1) Why do I (artist/gem dealer) need to be online?
2) I already have my own website, why do I need to do more?
3) Why would I choose Farlang ? Our values and objectives
4) What makes Farlang.com different from other websites?
5) Farlang Membership Benefits
6) Farlang Membership Fees
7) How can I become a member?
8) Why doesn't Farlang.com run advertisements. It's common practice
9) Does Farlang sell its own jewelry or represent one particular designer?
10) Will I get full credits for anything I provide?
1) Why do I need to be online ? (Back to top)
- The "internet" has been around for 20 years. Just about anyone uses the web on a daily basis to research, shop or socialize.
- The internet is the cheapest way of marketing yourself to your potential clientele: more than 70 % of the following two groups research and buy online:
- The 18 to 35 year old age group (engagement/wedding). They grew up with the internet.
- Households making more than $/Euro 100,000 a year (anniversary gifts/fine jewelry and art). Much has been written about the "luxury experience" for the wealthy. "Luxury experience" is driven by a simple need: they have no time and they value convenience. The internet offers them both.
2) I already have my own website, why do I need to do more ? (Back to top)
- Consumers want convenience. They go to specific websites and expect that their needs are met there in one, single place: to shop, socialize, find information, or be entertained. Gone are the days of messy bookmarking of items on dozens of websites you won't even remember.
- How would your website be found ? Google stopped counting after it counted a 1000 billion different webpages (url's). There are 300 million blogs out there. Facebook has 300 million users.
Just like you partner with galleries "all over the country" you will have to partner with leading websites "all over the internet". The internet is as big as the "real world" itself.
In it's 2.5 years of existence Farlang has become one of the most exclusive locations on the internet and a popular place for people to go to, to find unique works of art and trustworthy information.
3) What are Farlang.com values and objectives ? (Back to top)
In recent interviews Karl Lagerfeld said: "Bling is over. Red carpety covered with rhinestones is out. I call it 'the new modesty'". The CEO of Mauboussin Mr. Némarq recently said: "We need a return to reason, decency, discretion, beauty and creativity - in other words, to true values"
Values Farlang.com wholeheartedly subscribes to and expresses through its community.
It has become increasingly difficult to find unique artists, both online or in regular retail stores. E-commerce websites and main stream jewelry stores sell mass produced material in standard forms and shapes of mediocre quality.
Our mission is to create exposure and "get the word out" about the individual artist, expert or author and for those who sell unique material of high quality or provide unique information and services to the affluent end consumer
4) What makes Farlang.com different ? (Back to top)
We are *not* an ecommerce site like Amazon or Ebay. We are not a social network like Facebook or Myspace. We are not an online photo album like Flickr nor are we an online jewelry magazine. But we combine components of each, in one large platform in order to get the best possible experience for our audience.
We focus on the top 10 % most affluent consumers anywhere in the world. Where the jewelry industry sometimes finds itself in a discussion on "whether to go online or not and how", affluent consumers have made that decision years ago: 50 % of the affluent older-than-55 year olds use social media!!
Research done by American Express, Wall Street Journal, The Luxury Institute (NY) tell us what affluent consumers view as a luxury experience:
Anything that helps them:
- Save as much time as possible
- Give the maximum possible convenience
- Give access to trustworthy, reliable information
- Provide a large choice
That is why so many use the internet: it fulfills their needs for a "luxury experience". In fact in the most recent study of November 2008, over 92 % of the very wealthy consumers (over $ 250,000 in income) did not see it as a dilution of luxury brands if these brands would sell their (expensive) products online.
Farlang.com taylors to these (practical) needs through our tools and functionalities, our information and the portfolio of gems and jewelry.
However, for anyone who wants to broaden their horizon: discover, learn, enjoy, we offer thematic pages, ways to discover new designs, virtual (museum) exhibits and a 25,000 page rare book library.
Quote: "80 % of those earning more than $ 500,000 use the internet daily to research and buy": http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1817184,00.html
Wealthy consumers purchase online (also read the comments):
Quote: "I am of the mindset that time is the utimate luxury now, and for the foreseeable future. " http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2008/10/27/rich-shoppers-prefer-their-luxury-online/
5) Membership benefits (Back to top)
These are the main benefits of your membership. These benefits should fit with your own ambitions, personal identity and values and connect with present and future business models:
a) Changing consumer behaviors. End consumers drive the sale.
End-consumers increasingly buy and work through the networks of people they know and trust, both online (social networks, specialized sites, bloggers etc.) and offline (their network of friends, advisors, consultants). In fact the online and offline world have merged and connect in many different ways.
Farlang is all about connecting you and the affluent consumer in as many different ways as possible both online and "real world". We give you a few examples:
- Consumers selected a gemstone on Farlang. Their local, trusted goldsmith made a piece of jewelry. Neither the goldsmith nor the gem artist/dealer knew each other. The consumer customized the sales process according to their needs and comfort level.
- Consumers read (product-) information on Farlang. They contacted the jewelry designer for a retail location nearby. They went to the gallery and bought the piece. Often jewelry is on consigment so the designer helped the retailer sell. The consumer drove the whole sales process though, without the jewelry designer having to sacrifice the sales methods they feel comfortable with.
Caveat: Our studies show that consumers hate loosing time: they will only sacrifice their time and energy to contact the designer if all information is included with each product and profile, in particular "price". After 15 years of e-commerce, consumers expect that level of "service". Forcing them to contact you about price is a tremendous turn off.
- Event-support page: a special promotion campaign was launched around a private event by creating a "preview page" for the event. Since this would be too much of a "hard sell" we added information, a "grand prize" and user-feedback to tap into consumer behavior and psychology: "oh wow factor", fun", "self-interest", "self expression", "information seeking".
Some clients were 3 x exposed to your work: before (online), at the event (live) and after the event (online). Those who couldn't come viewed it online anyway. The average potential client stayed 2.5 minutes on your page, looking at your work. The average time that people stay on any webpage of any website is perhaps 30-60 seconds.
Guess who they will remember next time they want a piece of jewelry ?
In the end, they drove the sales: by playing into their online behavior you provided them with a great online experience, using one of your "real life" sales events.
b) 90+ % of affluent consumer researches online before they buy.
Farlang is linked from large research websites like Wikipedia, shows up in a search results of Google, Yahoo, MSN and increasingly people find Farlang through social media as well.
You want to be included in their research process, because consciously or unconsciously that's when decisions are influenced
Behavioral and psychological analysis show that human impulses can be pre-programmed by exposing them to your work beforehand. Our advisory board of behavioral scientists helps us with that.
c) The right context for each individual piece of jewelry or gem.
Not only do you want to be "there" when people research but you ideally you want your work to be presented when it matters most. If people are reading an Emerald consumer guide, you'd want your emeralds or emerald jewelry shown at that particular moment. If people look for "spring 2010 fashion colors" you'd want your Tanzanite or Amethyst jewelry to be shown right there.
Farlang's computer algorithmes analyze the details of each individual image carefully and then present them where it matters most to the end-consumer
d) global audience.
Your trading partners are not addressing the whole world and you need a global audience in the economy of the coming years, not just work locally. Farlang's main audience is in Europe and the USA but increasingly in emerging markets as well.
e) Your name amongst the world's best.
One thing is to build recognition/exposure. Another is to do it within the right context. You're amongst an established crowd: from Getty to Christie's from the "Victoria and Albert Museum" to Sotheby's. Those are the names the end-consumer knows and know they're good. Perception is key so "if you're on there, you must be good". No Facebook, Linkedin, Amazon or Ebay, JCK or Modern Jeweler can get you that.
But Farlang.com is one of the very few online exclusive locations where your work is presented amongst the best in the world.
But to keep it that way, we must first and foremost satisfy the end consumer's needs. Therefore it is very important to understand the relevance of the next point f).
f) "Time is the new luxury".
- We help affluent consumers save time and energy through our extensive set of tools to browse, search, select and organize.
- Our information is trustworthy and increasingly extensive: while browsing for jewelry they can read all information they need to know at that particular moment.
- Our selection of designers is growing fast. The more choice, the more they do not feel the need to go elsewhere
Why is this so important? Affluent consumers go online to be efficient. They want to find what they need and preferably do it in one place. They don't want to waste time. Then they expect the service around it to make it even more convienient for them.
The last thing they want to do is bookmark hundreds of products on dozens of pages. They can't find it back, they hate spending time on each individual website. And time is what most people do not have.
As a designer, as an artist, you want to be where the best service is given to the affluent consumer, just as you'd like to partner with the most service oriented and knowledgeable retail stores. On the internet that's Farlang.com
Farlang invested extensively in researching online behavior of affluent consumers to find the best tools & functionalities to help them save time and be as convenient as possible.
6) Farlang Membership Fees (Back to top)
There is a (normal) membership fee to participate on Farlang. The small business membership fee is US$ 950/year, 750 Euros/year or 750 GBP/year. To those who do not have the financial means to promote themselves and are too small to properly organize a marketing effort around their work and identity, we offer the "membership fee "sole proprietorship"". Such a fee is given to a 1 person (jewelry designer, goldsmith, gem artist) or 2 person (artist + life partner) only. Not a gallery, not a retail store and not to a larger organization or brand.
That fee is 50 % of the normal membership fee: US $475 USD/year, 375 Euros/year or 375 BP/year depending on your country of residence. We use an average exchange rate to be fair to any person, whereever they may live, without the hassel of exchange rates. The only other fee is a 15 (USD, Euros, or BPs) transaction & banking fee to cover administrative & PayPal costs.
We offer such a membership because diversity creates a large and more engaged audience which is to the benefit of every member and every business partner.
7) How can I become a member? (Back to top)
This is the process:
- Membership is by invitation only. If you'd like to be invited you can contact the Farlang team for consideration
- An advisory board will review your work, your bio and usually asks additional questions. The review board is anonymous, very much in the same way as peer reviewed articles are considered for publication in a scientific journal
- The review process is usually interactive. Their role is not to "judge" you but to get a good idea of your designs, creativity, skills and quality of your work and to verify this matches the audience we focus on. You are usually asked additional questions during the review process
- Once approved you will receive a formal notification or an invitation to join + further instructions
- At present we do not have an appeal process so decisions are final
8) Why Doesn't Farlang.com run advertisements, it's common practice ? (Back to top)
We are the most exclusive gemstone/jewelry/objects d'art community on the internet and we do not feel that banners or ads are appropriate for such a community. Furthermore any advertisement takes space that can be used to present unique art or valuable information to our audience. In other words: a better consumer experience.
9) Does Farlang.com sell its own jewelry or represent one particular designer? (Back to top)
No we don't. Just as Facebook doesn't represent one person, we are a community and are completely independent. We are not competing with individual members and in fact we're not even competing with other luxury (jewelry) websites. Our aim is to provide the best possible experience to the end consumer which reflects well on the members on Farlang. Farlang.com's role is to open up channels for individual artists that are too difficult to open up alone. It then depends on the designer to make use of them.
Remember: the commodities highest in demand by luxury consumers or by members of the media or by event organizers are "time and convenience". We offer them both.
10) Will I get full credits for everything I provide? (Back to top)
Yes you will. In fact we require accountability. We therefore give full credits to anyone who contributes and more often than not, we will ask this person to have a profile in which disclosure of activities as well as a resume can be provided. This helps the visitor to better understand the origins of the information or the work of art.