Ubaid Zargar

Why is CaratLane after your first salary?

The brand has recently added to its year-long ‘First Salary’ campaign. CaratLane’s VP, Marketing speaks to afaqs! about the campaign, category trends, and more.

A year ago, jewellery shopping app CaratLane introduced its ‘First Salary’ campaign, aiming to attract consumers who’ve just been handed their first salaries. A year later, the campaign has seen collaborations from other brands, from various categories. 

The idea is, consumers who’ve received their first salaries, should consider investing it in jewellery. A dedicated TVC for the campaign shows a young girl choosing to uncheck her list of clothes and accessories from her shopping cart, and instead buying a piece of jewellery for her mother. The campaign is conceptualised by BBH India.

Recently, CaratLane’s ‘First Salary’ campaign saw participation from other brands such as MakeMyTrip, Amazon Mini TV, JBL India, Meesho, Sugar India, Yatra.com, among others. What appeared to be a pre-conceived banter between the brands, saw all the players wooing consumers towards their respective services with their first salaries.

The brand’s VP, marketing, Jennifer Pandya says that the campaign was first ideated to expand the reasons the consumers are buying jewellery for.

She says, “Jewellery is very deeply rooted within our culture for gifting purposes. For any auspicious occasion, the preferred choice of gifting is jewellery. So, as a brand, we wanted to expand the reasons why consumers buy jewellery beyond traditional occasions. There are many such micro-occasions, first salary being one of them.”

In a country like India, the general rule of thumb is, your first salary might not empower you with a lot of luxuries. To think of shelling out your first salary in the way of jewellery purchases, sounds a little too optimistic. But CaratLane has a fix. 

“The milestone of starting to earn is a big deal in a person’s life. ‘Coming of age’, as we call it. We can confidently call (people with first salaries) to spend on jewellery, because we are in the affordable luxury segment. Typically, when people create jewellery they tend to add more weight to it, just so they could charge more. But we operate within 14 to 18 Carat spectrum. We use a lot of innovative tech such as laser cut, 3D printing, to make the jewellery lighter,and more affordable. Our jewellery starts at as low as Rs 5000,” Pandya points out.

Speaking on the target group for CaratLane, Pandya reveals, “Largely, the target group for CaratLane is women who want to buy jewellery for adornment and not for investment purposes. One of our mantra is we create jewellery that is too pretty for your lockers. Women from the age of 28 upto 40 are our core TG, because that is generally when they become more serious about the category. Women, when they start earning, tend to gravitate towards the category.”

The brand has seen a lot of action in the metros of the country, with a noticeable traction from other parts of India. “Purely by reach, metros are our biggest market. But we are also quite aggressive in the tier two cities as well.”

The company has been in the industry since 2008. In May 2016, Titan acquired Tiger Global’s 62% stake in CaratLane. With the investment, the company has now expanded its physical retail footprint to 230 stores in the country. To put this in perspective, CaratLane only had 12 stores across the country pre FY17. “Titan comes with the background of strong retail presence with Tanishq. The investment helped us scale.”

But the brand didn’t want to create another retail business. Instead, it strategised its marketing to build an omnichannel entity, where discoverability started online instead of offline. “We wanted the customer to discover us online. And then we do our planning at a pin code level, including inventory management.”

The opening of new stores, Pandya explains, are also done on the basis of already accumulated data from various pin codes of the city. 

On the distribution of sales front, Pandya reveals that the entire journey of a CaratLane starts online, but the transactions are made in the retail stores. And to offer more convenience to customers, the platform allows customers to surf through the online inventory, and shortlist their preferred pieces of jewellery. 

They can then go and physically test the products in their nearest CaratLane retail stores. “In case the product is not available in the nearest retail store, the customer can get it delivered to their homes in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

According to Pandya, consumers have moved away from believing jewellery as just an investment. The transition towards accepting jewellery as an accessory has been a major shift within the category. “A lot of our revenue comes from gifting. People are now readily using jewellery to express emotions, on occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.”

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