“We create jewels. Art. Physical and digital. Jewelry. Call it what you want. It’s alchemy.”
Miami-based AJ Roy of Roy Jewels (RoyJewels.com) speaks with a fresh voice, grabbing the attention of Gen Z twenty-somethings, born between the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many have never been inside an “Old School” brick-and-mortar jewelry store or considered buying luxury jewelry. But “Zoomers,” especially successful technology and finance entrepreneurs, have substantial disposable income and are receptive to luxury items of real value. They’re great clients, if approached in their language. (Note: It’s not sales pitches of the 4 Cs.) They’re tuning into AJ’s voice with a passion. His Instagram handle, RoyJewels, has 30,000 followers, and his innovative digital outreaches through tech channels engage millions. They resonate the same frequency. And they’re the next large consumer wave. Who are they?
Gen Z Zoomers are digital natives, having never lived in a world without the internet, smart phones, and social media. Unlike millennials, already 40 years old and up, they are “more traditional, more independent” according to AJ.
“Very smart and awake, they have a keen eye for authenticity. Having grown up with the internet, full of ‘fake news,’ they can quickly discern ‘real vs. fluff.’ When you speak to them about lab-created diamonds, forget the hype. Just say they have the same chemistry and structure as natural diamonds, but they’re made by man rather than nature, so they’re less expensive. They do their due diligence. They’re real buyers. Be authentic. Speak to them on the same level. Compared to millennials, it’s night and day.”
“We make jewelry that defies time. We make jewelry that cements your legacy. Yours is the only legacy that matters. We make jewelry that’s Real. As real as you.”
AJ’s genuine message resonates with Gen Z. Born in India, he came to the US at age five. “My grandfather was a stone mason. Gems and jewelry are in my blood.” Educated in engineering, technology and finance, those communities are his world. After receiving a masters degree in engineering at MIT, AJ delved into the worlds of Fintech via private equity and technology before forming his own holding company, Hypatia, comprising Pistil Spirits and Roy Jewels, amongst other luxury brands.
“We discovered the best methods of selling online with our Pistil Spirits brand. We applied those same best practices with jewelry, building the brand narrative, brand loyalty, online. It was tangible. The jewelry industry is 20 years behind in terms of reaching emerging younger markets digitally.”
Roy Jewels uses auction bidding technology to drive digital traffic to websites. It’s light years beyond inefficient, passive social media or Google ads. Through programmatic advertising, they target their key customer base – such as CNN and Conde Nast subscribers – through Demand Side Platforms, including podcasts.
The success rate is rapid and phenomenal – 30 seconds from initial engagement to direct ad contact. “Our lead generation campaigns convert into thousands of clicks, where we capture customers’ IP addresses for future follow up. We reach out to young, successful tech savvy clients in their own channels such as the Brave browser, preferred by techies.”
AJ is on a mission. “We partner with retailers. We open doors for them, providing a new client base to ‘Johnny’s Jewelers’ who are not currently connecting with Gen Z, and get Gen Z going to them. We can do trunk shows or pop-up events, providing marketing for those events through our digital outreach, driving traffic to their door. Our outreach to retailers is the final stroke. At a certain stage in the buying process, nothing beats seeing, feeling, wearing the actual piece of jewelry. That bonding is the closing step, the missing piece of the puzzle. We deliver the fresh, dynamic
customer base, primed for buying, to the retailer to complete the process.”
“Stories fuel everything we create. We use stories to conceive pieces that bridge people and breathe new life into the world of modern luxury. Stories that make life worth living.”
What types of jewelry does Gen Z want? “For luxury goods, they relate to new, underground, high-end but edgy brands, not traditional behemoths like Tiffany. Some of our best sellers are 22 karat gold hoops, Tahitian pearl chokers, diamond ear studs, and edgy high-end nose rings – of diamonds or emeralds. Everything is gender neutral. A sweet spot for first time online buyers is under $500 MSRP. After their first purchase, customers are eager to upgrade to more expensive pieces, including luxury items in the tens of thousands. Our newest Collection, Love In the City, features customized engagement rings. A concierge service, it’s the world’s first fully virtual, fully automated, engagement ring experience, one on one, from source to delivery.”
What does Gen Z have to say, in their own words?
“Jewelry…always felt so pretentious and intimidating. I wanted to find jewelry that was modern, edgy, but classic. I needed it to be me. I discovered some 22k Roy Jewels hoops and I was in love.”
Roshni, 25, Toronto
“As a man, it was always difficult to find a brand that took me seriously. Buying my first ever diamond nose stud from Roy Jewels felt so easy. Since then, I’ve bought three more custom pieces.”
Leo, 22, TX
Are you ready for a fresh new wave of clientele? Tune into Gen Z and speak their language. They’re ready for fresh discoveries, to be engaged and converted. And jewelry’s appeal is universal.
“Jewelry is one of the most powerful forces in history. Across continents and civilizations, it has left its imprint on society. We create jewelry that represents where we came from and where we are. Jewelry is our heritage. All of ours.”