new trends and new designs to the customers of the retailer? Or will my designs be a modification of my current designs 3. What do I seek from this relationship? Do I seek new markets, more exposure, more business or is this collaboration a creative strategy to build my design portfolio/ brand.
Questions that Retailers should ask themselves: 1.Why should I collaborate with a jewellery designer? 2.Is the designer I want to collaborate with only a name like a celebrity endorsement of a kind OR do I seek the expertise of new products, thought and designs to offer my consumer because my consumer is ready for that change that I cannot offer by myself. 3.Will this jewellery designer actually bring more than just good design on to the table? 4.Is this a short-term approach to increase sales or an ongoing relationship I would like to build with the designer for my clients?
Will this tie up be competitive or will it be complimentary? Are we going to benefit each other equally or take advantage of each other’s goodwill?
A collaboration of any kind begins with trust in both directions. Will both parties live up to their commitments? Will they go beyond what is expected of their contract? It's about creating a great product that’s Cheap yet chic
The reason why some designer-retailer collaborations succeed, while others fail is based on how well they understand the consumer’s view of the specific combination of the designer and retailer.
A successful design is a confluence between a good designer, a good manufacturer, a good retailer and a good client.
Challenges faced by Designers A new design language to be created different from products already offered to the retailer’s customers. If the designer is a well-known brand and if the designer recycles old designs for their collaborations, are they doing a disservice to both customers and retailers on the up market and mass-market? Because a luxury customer would feel short changed if there were diluted versions of the designer brand in the mass market Thus it is important that both the designer and retailer involved will work together to create new designs that have a distinct design language on both ends of the market spectrum. For mass retail : To create a design that is original yet Cheap and Chic, thus giving great value to the product in terms of design and price. For stand alone retail markets: To create designs that are Unique, distinctive and original in style so as to attract new customers to the retail store.
To understand the customer of the retailer and create new designs, new thought, new collections. To broaden the customer spectrum of choice as the world has become a very small place with the access of designs to customers via the internet
CLIENT’ELE : INFORMED, AWARE & ALERT Both high end consumers and mass consumers have woken up to the entire concept of a product that is not just traditional anymore, but is in tune with the needs of a contemporary growing society as ours. The consumer understands and appreciates a good design and is aware of international trends, thus expects the product to exhibit all such qualities. The intervention of media and the internet has made the Indian consumer more aware. The younger segment is willing to “experiment” and believe in expressing their individuality through the products they use.
Challenges faced by Retailers 1.Value vs. Price – To offer the consumer a product that has great design yet value for price. 2.To raise Average Unit Retail prices by engaging new customers to walk in to their stores. 3.Selection of the right products keeping in mind the present consumer tastes as well as the new consumer they would want to attract. 4.Understanding Consumer spending patterns so as to fit the collection within a certain price bracket. 5.To offer a range of products to form a collection that is suitable to the consumer taste by having the right amount and not over stocking.
6. Creating a collection that is specific in design language that appeals to your target market and not spread thin all over. 7. Before tying up with a designer the retailer should understand how the designer brand name is perceived amongst its customers and even the price difference between the designer merchandise sold in the designer store versus what will be sold in the retailer store. 8. A Retail brand that is open to designer collaborations is open to change. Is aware that today’s customer wants a choice.
For any Collaboration to succeed, Advertising and promotions pay a very important role. Advertising that is continuous, not one time via hoardings, advertising, magazine editorials, social media etc.