At the center of a new Pandora is the emphasis on craftsmanship and the consumer experience.
Danish North American jeweler Luciano Rodembusch chatted with WWD Editorial Director James Fallon about “The Charm of Handicraft”.
For Rodembusch, who arrived at Pandora earlier this year after a long stint at Tiffany & Co., it came as a surprise to see how handcrafted Pandora’s product is. “For me, one of the biggest surprises in joining Pandora is the craftsmanship behind everything we do. Each charm passes through 25 human hands. I don’t believe other jewelry companies are doing this on our scale. We have over 12,000 artisans in our team in Asia, ”he said.
The executive acknowledged that Pandora saw a meteoric increase in sales in the second quarter of 2021. He is “optimistic” that a renewed focus on storytelling, customer experience and new product lines will help the company deliver in the fourth. trimester. Pandora reported strong third-quarter growth earlier this week, led by the United States
“We have millions of fans and it’s amazing to see our fan base. The area we need to strengthen globally and particularly in North America is the need to communicate more about those human hands behind [our products], we want to put faces on these creations and show the craftsmen behind them, ”he said.
Education of retail sales staff will be an important element in relaying this message of artisanal production. “More than ever in the past, our salespeople are there to provide information. They are there to delight and surprise our customers and there are so many different options to introduce customers to something different. We need storytellers in our store and want people to connect with this story, ”said Rodembusch.
“The building blocks are there, we just need to root the communication more deeply and do it more frequently. We don’t think we leave enough time for customers to pay attention to how our unique pieces and charms are all made by human hands, ”he added.
Pandora is designing new product lines to gain the love of young consumers, including Gen Z. More than ever, Pandora is putting its sellers in a style position – giving them tools to dress buyers with unique looks. . The jeweler sees a great opportunity in the jewelry layering trend and introduces lines that welcome repeat purchases and moments of personal style.
“Today it’s all about mixing and matching. It’s rare to see a customer follow just one brand. We see customers mixing brands and looks. So we are looking beyond the wrist. One avenue that is very strong is our conversation about portability – where we use charms in earrings, necklaces, backpacks, shoes. We have to give freedom to customers, ”said Rodembusch.
Pandora looks outside of its famous charm bracelet franchise towards “bracelets and rings – the rings are very strong and the amount of possibilities you have for stacking the rings is super cool.” The same usual portability of charms, we are now turning to rings and bracelets with very good success, ”said the leader.
There is an increasing emphasis on gender-neutral designs in Pandora collections aimed at young consumers. “Although we always focus on our main community of women, we are seeing more men in our stores and the Gen Z collection, it is very easy to be used by any age or gender,” said Rodembusch .
The rush to win over Gen Z consumers keeps Pandora’s design team on their toes. “We need to bring freshness to the brand and a good example of that is when we start talking to Gen Z we need that freshness. Especially when you want to talk to a younger generation, you need to be more in tune with what’s going on right now. You have to be much faster to be able to create very quickly. [Our line] Pandora Me is very different in most ways, it can appeal to Gen Z, it is style driven, ”Rodembusch said.
Part of connecting with younger consumers is meeting them where they spend most of their downtime – online. Pandora strategically uses its influencer partnerships to reach new customers and learn new ways to style products.
“We are looking to the company’s influencer partners for advice on how to promote new ways of wearing the product,” said Rodembusch. “In a sense we need to bring more emotion and influencers help us with that, we often learn with them different uses of brand portability. A good example is that we started to understand the charms worn on shoes – and we thought, “Oh wow, that’s a great idea. This helps us to communicate but also to be in tune with what is happening with the brand.
Localized products, with particular charms for key cities or regions, also help Pandora reach consumers on an emotional level. “Some of the top performing charms come from New York and Las Vegas and I think these are times of celebration and shoppers want to sum up that memory in something. We can very well capture that with a charm of the Statue of Liberty or a yellow cab, iconic places in San Francisco or Chicago or Florida, ”Rodembusch said.
In order to further improve sales and communication with buyers, Pandora is testing a new store format in select locations. “The emphasis is more on the quality of the interaction,” Rodembusch said of the format. “We will have it soon in North America [and it’s] tested in other parts of the world. It incorporates a new technological discovery component to make harmony [with e-commerce]. “
Pandora’s e-commerce is changed to allow better communication with buyers. “We are working to bring more emotion online. It’s a little easier because it’s more literal. It’s easier for you to find your moment, you find a camera or a little dog charm and you walk in with that mindset, ”Rodembusch said.
“What the store lacks is [being replicated] with small videos to tell the story online and create emotions beyond the material image of the charm. You can say, in fact, “this is a Murano glass charm”, it creates a different meaning. This is the missing part that we will add more and more, ”said Rodembusch.