One of the most important aspects of brand building is to reach a point where consumers can feel a connection with the brand. This can in fact take a lot of time as a result of many tireless efforts, which eventually can elevate a brand to reach the status of feeling accomplished.
Diamond jewelry brand De Beers has recently undertaken a rebranding exercise, which the brand considers one of the major highlights of the brand in recent years, to present the right brand connect to its consumers.
Sachin Jain, Managing Director, De Beers India talking about the strategy behind it said, “The De Beers name is iconic in the diamond industry, and De Beers has long been recognized as the global expert and authority on diamonds. Connecting Forevermark more closely with De Beers through its new name enables the brand to directly benefit from its association with De Beers and all that De Beers stands for, especially our strong social purpose through our 'Building Forever' work and commitments and our recognition and leadership as the world’s leading authority on diamonds.”
If you look at how the diamond industry overall has been performing, we find that the third wave did not negatively impact it that much. Secondly, the wedding season in the last winter season has reportedly further pushed the diamond sales. In the case of De Beers, for instance, the year 2021 has been the strongest year in the last decade and registered a growth of around 15 percent over the 2019 performance.
The company shared, "What we did notice is that in the last two years, consumers were more inclined to purchase something of inherent value to them. Diamonds made the perfect fit because of the emotions associated with purchasing or gifting them, as a result, sales did not suffer. Although, there was no national lockdown or closure of stores we did see limited walk-ins but a higher conversion in sales. In fact, given the pent-up demand for diamonds, owing to the upcoming festive and wedding season, a stronger consumption is expected in the coming months.”
De Beers Forevermark has come up with an interesting idea to ensure that its customers receive a complete one-stop brand retail experience at each of its boutiques in India. At these stores, a customer receives expert advice on the diamonds they want to buy. They can learn about the diamond grading system, they can choose the carat weight, or even find the perfect diamond cut for their piece of jewelry.
Further, the boutiques house global designs with a traditional touch for the modern consumer. The company shared that the collections at the store are about 80 percent globally inspired and about 20 percent inspired by the local market.
Besides, the company uses both traditional as well as digital marketing to create awareness about the brand. During the pandemic, the brand focused more on online mediums and even conducted virtual events. “Today, we are working with both online and offline channels in PR, advertising, and events,” Jain added.
In the first observation, it is clearly apparent that the diamond jewelry, in fact, the overall gems and jewelry, sector has a lot of potential in India. India’s gems and jewelry export sector - which is one of the largest in the world - contributed ~27 percent to the global jewelry consumption in 2019. Also, from April 2021 to December 2021, the overall gems and jewelry exports grew 5.76 percent to $29,084 million as compared to $27,500 million for the same period in 2019. Moreover, for Indians, the purchase of diamonds has always been driven by emotions, be it for celebrations or accomplishments and so the demand for it can never go down.
De Beers, which is currently present across 60 markets in India with a total of around 255 doors, puts a lot of effort to choose the right partners for the brand. “They must have the same brand ethos as us with the same high standards of quality, precision, and workmanship. Once they come on board, we become true partners to all our authorized retailers and assist them in every aspect of the business. We work together to give our customers the best of both worlds. As for the location, we’re looking at all the metros, the big cities, and of course, Tier II and Tier III cities,” Jain shared.
Apart from strengthening its existing retail partnerships of the 255 doors, the brand is focusing on expanding its retail footprint with its exclusive De Beers Forevermark boutiques across the country. The company plans to expand to 30 De Beers Forevermark boutiques by the end of this year.
“We will look at locations with the most potential where we find that there is a gap in our presence. We will also look for like-minded partners with the same ethos and commitment to operating these stores. We are also working with our teams in London and Milan to create the relevant store and product designs and offer a world-class experience to our customers,” Jain concluded.