Responsible brands step up to the need of the hour: Sunil Nayak

Shrugging off the disruptions of the year gone by, businesses and agencies are looking for a strong revival in 2021. Over the next few weeks, Adgully – as part of our annual TRENDING NOW endeavour – will be presenting the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of 2020.

Sunil Nayak, CEO, Reliance Jewels, highlights the trends on jewellery during the pandemic times and how the year 2020 has redefined how we interact and present ourselves. While he sees 2021 to be a mixed bag for the industry in general, but for jewellery, the year ahead looks great.

Outlook for 2021

We are going to see the increasing demand for contemporary, delicate, and day-to-day jewellery pieces continue into 2021. For instance, our minimalist everyday collection, ‘Bella’, has proven to be incredibly popular as consumers see its trendy style meeting a comfortable price point. This swelling interest in dainty modern jewellery is tied to everyone’s lives collectively moving online.

The presentation of our identities on the Internet has always been an extension of our real-world personalities, but that relationship has been magnified. The year 2020 has redefined how we interact and present ourselves. Personal fashion is now driven by personalisation and customisation, and unique jewellery makes people stand out from the sea of digital Zoom call and Instagram faces.

This interest in a modern aesthetic has also, almost paradoxically, fuelled a return to traditional jewellery. In this time of uncertainty and reconnection with family and loved ones, consumers lean towards feel-good, nostalgic, and celebratory pieces that honour their family’s legacy and history. Our breath-taking ‘Utkala’ collection is a sample of that charm, as it celebrates Odisha’s stunning heritage and its sun-drenched designs tap into the familiar ‘good triumphs over evil’ tales that we’ve all grown up on.

Great expectations

The year 2021 is going to be a mixed bag. On the one hand, digital media is booming owing to the pandemic, and brands are now woven into the everyday lives of consumers who scroll through social media. Shopping on social media platforms has revealed itself to be a convenient, immediate, and less intimidating experience for consumers, while also offering a low cost approach to a wider reach for brands.

On the other hand, while we will hold on to the expanding mindshare of our customers online, this year will also be a year of change as we all try to revert to normal – albeit a new one. With vaccines for COVID-19 rolling out this year, and with safety protocols ingrained in the minds of people after a year of navigating the pandemic, consumers will be looking forward to attentive and personalised offline experiences. We can’t wait to hold workshops, customer engagement activities, and celebrations in our showrooms and let consumers behind the scenes of their favourite designs.

Gold has also revealed itself, again, to be a great investment option – seeing how it has performed compared to oscillating share markets and drops in the property market. 2021 looks great for jewellery.

Key learnings from 2021

Last year gave us an insight into how consumers treat themselves during difficult times. Jewellery’s timeless value, coupled with the inherent idea of it being a gift, offers an escape from the monotonous routine of being locked down and unable to spend on travel. Jewellery has shifted from an occasion-tied expense to one that adds sheen and celebration to our day-to-day lives.

While we all have learnt to enjoy the small things, the pandemic has been tough for everyone. Yet, it has shown us how human beings’ survival runs on empathy. Responsible brands step up to the need of the hour, reflect, and appreciate the many passionate hands that shape their business through thick and thin. Consumers care that the brand they love is thoughtful, especially during trying times like these. They value getting the chance to respect the craftsmanship that carries our identity. This deep relationship with customers is what makes any brand.


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