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Head-On #10: Diamonds and Jewelry Need a Major DeBeers/Alrosa Advertising Effort |  April 19, 2017 (2 comments)


Merrick, NY--Is there a secret weapon to protect and defend the diamond and jewelry industry from the winds of change all around us?

I watched a new Scott Galloway (head of marketing firm L2) video yesterday, "How Amazon is Dismantling Retail," and it was a major wake-up call, despite the fact that much of what he was saying is not a brand-new message. 

Basically, Galloway believes that Amazon is out too destroy brands in favor of its own selections through voice ordering. 

The premise is that brands do not add much utilitarian value, and can be taken out of the equation. And this comes from a guy who has made a nice living as a result of the goals of brands. 

Clearly we as an industry need to seize our place online and fast. But partnering with the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook is becoming more and more necessary every day due to their colossal market share.

Galloway also took the time to reference the fact that most everyone spends time online researching before purchasing anything today. This, he surmised, is driving down traffic in stores, we're people no longer really need to shop around to figure out what their options are. They go to the store to buy for the most part. 

Again, with this in mind, the need for all of us in this industry to be impressive online is growing by the day. If people don't look at us online, what is a likelihood they will go to our stores to do their purchasing?

DeBeers and Alrosa to the Rescue?

The fine jewelry industry may not need to stop Amazon, Google, or Facebook, but we do need a lot of help in building our presence and impressiveness among consumers at all levels.

Specifically, we need a major new advertising effort to span not only the US market but the entire world. As perhaps the largest company in the fine jewelry and Diamond industry worldwide, DeBeers at one time promoted diamonds and jewelry so heavily that they successfully built worldwide demand and consumer regard for the products. The industry grew to depend on the support, which in recent years has been removed for the most part.

At a meeting in New York City last week with a major diamond site holder, it was suggested and I agree that now is the time to bring back such a campaign, combining the power of DeBeers, Alrosa (the Russian Diamond monolith) and their diamond manufacturer customers often called site holders. 

"If they would raise prices 3% and take the resulting $500 Million and put it into an international advertising campaign geared to the way that people consume media today, this could make all the difference in the world," the site holder suggested.

Hopefully DeBeers and Alrosa are open to such an effort to put diamonds and jewelry back on an upward consumer demand trajectory. Whether the world is changing by the day or not, at least we'd have a secret weapon behind us.

Any and all comments are welcome. See you next week!

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Comments (2):

Hi Howard,
Just HAD to respond. We “old timers” have been saying this for years!  Over my. Now 45 yearsI (eek) I was involved in all the advertising programs that the marketing arms of our industry had. Not just DeBeers but World Gold Council, PGI, etc. Those dollars were imperative to our ability to get our product recognized. Small & midsized companies did not have the money for the kind of advertising budgets that that were needed. It was not without some cost to us but it was within a range that it could be affordable. They all dropped the programs in favor of generic ads promoting only the material they were marketing. Or they went straight to the retailer which left the majority of smaller manufacturing companies out as the retailers at the time were all buying from the same larger companies. It was a lose lose cycle.
Miss you my friend!

By Judith Conway on Apr 20th, 2017 at 5:16pm

Thanks for the clarity, Judith. I do remember those programs. Hope the industry can do something to pump up some powerful umbrella advertising!—Miss you, too…Howard

By Howard Hauben on May 2nd, 2017 at 10:08pm

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