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Forevermark Selectivity, Integrity, Exclusivity
Forevermark to take its next step in India – a launch in the two premier metros.
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 4 2011 12:25PM
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Reference: 5967  

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Do you think that the withdrawal of generic marketing will have an impact on the overall market growth? In India, especially, the contribution of De Beers marketing and its role in developing the DJ market is still fresh in everyone’s minds, and close to everyone’s hearts.

Well when you withdraw something, you leave a gap and that is bound to have some kind of impact. But as I said we hope to grow and develop the Forevermark programme in a very focused manner. If Forevermark can achieve its goals, if we are able to spread the message of the diamond dream, then we can sustain the market in a similar manner and it is bound to impact the market as a whole.

You had earlier launched the Forevermark programme across India in 2007. Were there any learnings from that phase which have been incorporated in what can be called the second coming? If so what are they?

Well yes, we did run a kind of pilot programme in China and Japan and also in India. We wanted to understand the market and we learnt a lot.and built the lessons in the programme in the current stage.

The most important lessons I would say are: 1) selectivity and criterion to build real value and 2) selectivity of retail partners.

For Forevermark to be built in the correct manner, our partners are very important. Our retail partners must have a passion for beautiful diamonds and they must have the integrity which we expect to deliver to the end consumers. I would say we have become even more selective this time round.

Are your retail partners also audited?

Retailers are also audited, but it is a simpler process. Once the diamonds get inscribed with the Forevermark we are more comfortable. The retailers in our programme have a sense of BPP (Best Practice Principles). We have pipeline integrity that is the principal aspect. Then we are confident that the brand is the real thing. Our retailers aspire to the BPP, they are handpicked, like-minded people.

How do you think that a price sensitive market like India will respond to the concept of branded diamonds? Did you conduct any studies and was it necessary to adjust your strategy or tactics for a market like India?

All markets are price sensitive. No one will pay only because you are a brand – you have to deliver actual value. People want value. They are after all investing their money, they want to be assured of the value they are getting.

India is unique in that quality is very important to the Indian consumer. They look at these purchases more as generational purchases – something to be handed down – so it must preserve its value. This is not so much the case say in China, where it is more of an individualistic purchase. Maybe Binita can tell you a little more.

Binita Cooper adds: We found that the concept was particularly appealing to men. For them, it makes diamond buying rational; for women it is a more emotional decision. So with Forevermark, the men feel that they are guaranteed to get what they are told they are getting. They feel a sense of assurance.

Reports say that so far in the two years since the launches in Japan and China, Forevermark sales have reached about US$ 200 million. Have you any projections of sales growth over the next five years, say. Could you share those with us?

We do have our projections. And I can of course calculate the figures from our growth – for example in China we are growing at 50% per annum. Maybe we can discuss sales figures when the programme has run in India for some time and we are here again say one year down the line.

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