While firms in the US have busied themselves for decades with marketing goals and tasks, the topic was first taken up in Germany when the retail market that was present immediately after 1945 gradually transformed into a buyer market. These attitudes and ways of thinking were not absorbed into design until the 1990s. There are, however, substantial deficits in practical implementation, precisely in the field of design marketing.
Particularly firms from the design sector must behave systematically and in a goal-oriented fashion on the market. In order to attain short-term, mid-term, and long term goals, it is recommended to use particular guiding principles for conduct in marketing. These principles are ultimately based on the implementation of marketing and policy instruments in the operating field. And precisely the marketing and policy instruments of product policy, contracting policy, distribution policy, communications policy, and marketing mixture must be implemented in a good and sensible relationship with one another and creatively, so that marketing can be successfully practiced in the product and jewelry design sector as well.
Markets often change more rapidly than marketing. Firms have deeply rooted practices and a relatively fixed allotment of funds for marketing. Each functional unit — advertising, promotion of sales, the sale itself — would like the same or a larger budget each year, entirely independently of whether the unit is gaining or losing productivity. It does not matter if the advertising is losing effectiveness. Design marketing is, where present, too often treated as its own department within the company, a department that carries out marketing communication and promotion of sales.
But, properly understood, marketing has a strategic function and should be the driving force behind the firm’s strategy. This does not only apply to product and jewelry design, but also, ultimately, to all products and services. For optimum design marketing, the well-known “four Ps” of marketing — product, price, placement, and promotion — are useful building blocks in the construction of the proper marketing mix that a company can use to strategically dominate a chosen target market. Each P brings with it a number of tools to influence the level, the timing, and the composition of demand. A product mix, a price mix, a placement mix, and a promotion mix must therefore be created when the marketing plan of action is drawn up. This applies to every jewelry and watchmaking firm and ultimately also to the one-person design firm.
In design marketing, distinctions are drawn among five areas: analysis, product conception, product development, marketing mix, and market introduction and costs and controls. In analysis, areas such as market analysis (e.g. revenue volumes for jewelry and watches in a particular country, the way the demand behaves, etc.), analysis of competition, communication of client needs, positioning of a new product within a product portfolio, grasping of growing potentials and client needs, trends, regions, and ethnic marketing or consumer behavior are dealt with.
The second area is product conception. It is important that this first be formulated with an eye to the presentation of topics, and then that it be worked through comprehensively. At the same time, product ideas and service attributes must be determined. The method of proceeding must also be determined and the entire development process structured. In the case of jewelry, the producer should, for example, ask who would buy the products and whether the demand in Germany and the US would be the same or different. This also applies to building up the collection. Is the collection in step with the times, not too old, is it cultivated? Especially in product conception, many mistakes are made because the products outstrip the needs of the market. Areas described in the section on analysis are still given too little consideration.
Another area to be mentioned is product development. Here, technical and functional principles are developed, guiding principles and design are set, and planning for production is finalized. An area of crucial importance is the very large field of the marketing mix. Here, the product policy, including the policy of the program, assortment, customer service, and guarantees, but also the policy of pricing, supply, loans, and discounts has to be fixed. Precisely when a product is first being introduced, many and various mistakes can be made. Specific basic principles should also be noted in developing new lines of jewelry.
Additionally, the way to the market must be considered and logistical questions answered. Communications policy, and particularly advertising, sales promotion, and public work including trade fairs and presentations, attain great significance here, because design must also be communicated.
On the basis of the marketing mix strategy, the business strategy is then determined, market tests carried out, and the product introduced into the corresponding markets. At this point, the regional particularities such as the significance of colors (e.g., in colored stones) or physiological particularities of the buyers in the various markets (e.g., smaller ring sizes in the Asian market) are once more to be noted. Finally, the area of costs for product development and the marketing mix, the costs for pursuing, processing, and completing orders must be controlled. Controlling should be carried out on a permanent basis.
Nikos, for example, is a good example of a modern jewelry firm that successfully brings together sensual, sophisticated jewelry design and the necessities of marketing. Here are points such as a sales promotion packet with a sales folder, a well presented brand philosophy, collection descriptions, price lists, information regarding materials, examples for advertising at the jewelry shop, sales prospectuses, window displays, special packaging and comprehensive promotion and sponsoring activities as well as print advertising and PR campaigns points where marketing can actively support design.
At present, there is a trend toward jewelry branding in marketing that bears observation. And precisely design helps to make a jewelry piece significantly recognizable. Design gives brands their external identity. And brands are loaded with culture; culture cloaks itself in brands. Brand preferences attest to worldviews. Good design visualizes the brand value, the personality in the products, the core of the brand. Design is an important component of the marketing mix. We have seen that alongside processes in design, areas such as marketing, press and public work, sales, presentation and trade fairs, individual marketing, etc. acquire greater significance and that design marketing is continually acquiring greater significance in today’s economy.
This need is made up of serial and artistic jewelry, of precious stones, watches, writing implements and other consumer and luxury goods. The market is flooded with products that are qualitatively of a high value, often equally worth the price, and easy to confuse for one another. For a successful designer or distributor, strategic product and firm planning must include design that is highly recognizable and unmistakable. Design stands at the beginning of every product development process and can only lead to success by means of close collaboration among designers, producers, sellers, marketing, and communications. Products and services that are developed on this model stand above the goods on the market that are easily confused in terms of quality and appearance. In this way, design can also become a competitive advantage and a guarantee of success.