Not too long ago, In Detail magazine released an article about the effect of new Instagram-based digital PR and marketing strategies on jewellery retail. It’s quite a good read.
I’ve been away a while. For all this absence, I do have many things to show: a new baby, a new start-up jewellery company, a new teaching certification, and a clearer picture of several new technology trends I’ve been recently watching play out in the corporate and educational worlds.
Unfortunately, what I’m seeing now isn’t all good. All of the new technologies we have written about previously in this blog have brought with them new opportunities. However, very recently it has become clear there are some destructive side-effects to some of these new innovations and market shifts.
So many technology blogs spend their times evangelising the Next Big Thing, either because they’ve been paid to sell it, or because they’re itching to be the first one to discover something new. Not every blog, however, spends time talking about what these innovations could mean. These analyses are one thing that has always made CAD Jewellery Skills a bit different from the numerous other 3D printing and new technology blogs out there.
So what I’m going to do with these next few articles to examine the negative side-effects of many of these innovations, and what we as jewellery businesses can do about it to protect ourselves. I shall call this new series “The Dark Side of New Technology”.
This first article will be about the side effects of social media marketing’s continuous growth.
As I’ve said before, it was only a matter of time before someone tried it with the tools as they are now. Now Austrian jeweller Boltenstern has collaborated with Cooksons to develop and release the first platinum and gold 3D printed jewellery collection, called Embrace.
More images from the collection after the break.
Jewellery Focus recently wrote an interesting editorial on how designer jewellery brands are tapping into the zeitgeist by finding weird and wonderful ways to manufacture their jewellery. While it’s hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said about the classic strategy of differentiating a brand by using exotic materials or manufacturing process, Mr. Northcote is absolutely right in pointing out the growing number of designer jewellery brands who are happily stepping into what was once the preserve of the contemporary art jeweller– innovative choices of material and method. CAD/CAM of course is one of these methods, but these innovators borrow techniques from many crafts and industries such as wood working, ceramics, stone cutting, and industrial metal tooling.
To add to the short list of makers included in the article (such as Bailey of Sheffield and Vanacci), here are a few of a growing list of premium and luxury brands which create jewellery using both innovative materials and innovative manufacturing processes:
As part of James Allen‘s recently launched but absolutely brilliant marketing push for millennial grooms, they teamed up with Buzzfeed to create the Engagement Ring Challenge, where both partners separately design an engagement ring using James Allen’s online bespoke design tools, and then compare.
The end results and reactions are cute, and only half predictable:
While online ring design tools are now quite commonplace in the market, this is surely one of those ideas that is probably making a lot of jewellery companies say “Now why didn’t I think of that?”
As a bonus, after the break I’ve also shared James Allen’s hilarious jewellery advert that’s making the rounds now on Youtube:
A few weeks ago the Economist ran a briefing on 3D printing and it’s effects on mass production, alongside an equally good leader article. While it is general in its nature, there are elements in the article about jewellery manufacturing.
Overall, the article both provides a current snapshot of the readily available state of the art in rapid manufacturing, as well as introducing to the general public how current trends in 3D printing are affecting the way commercial and industrial goods are manufactured. They’ve even mentioned in passing a commonly reiterated point about 3D printing’s particular strength in the area of small scale mass production versus using traditional mass production on short product runs.
I’m listing it here as a useful reference for those jewellery CAD/CAM users who may want somewhere to start when communicating to others what the fuss is about with 3D printing.