Connoisseurs, the jewellery cleaning product range, is soon to take the UK jewellery industry by storm thanks to the hard work by the UK team led by Philip Goodman. We caught up with him to find out about the brand’s progress.
Can you give us a brief summary of the products you sell?
Basically we have products to clean all types of jewellery, from fine to costume. The beauty of the range is that the products are attractive – they’re designed to have the same appeal as beauty treatments, but for jewellery – it takes away that clinical edge that cleaning materials so often have. We find that this visual appeal is important both for the retailer and the consumer, because the retailer has to display it and have the desire to sell it.
The Dazzle Stick for example is unique: both because of the speed at which you can use it, and the high quality results it produces. The feather in our cap is the patent we own – the part of the product that restores lustre and brilliance – this is what wows the consumer and retailer. Effectively removing tarnish which is one of the big bug bears of jewellery ownership and we are providing a way to do this quickly, easily, and affordably.
The speed and brilliances of the products makes having a jewellery beauty regime using Connoisseurs appealing to women. Furthermore we are cleaning and caring for very valuable and sentimental articles, this extra level of attention means a lot to the consumer.
You’re about to launch a new website. Tell us what’s in store?
We’re in the final stages of development with the new site at the moment, but we want it to be just right. It will launch in May, but it will be inkeeping with our philosophy that even though we have a huge number of consumers who have used and want our products, we do not want to go direct to the consumer. We want to work with the retailers, and this is an effort to raise awareness of the product for customers so that they recognise it in the retail store.
The site will show who we are, what the products do, and where you can buy them – but it is always pointing the customer in the direction of the retailers, which is how our partnership with them will be strong going forward. It is empowering the consumer to do a professional job of cleaning their jewellery. This and other consumer-related campaigns that we’ve got coming up show that we are working hard to generate that business from consumers. At trade events, we’re showing people the products so they can see it in action and trust it – the website will add to this and explain it in more depth.
The website will be feature-rich onces it is launched. You can click the type of metal and the stone and it will tell you how to clean it. There will be a cleaning chart, FAQs, and we will engage with consumers who ask how to clean something specific. We will also be producing video tutorials on the various techniques, so it is about offering support to both consumer and retailer, and advice of how to make it work best.
No-one wants the burden of problems that you can often get with a jewellery cleaner. The manufacturers’ guidelines are very vague, the retailer doesn’t necessarily know how to advise their customers best. Our website eradicates that problem, striking a balance between retailer and consumer. There will be buttons on there to help attract new retailers on board, with ‘Become a stockist’ for jewellers, and also ‘Find a stockist’ for consumers.
The videos will actually come in as part of a second phase development of the site – at the moment we feel it is enough information to get going with. We need partners to stock our products and to pro-actively sell them. Our competitors both have a website but they sell direct and we do not feel the advice is thorough enough to instil confidence in the consumer to get the results they need.
If you look online and search ‘how to clean jewellery’, a lot of it is DIY methods, and sometimes those methods can go wrong. I think our approach will open us up to a whole new level, because we’re opening a platform where consumers will come to us with their feedback.
What has the market take-up been like in the UK for Connoisseurs so far?
We have 300 customers, having started from nothing at our launch at IJL in September last year. In effect we started from the beginning – some people have stocked Connoisseurs before through the US parent company, but they have not seen the Dazzle Stick or the wipes, and beforehand they did not have the free samples and marketing that we are providing. We’ll go to stores and do demonstration days, some retailers will send their top 100 customers a Dazzle Stick to raise the awareness, generate footfall, and build some interest and perhaps even some more jewellery sales.
What new products are in the pipeline?
There are new products launching in Las Vegas at JCK. They are a unique product, they’re forward thinking in the sense that they are more appealing, easy to use and travel with. One is a replacement for a sonic cleaner, a sort of sonic brush.
I think Connoisseurs is a clever proposition for jewellers because they are fast turnaround products to get people back into the store – people used to keep these things till the cloth was disintegrating, but that is why we’re not going direct to consumer, we want this to add to the consumer experience in the jeweller’s shop. The idea is to get people into the stores more often, which is what everyone wants. A lot of consumers want that retail experience and want to come back into the store, so making that experience better is something we feel we can add value to.
What are your plans for the rest of the year now that you have some momentum?
We are currently preparing for the next trade shows, and we have become partners with two national jewellery chains. In terms of raising awareness for us on a national basis, it is a big step. When we’re getting to meet with the jewellers and they see what we’re offering they do agree that this an area that they have put to one side in a way.
No-one is really doing what we’re doing, and if the other cleaner companies were advertising everywhere, there would be more awareness of this product category, but it is just us. What we’re doing is not a huge important part to a jeweller’s business at this time, but if we can start helping them generate a bit of footfall into the stores then that is exciting.
The USPs of Connoisseurs
- Patented Formula
- Effectively restores lustre and brilliance
- Instantly removes tarnish
- Reduces Speed of tarnish, leaving an anti tarnish shield.
- Superior to competition:- size, volume, effect and price point.
- Luxury cosmetic style packaging.
- Cleans all types of jewellery and watches, from fine to costume.
- Products to clean: (Diamonds, Gold, Silver, Platinum and Precious Stones)
- Products to clean: (Pearls, Porous Stones, Antique Jewellery and Costume Jewellery).
- Effective on branded Jewellery:- (Links of London, Thomas Sabo, Pandora).
- Cleans Jewellery which is: (Rhodium Plated, Gold Plated, IP Coated, Oxidised).
- Works instantly, consumers see residues, crèmes and tarnish being removed.
- Travel with, compact products (keep in purse and handbag).
Some notes from Connoisseurs
- Products now developed for EU market
- There is no minimum order value
- Stock held in UK
- We deliver 1-3 days
- Order over £300.00 receive freight free of charge
- Overall we are subsidising freight, small parcel £5.50 – Large £10.50
- Freight we find is important to our customers, they can see we are working to minimise
- Point of sale (seen in imagery) free of charge
- All customers listed and endorsed on our UK website – no bias.