A UK-based bespoke diamond ring brand wanted to expand to China. 90% of the brand’s rings are sold as engagement rings, but the whole matter of engagement has different cultural implications here. The brand approached us prior to meeting an important potential Chinese partner and investor.
*We cannot disclose company names here,
but please ask us if you wish for more details.
We knew what they really needed was a strong pitch to make their case for this investor. And all investors are looking for not just good products but strong opportunities. We found that compared to the U.S. market which preferred 0.8ct to 1ct diamonds, the Chinese market up to now showed preferences for smaller 0.3 to 0.7ct diamonds. With China’s growing per capita GDP, this demonstrated potential for average diamond order values to also increase. Desk research yielded many interesting insights, and we soon had a consumer focus, investment plan, and target revenues. Yet how could the brand itself show off their China knowledge without having any experience in the Chinese market? LITAO arranged a series of mystery shopping visits in Shanghai for the company CEO and a selected female companion, who pretended to be his ﬁancee. Through our strategically-designed questions, they learned from jewelers ﬁrsthand what designs sold best in their stores (for example, Chinese had more desire for colored diamonds; how stores were set up; and how salespeople provided service (with Chinese couples being generally more reticent about their impending engagement).
They left with a 10-page MOU and full business proposal with both research and ﬁrsthand insights, which allowed the Chinese investor to take them seriously. They are still discussing the details.