In the world of luxury, brands seem to maintain more importance than ever. Branded jewelry has doubled its market share since 2003, accounting for a fifth of the total market. In search, major brands like Tiffany & Co. control most real estate for their brand terms, and even smaller disruptors that spend aggressively on search tend to avoid these terms.
However, these disruptors have spotted an opportunity where both jewelry brands and retailers are increasingly weak: unbranded search. While major brands continue to win easily on branded terms, disruptors like Blue Nile and Ritani have spent aggressively to compete on their unbranded counterparts, where they are gradually eroding the dominance of established brands.
In most sectors, department stores with larger SEM budgets and more sophisticated digital strategies encroach on the visibility of smaller brands. However, no department stores show up in the top results for unbranded terms in L2’s Jewelry: Bridal Innovation report, and retail giant Amazon is also conspicuously missing from the list.
In contrast, disruptors Blue Nile, James Allen, and Ritani spend aggressively on unbranded terms. These brands show up in paid results for a respective 59%, 56%, and 43% of unbranded bridal jewelry keyword searches, according to the study. Furthermore, the ten most visible brands for key bridal jewelry search terms include two disruptors, Brilliant Earth and Blue Nile, which both appear on more than half of terms studied. Established brands and other luxury retailers may want to pay attention.