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De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021: Ushering positivity, ‘making life brilliant’ with social purpose



De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021: Ushering positivity, ‘making life brilliant’ with social purpose

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. 

De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021

“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, the first name in the diamond industry, has a longstanding history as an industry leader in responsible sourcing and delivering positive social and environmental impact.

 De beers’ is 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.

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.

De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021

Unveiling the Code Of Origin

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

Besides the prospect 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 jewelry 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.

Building the Natural diamond industry

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. “Their 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.

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.

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.

As De Beers prepares to unfold its biggest campaign ever, and ensures that every dollar De Beers invests in communicating to consumers, whether focused on branded or corporate campaigns, creates the biggest impact possible for its partners, the annual De Beers Forevermark Forum 2021 will be remembered as the year that heralded a new and glorious era in natural diamond industry.

Written by Shubham Dasgupta

RJ exclusive

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