With this ring, I thee divorce

Whatever would I do without my morning Globe and Mail for blogging inspiration? Today’s issue concerns divorce. In the Business divorce3section, Bryan Borzykowski profiled a Montreal jeweler seeking advice on how to increase sales in a line of rings that celebrate the freedom associated with divorce. Break Up Gems concluded that with 40% of marriages ending in divorce there’s a market for people wanting to have a tangible reminder of their new-found freedom.

divorce1Three marketing experts offered their advice. Axle Davids of Distility Branding recommended the company focus more on the positive feelings associated with the divorced person’s new status and the story behind it. Sandy Huang of Pinpoint Tactics takes this a step further and suggests also providing supportive information to people going through a divorce. Finally, Sanjay Singhal of Audiobooks.com recommends the jeweler research and pursue more effective and accurate targeting of the specific market niche in search of such products.

Now, what you’ve been waiting for—my own take on this dilemma. As a retired corporate marketing professional and previously divorced Boomer, I can’t resist offering my own opinion. First of all, I think the original assumption is misguided. Having a high divorce rate doesn’t automatically translate into a potential marketing bonanza for this demographic.  Divorce for most people is a painful, last-resort action that does not call for celebration. Grieving tends to be the more appropriate response. However, for those individuals who are thrilled to be “let out of jail free (or broke)”, marking the event with a celebratory piece of jewelry is understandable.divorce2

Break Up Gems’ website is in the process of changing its name to freedomgems.com. That’s a good start. Focus on the positive. In reviewing their website, I was not impressed with the selection of jewelry offered. In my opinion, most of it was not particularly unique and in no way enticed me to click on “Add to Cart”. The prices were reasonable but the designs were as ordinary as something I could pick up from impulse purchases beside the cash register at any gift or card shop across the country.

If I’m going to purchase a piece of jewelry I want it to be unusual, a conversation piece, and unlike anything else I have. It must make a statement and if it involves recycled precious metals and stones, that’s even better. For example, last year I purchased on-line a stainless steel bangle made from parts of guns turned in during an amnesty in Newark, New Jersey. The bracelet has a hammered finish and is inscribed with the serial number of the gun from which it was made. That’s different. I wear it everyday and delight in telling people the story behind it.

Mr. Pinkesz, I suggest you go back to the drawing board and come up with some really kick-ass designs. Take Sanjay Singhal’s advice and re-evaluate your marketing strategy to target this very specific niche. Ignore Sandy Huang’s suggestion to broaden the offering to include supportive information. Stick to your core business—making jewelry, and don’t pretend to be a shrink. There are definitely people out there who want this kind of thing but you’ll never get rich on it. Go with the advice behind Door #3, Mr. Sanjay Singhal—and of course my own brilliant suggestions. You’re welcome.

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