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These guidelines are the opinions and views of the author based on twenty years practical experience in marketing silver jewellery. No guarantee or warranty is made as to the accuracy of its contents and we urge further research before placing any reliance on its contents.

Market researching Jewellery - A Guideline

1. Identify who are your customers.
2. Identify the needs of the customer
3. Perceptions
4.Is it going to be fashionable?
5.1 Legal Issues
6. will selling the product in any way break a contract or legal requirement?
7.product cost
8 Test it before you sell it

1. Who is your Customer Base?

1.1 Issues to consider are:-
a. How Old?
- Pensioners are unlikely to be looking for a 25 mm flesh tunnel.
b. Is the occupation of your customers relevant? - It was perhaps a misconception that high earners were likely to spend more on jewellery. This may not be true as any tour of the UK's poorest regions will show many adorning big chunky gold chains. One reason why some buy jewellery in the first place is to create the perception of personal wealth -even when they are not wealthy or have jobs.
1.2 Research methods
a. Customer contact - even a very brief question can provide a lot of useful information. Simply talking to your customers not only helps build the goodwill of the business but is also a useful marketing tool.
b. Temporary stalls or stands. - Perhaps one of the best ways to test a product at a minimum price is to expose it to the public via a market or trade show.
c. Other methods include advertising, branding, cold calling or direct marketing (the later of which do NOT work and simply annoy anyone and everyone)
1.3 Planning the Future. Examine the demographics of your location and its population. For example government statistics show that by 2020 there will be a far greater percentage of pensioners than ever before. Planning issues, unemployment, and house prices are all statistics you can keep an eye on.

2.What are the needs of your customers?

"Maslows Pyramid" was developed by "Abraham Maslowa" a leading psychologist. Basically it is a formula containing 5 states of motivational factors that influence customers when making a purchase:-
2.1 Physiological needs
For example will an investment in silver jewellery help pay for food clothing or shelter?
2.2 Safety issues?
Is the purchase necessary to fulfil certain safety needs
2.3 Social needs
Can this purchase improve social needs such as family ties
2.4 Self Esteem
Perhaps the most important factor in the jewellery industry as it is often sold to fulfil the desire to raise self -esteem.
2.5 Self-fulfilment
can the purchase in any way assist in self fulfilment - particularly relevant for the purchase of an engagement ring,

3.Perceptions

3.1 Essentially how does the jewellery look and will it satisfy the five aforementioned needs? 3.2 Does new jewellery combine well with existing stock. For example it would be foolish to mix tongue bars with high end brand name watches. 3.3 perceived value of jewellery? An important element of research is to ascertain what your customers would expect to pay for a particular item of jewellery.

4.Will the jewellery be fashionable?

The are plenty of sources you can use to answer this question, not least of all the latest fashion magazines or by watching the catwalks. Also keeping an eye out for what the celebrities wear on television or in the media.

5.1 Legal Issues

Some essential issues are
1.Copyright. The 1988 Copyright, designs and patents Act sets out in some detail the various issues that can arise from copyright infringement. 2. Product Safety - with jewellery one of the biggest issues is Nickel. Any alloy that contains too much nickel can violate for example European Laws. 3. Hallmark Requirements - all precious metals have to be hallmarked to give the customer assurance that what they are buying is real silver.