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What’s Happened to Generic Diamond Promotions?
The various diamond-mining companies have from time to time understood and conducted various product awareness programs among the consumers as a part of their marketing strategy.
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 7 2010 2:07PM
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Reference: 4928  

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The songs “Diamonds are forever” and “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” embodied the popularity for this precious gemstone worldwide. Nonetheless, diamond-mining companies, especially the De Beers Group, regional associations and various manufacturing companies have from time to time understood and conducted various product awareness programs among the consumers as a part of their marketing strategy. But how successful have these promotional initiatives been? What happens after the program concludes? Diamond World interacted with four of the industry’s leading personalities about their opinion on the generic promotional programs they have adopted to promote the diamond trade...

Gareth Penny
Gareth Penny
Gareth Penny, Group Chief Executive Officer, De Beers Group

Diamond World: Do you think there is a recall of the brand or even the product in the consumer’s minds after the program is over? If no, what do you think could be the reason? If yes, could you tell us the percentage of demand for diamonds and diamond jewellery after the program as compared to before it?

Gareth Penny:Our research shows that in year two after the launch year, sales for a new beacon always increase - and the same for years three and four. Because the average purchase cycle for a piece of diamond jewellery for heavy owners is 18 months, depending on where they are in the purchase cycle, we see many consumers coming to the table in years two, three and four after a product launch.

Diamond World: De Beers is the founding member of the International Diamond Board. Could you tell us what is the Board's current take on generic diamond promotion?

Gareth Penny:Diamonds do have to compete with other luxury goods and it is important that generic marketing continues. A significant part of the proposed International Diamond Board’s mission is to create and sustain strong consumer demand for diamonds worldwide. This would be achieved through effective category marketing that generates the best-sustained return for the entire industry and brings direct benefits to members.

Diamond World: What are De Beers’s future strategies and plans in generic diamond promotions? Do you intend to conduct programs in Asia, especially China and India?

Gareth Penny:Our focus in the US for this year will be on the Everlon Campaign again and in Asia on Forevermark.

Diamond World: After years of conducting generic diamond promotions, De Beers decided to withdraw from generic promotions and focus more upon promoting its own diamonds, especially the Forevermark diamonds worldwide. Could you tell us the current situation of the program with special reference to Asia?

Gareth Penny:In 2004, we piloted Forevermark in Asia where it received a very positive response. We successfully launched in Hong Kong, Macau, China, and Japan in 2008. The brand is now available in approximately 250 doors across Asia and this figure is growing rapidly with planned expansion into further cities in China. We also fully believe that Forevermark has the potential to be a successful global brand and we are looking forward to expanding our network of carefully selected authorized Forevermark Jewellers in new markets worldwide.

De Beers, established in 1888, is one of the world’s leading rough diamond companies with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Employing more than 15,000 people from across the globe and operating from its mines across Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada, the company produces and markets approximately 40 per cent of the world’s supply of rough diamonds.Gareth Penny, Group CEO of De Beers talks about the company’s generic promotion program plans of the past, present and future.

Diamond World: How important are the generic promotions for diamonds in today's scenario where diamond jewellery has to compete with other luxury goods?

Gareth Penny : Luxury products, including diamonds, have not been immune from the effect of the unprecedented global economic downturn of 2008/2009. However, we believe that diamonds are uniquely positioned to withstand the effects of the downturn for the following reasons - In uncertain times, research shows that consumers gravitate towards quality, they buy fewer, but better things – things that last, which are not disposable and that hold their value over time. Diamonds fulfill this need. Secondly, diamonds are a rare and finite treasure of nature and, with future demand growth in emerging markets, demand is likely to significantly outpace what is forecast to be lower levels of diamond supply for many years to come. Demand for diamonds has been consistently increasing for many years, and this is expected to continue in the long term – particularly as higher net-worth individuals emerge in the developing markets.

Having said that, diamonds do have to compete with other luxury goods and it is important that generic marketing continues. A significant part of the proposed International Diamond Board’s mission is to create and sustain strong consumer demand for diamonds worldwide. This would be achieved through effective category marketing that generates the best-sustained return for the entire industry and brings direct benefits to members.

Diamond World: What are the various generic promotional programs that the De Beers family of companies has organized worldwide in the past ten years? Could you give a summary of each promotion in terms of money spent for each program, the regions covered, the success of the program and the reasons for withdrawing the generic promotion campaign?

Gareth Penny: In the US, we have launched the "beacon ideas" Past, Present and Future or 3 stone jewellery, Right hand ring, Journey and in 2009 a closed model product launch with Everlon, a De Beers-devised joint marketing campaign with leading retailers. We do not disclose money spent on our campaigns, but each has grown the market significantly. We launch beacons into the marketplace, because we need to give consumers a new product concept with a supporting emotional story to fuel their continued acquisition of diamond pieces. In the US, much of the market is driven by what we call ‘heavy owners’. These women own eight to10 pieces of diamond jewellery and are always on the lookout for their next piece.

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