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De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021 ushers new possibilities for natural diamond industry

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De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021 ushers new possibilities for natural diamond industry

Precious jewellery is returning to the priority list stronger. Luxury and aspiration are intrinsic elements now, with jewellery impressing upon the need for a meaningful life more than ever. This calls for a stronger association between the customer and precious jewellery. With its fingers on the pulse of the current sentiment, De Beers took a landmark step by reinventing its diamond brand Forevermark through the De Beers Forevermark entity. Now called De Beers Forevermark, the brand began its three-day annual forum at JW Marriott Sahar, Mumbai on August 24.

Building Forever 2030

The all-encompassing purpose of this rebranding strategy was summed up by this year’s theme ‘Make Life Brilliant’. Addressing retailers and manufacturers assembling in person for the first time since 2020, Sachin Jain, MD, De Beers Forevermark India walked the audience through crucial, long-term goals for Indian natural diamond industry.

As per research, “the Indian natural diamond market shows more than threefold rise from US$5.5 billion market now to US$17.5 billion market by 2030,” says Jain. If mapped in a cumulative manner, the retail value of natural diamonds in India can reach US$75 billion by 2030. 

“Fresh thinking, calibrated risk-taking attitude, diverse customer engagement and dissemination of knowledge will be the driving force of this growth,” he emphasized.

“The last year has taught us to dig deep into our key attributes of patience, optimism and resilience. Business results from the demands of post-Covid consumers have been encouraging globally and social purpose is the new status symbol,” said Jain.

Consumers are expecting brands to be aware of and responsible towards the local communities, environment, and support social causes. “The industry needs to take cognizance of the new-age consumers of tomorrow who are looking for brands they can trust,” he says.

At that end, “We believe this notion of social purpose will come to sit at the heart of the consumer proposition for all luxury brands – and even more so when it comes to highly meaningful luxury purchases such as diamonds,” says Jain.

De Beers has a longstanding history as an industry leader in responsible sourcing and delivering positive social and environmental impact.  De beers’ is further strengthening this narrative through its Building Forever work and commitments.

“Building Forever puts the brand’s 2030 roadmap with impressive goals such as becoming totally carbon-neutral before the next decade begins,” says Jain. Gender parity, health & wellbeing, education and livelihood, biodiversity and climate change are few others of the 12-goal strategy that the brand is undertaking to achieve its overarching ambition of social purpose.

De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021

Special mention in this case goes to the recent partnership between De Beers and National Geographic to preserve the Okovango Delta, a wetland in Kalahari Desert that is the lifeblood of the flora, fauna and the community in Botswana, and is under threat from anthropomorphic activities

Building ‘One De Beers’

Above all, “now, we are focused on sharing this commitment in a compelling and engaging way with our consumers, creating an immediate association with the De Beers name and the significant positive impact we deliver,” says Jain.

Connecting Forevermark more closely with De Beers through its new name, De Beers Forevermark, will allow the house to directly benefit from its association with De Beers and all that De Beers stands for. “The consumers will now be able to draw a direct link between De Beers Group’s social purpose and the Forevermark brand proposition of diamonds that are beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced.”

To give a new meaning and new relevance to the natural diamond industry and draw in younger consumers, “in a few months we will launch new global De Beers brand campaign featuring jewellery from De Beers Forevermark and De Beers Jewellers,” says Jain.

It promises to be the biggest ever brand campaign globally, “fulfilling the overarching ambition of driving efficiency, power and scale by putting, ‘our resources behind one De Beers brand’,” says Jain. 

Joining the Indian diamond trade circle virtually were Stepher Lussier, chairman and executive vice president, Consumer and brands, De Beers Group and Nancy Liu, CEO, Forevermark. Talking about the leadership the brand commands, Lussier said, “The pandemic has taught the importance of meaningfulness in life and De Beers’ latest positioning allows the Indian diamond lover to enjoy the unmatched goodwill and trust of the parent company through De Beers Forevermark products from now on.”

Focusing on India’s role in expanding the diamond market,  Liu said that millennials and Gen Z make up over 60% of women customers in diamond jewellery in the top four markets including India, The US, China and Japan globally. “Millennials’ values are expressed through their purchases, which need to be fostered on trust,” Liu said, adding how India, the third largest diamond consuming market in the world, will witness a countrywide imprint of 30 exclusive De Beers Forevermark boutique stores targeting younger customers in India by 2022.

De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021

Unveiling the Code of Origin

As De Beers looks to ramp-up its share of voice in the diamond jewellery industry, “we want to make sure that all our retail partners benefit from this by drawing an immediate link for consumers between their diamond jewellery and De Beers,” said Jain.

While jewellers always have the option of becoming a De beers Forevermark retail partner, the stepping stone on this direction is the Code of Origin (COO) program which will be extending traceability to diamonds 8 points and below in the form of a jewellery certificate.

“It will attend to the humongous share of 72% by volume of natural diamonds in India”, claims Jain. The COO will be made available to authorized retailer partners across the country.

The diamond jewellery certificate put together as De Beers Code of Origin card, in addition to defining the colour and clarity band will also have the mention of a 12 digit code. “The De Beers Code of Origin is part of the larger vision of the brand for a better future through 12 sustainable goals based around leading ethical practices across industry; partnering for thriving communities; protecting the natural world; and accelerating equal opportunity,” emphasizes Jain.

The code beginning with the letters DBM will be engraved on each piece of jewelry and can easily be viewed by customer. The jewellery is graded in De Beers in-house facility, De Beers Group Industry Services – previously the International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) which follows stringent quality control measures.

“This extends the De Beers trust to all De Beers diamonds and strengthens consumers’ confidence in natural diamond jewellery,” points out Jain.

Clearly, it is once in a lifetime opportunity for diamond jewellers to take the leap from being ordinary to extraordinary by directly associating themselves with De Beers, the first name in the natural diamond industry.

Recognizing talent

Achieving ambitious sales goal won’t be possible without recognizing retail excellence, and De Beers Forevermark showed how the brand has been investing resources heavily in training around 53,000 brand ambassadors. Recognizing dedication to training imparted at that time, the brand congratulated the best sales ambassadors virtually.

Setting trends for future

One of the biggest impact of the forum was the launch of the Avaanti Collection. Crafted in yellow, white and rose gold, each piece of this collection is endowed with a Forevermark solitaire. It is made for the bustling modern women economy that has self-purchase as an important element for keeping confidence at an all-time high. The brand’s design team in Milan came up with the look and feel of this lightweight collection that is available in all major markets in The US, China and Japan.

Knowledge series – Gathering insights from Nature and technology

Continuing the tradition of bringing inspiration from all walks of life, De Beers Forevermark welcomed two distinguished luminaries from The Indian Navy and Apple. Joining the forum virtually was Dr. Luc Julia, the creator of Apple’s SIRI, who has written a bestseller book called There is no such thing as Artificial Intelligence. Piquing interest instantly, Dr Julia discussed how artificial intelligence will never be able to surpass human intelligence as apprehensively shown by science fiction movies. “Thus, AI will remain as a means to help the human civilization, which is an important insight on how businesses would want to use AI to its highest limit,” Dr Julia maintained.

The next session was on CDR. Abhilash Tomy, Former Indian naval officer and sailor, who is the first Indian and 79th sailor in the world to circumnavigate the earth non-stop, unassisted. Narrating the varied life risks he faced in over five months of solo expedition at the sea with his boat named MHADEI, he shared his inference of how minimalism is the way forward. This is indeed a priceless insight on the supply chain to strategise products not only based on appearance but also on experiential levels that relate to the customer deeper nowadays.

Technology boosting retail experience

At the Forum, the brand displayed distinct retail tools that can help its partners create an experiential buying environment through the use of latest retail technology on offer.

The Ringfie podium is an instant hit among social media users who love to flaunt their baubles. One can put on a De Beers Forevermark ring, place her hand inside a decorated podium and click a selfie that would indeed attract attention.

The AI Emotion Recognition software allows a partner to track the attention of a customer walking in by mapping his/her eye movement across a given counter. The intensity of heat impressions thus guide the retailer to put the fastest selling pieces at places with the highest impression recorded to catch attention quickly and accurately. There is also a virtual gift tag that allows a buyer to scan the QR code with the jewellery piece through a smart device and record an audio message for the person concerned.

The beneficiary will scan that code and receive that audio message, thus making the gifting experience spectacular. At the height of transparency is the Ring Viewer that consists of a microscope scanning and showing the inscription of a Forevermark diamond in any given ring in seconds.

Fresh thinking, calibrated risk-taking attitude, diverse customer engagement and dissemination of knowledge will be the driving force of this growth.

Sachin Jain, MD, De Beers Forevermark India

Since 1888, De Beers has led the diamond industry. Today, millennials and Gen Z make up over 60% of women customers in diamond jewellery in the top four markets in India, The US, China and Japan. Their values are expressed through their purchases, which need to be fostered on trust. De Beers recognises the need to build a sustainable industry for all involved and this will make the brand stronger in times to come.

Nancy Liu, De Beers Forevermark CEO, Shanghai

The pandemic has taught the importance of meaningfulness in life and De Beers’ latest positioning allows the Indian diamond lover to enjoy the unmatched goodwill and trust of the parent company through De Beers Forevermark products  from now on.

Stepher Lussier, Chairman and Executive Vice President, Consumer and brands,  De Beers Group

Retailer’s speak

“With De Beers’ guarantee of ethical sourcing, our customers will definitely have a preference for this brand of diamond over anything else.”

Vikas Kataria, DP Jewellers, Ratlam

“De Beers is the strongest brand in the history of diamond jewellery. A certificate coming from De Beers will now give indisputable authority, confidence and trust to end-consumers.”

Piyush Prakash, Alankar Jewellers, Meerut

We sold the first Code of Origin necklace and earring set in South India and the consumer response has been huge. Besides the conflict-free, responsibly sourced nature of every Code of Origin product, the brand value of De Beers hits consumers the hardest, associating a certain level of standard and quality with the product instantly.

Pratap Kamath, MD, Abaran Timeless Jewellery

Manufacturer’s speak

“We are noticing good demand for Icon, Avaanti and solitaires collections for the upcoming wedding season. With pandemic norms relaxed now and the season approaching, we predict a more than double demand of the said segments in India.”

Nirav Bhansali, Prism Enterprises

“At the three-day forum, we have received good response on the Avaanti collection, just like the Icon collection was lapped up last year. Forevermark is marketing the product really well and we’ve received good orders, which will be on retail display within 2.5 months.”

Hasmukh Kakadia, Owner, Sheetal Jewellery House

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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