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De Beers aims to deliver a story about the individual stone in its brand Forevermark
De Beers aims to deliver a story about the individual stone in its brand Forevermark

Consumers want diamond stories, not 4Cs

Retailers should move away from promoting diamond sales by the use of the four Cs because it can often end in debates about price. Industry experts now say it’s better to engage customers with story telling.

Executives at both De Beers Group and Rio Tinto Diamonds recently spoke about why retailers should discuss ethical sourcing with their customers and have interesting stories to tell about the diamonds they sell. 

The comments were made during the JCK Las Vegas jewellery show, held from 31 May to 3 June.  

According to JCK, De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier explained to an audience of jewellery retailers that the future of the industry was more about branding rather than trying to promote generic diamonds.

De Beers CEO, Philippe Mellier
De Beers CEO, Philippe Mellier
He added that the company was now allocating marketing resources to its ethically-sourced Forevermark brand. Previously, it had a strong focus on general diamond advertising.  

Forevermark stones are responsibly-sourced and only 1 per cent of the world’s diamonds are said to be eligible to be inscribed with the Forevermark icon.

During the presentation, Mellier said that some jewellers believed their success with the brand was attributed to De Beers providing them with a reassuring story about the diamond’s origins that could be shared with customers. 

Mellier added that the narrative steered the conversation away from the four Cs, which often ends in discussions on price comparisons. 

The message was also complemented at the Vegas show by Rio Tinto, where the company introduced the next phase of its Diamonds with a Story initiative, which aims to present consumers with information about the origins of individual stones. 

Extensive consumer research is said to have led to the development of four different stories or collections: Shaped by Origin; Cutting Impact; Mixed Medium and Color My World.

Each collection is said to address particular issues that concern consumers today. These include: identifying the diamond’s place of origin; knowing that their diamond purchase is having a positive impact; unique, differentiating designs and concepts; and access to the world of natural coloured diamonds.

“Diamonds With A Story is the umbrella signature of our global market development initiatives in both established and emerging markets. It is also recognises that diamonds are not commodities, that every diamond has a story worth telling, which consumers are keen to hear,” said Rio Tinto Diamonds general manager of marketing Bruno Sane.

Daniel Wishart of Wishart Jewellers
Daniel Wishart of Wishart Jewellers
The marketing strategy provides diamond buyers, manufacturers and retailers with point of sale material, designs and training programmes.

Local translation
While the 4Cs have long been used in diamond marketing, these latest comments support the increasing amount of industry discussion regarding the importance of promoting sustainability and creating stories for diamonds. 

Daniel Wishart from Wishart Jewellers in Glenelg, South Australia, told Jeweller that people were definitely beginning to ask about the origin and certification of diamonds sold in the store. 

“I have noticed lately that customers have been requesting stones to be GIA-certified and that they have conflict-free origins. It’s a small percentage but is it certainly occurring,” he said.

Wishart believed these demands, which generally came from a younger generation, were the result of a better-educated consumer that performed extensive research on the internet before making purchases.   

Rami Baron, president of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia and executive council member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), said that while only a small portion of Australian consumers were currently questioning the source of a diamond, retailers would need to start developing stories for the stones they sold in order to cater for this growing market.

Rami Baron, president of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia
Rami Baron, president of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia
“I think that retailers are beginning to understand that you can have a generic diamond but they’re going to have to brand it with their own story,” Baron explained, adding, “Whether that’s at a level of the Forevermark, which is great when you have massive budgets, or whether you’re an independent retailer who has gone to the effort of understanding where the diamonds came from and writes it into his story.”

Baron said that although some retailers weren’t confident about relaying these sorts of narratives, the process was actually not expensive or laborious.

“It’s just asking everyone down the line to provide the information of where the diamond came from.”

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Saturday, 07 December, 2019 10:44pm
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