17 Jul 2019
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Diamonds & the Millennials
By: Diamond World News Service
Apr 10 2018 4:24PM
Reference: 16239  

M illennials have become extremely important to secure the future and sustainability of the diamond industry. The entire diamond value chain needs to tweak its message to suit the millennials who are increasingly becoming popular for their individuality and infamous as well, for their wavering mentality. With umpteen other options of luxury in the offing, design evolution combined with an integrated approach in marketing are of paramount importance to the diamond industry in the context of procuring a permanent place in the minds of the millennials says Vijetha Rangabashyam.

M uch has been said about the relationship millennials share with luxury, ergo diamonds. The millennial cohort in India and China alone is exceeding 400 million today, the largest this world has ever seen. We are not entirely sure if millennials look at diamonds the same way their parents or grandparents did, but what we know for sure is the fact that their opinion really matters. ‘The demand for diamonds has grown exponentially in the past few years. Millennials are slowly turning out to be the future of the retail industry. At the same time, millennials also represent one of the most important demographics in the jewellery industry. A very good example of the same is a diamond engagement ring; this piece of jewellery is very important as it introduces the young generation to diamonds, and helps them in creating a memorable experience with their loved ones,’ says Ketan Chokshi, Owner, Narayan Jewellers.

In its 2016 Diamond Insight Report, De Beers said that millennials have spent approximately US $26 billion on diamond jewellery in the four main markets in 2015 (US, India, China and Middle East). That kind of spending is definitely not reflective of a market that is indifferent towards diamond jewellery. So what then? Why is a conglomerate like De Beers willing to spend a whopping US $ 140 million on marketing alone? ‘Millennials are still 10 years away from their most affluent life stage and the generation comprises more than 220 million potential diamond consumers in the four main markets. The diamond industry therefore has a major opportunity on the horizon, but it will only capitalise on it fully if it continues to innovate and invest across the value chain,’ says Sachin Jain, MD, Forevermark India.

In a concerted effort to woo GenYers, the Diamond Producers Association along with De Beers has tried to charm its way into the minds of the young ones. In one of the ads, a girl disappears into the cornfields while her partner runs after her, they fight, there’s tension and a sense of inexplicable conflict. The chemistry is explicit,but the diamond is not – the luster of the diamond pendant on her neck is rather subtle. And she says, ‘Maybe we won’t ever get married, and maybe we will, but I will spend my future with you, and I will be honest with you, and it will be wild, it will be kind, and it will be real.’ This was the ‘Real is Rare’ campaign strategically targeted towards millennials, a far cry from ‘A Diamond is Forever’, a line that changed the face of the diamond industry, almost 70 years ago. The millennials don’t want to buy into the narrative that revolves around “permanence” anymore, and this is not to say that they are allergic to commitment – their views on relationship and marriage are vastly different. And their idea of self-expression could still mean indulging in something luxurious, but it doesn’t have to be diamonds; this is the biggest challenge the industry is facing today. ‘Millennials have multiple options to indulge in and today the millennial is far more educated, tech savvy and their understanding levels are higher as well. But the world is also changing and there are so many choices when it comes to jewellery. So multiplicity of everything is not something we can take lightly,’ says Shailesh Sangani, MD, Priority Jewels.

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