The need for generic marketing of diamonds is increasing
Diamond industry to join forces on marketing?
By Sonia Nair
Global mining companies, manufacturers and retailers unanimously recognised the need for a generic promotion strategy for diamonds at the ‘Mines to Market’ International Diamond Conference in Mumbai last month.
Former De Beers chief executive Gareth Penny was a keynote speaker at the two-day conference, from October 12 to 13, where attendees debated the importance of launching a generic marketing programme to support the industry.
Penny emphasised the importance of diamond marketing: “There is a greater need for investment in marketing to promote the romance of the diamond and enhance the consumer’s retail experience,” he said.
De Beers led the way in worldwide marketing campaigns through its diamond promotion service (DPS). De Beers hired advertising firm JW Thompson to run the service on its behalf to create generic marketing for retailers. The service acted as a marketing resource for retail jewellers and helped them plan their marketing strategy and merchandising of diamond jewellery to synchronise their efforts and increase the impact of their marketing.
However, the service has since stopped running.
Diamond Dealers Club of Australia president Rami Baron attributed this to De Beers' dwindling market share which dropped from 90 per cent to 45 per cent.
"When De Beers' market share dropped so dramatically, it could not justify spending such a high amount on the service," Baron said.
Conversely, Baron proposed a generic marketing strategy at the Moscow World Congress in July. He cited the two popular adages, ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ and ‘diamonds are forever’ as the “pinnacles of generic marketing”.
“You only have to look at these generic statements, which are part of our colloquialism and popular culture, to see what the power of generic marketing is,” he added.
“There is no doubt that driving such a marketing campaign would yield extraordinary benefits.”
In response to the increasing need for a generic marketing strategy, Baron devised a World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) retail mark that would promote diamonds worldwide with the aim of increasing the gem’s share of the luxury market.
The mark would apply to every member of diamond bourses around the world – approximately between 12,000 and 15,000 diamond manufacturers and wholesalers as well as their respective retailers.
Through stringent quality control processes, retailers who were admitted to the bourses would sell diamond jewellery sporting the retail mark.
Baron explained that this would also help promote retailers too. “What we’re doing is marketing the face of diamonds at the retail level. This mark will promote retailers as part of the World Federation,” he said.
Through the symbiotic marketing relationship between retailers and consumers, Baron hopes the mark and top-level marketing would facilitate a constant revenue stream.
“The retail mark is a foundation stone on which the future of the diamond industry will survive and grow. Without a relevant and exciting story to the consumer, we will become irrelevant,” he warned.
Baron presented the second level of his plan at the recent WFDB Asian Summit in Bangkok. He will go on to the WFDB President’s Meeting in Dubai next year to present the third part of his retail mark plan.
Posted November 09, 2010