De Beers is changing its messaging this holiday season by concentrating on women’s empowerment in its upcoming advertising campaign.
“Historically, De Beers ads focused on a man gifting a diamond to a woman to express his appreciation for her as a mother or wife or girlfriend,” said Stephen Lussier, head of De Beers marketing and CEO of its Forevermark brand, in an interview with Rapaport News. “Today, we need to understand the changing world in which we operate: It’s a world of economic empowerment of women in which there is a greater degree of equality in the relationship.”
Lussier said the upcoming Forevermark holiday campaign would celebrate women for all that they are, with less of a focus on gifting — despite it airing around the holidays.
The campaign is expected to launch in late September, showcasing Forevermark’s Tribute Collection, which will be more design-oriented than previous holiday collections were, Lussier noted. It will feature more multi-stone pieces, since female purchasers are more attentive to design than men are, he explained.
Demand from women represents more than 90% of all diamond-jewelry sales globally, De Beers noted in its 2017 Diamond Insight Report, which it unveiled at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair on Thursday. Bridal jewelry accounted for 27% of women’s diamond jewelry, while self-purchases of non-bridal jewelry accounted for 23% of the market and gifting 50%.
The report outlined three factors that have opened new opportunities to sell diamonds to women. Those include the changing dynamic of relationships to highlight each person’s individuality as well as the partnership itself; the fact that women have much more spending power than before; and the evolving perception that women have of themselves — with femininity being more closely associated with strength and confidence than previously.
“It’s important to be aware that women are motivated to buy diamonds for a wide range of reasons,” Lussier stressed. “We’re not discounting the love element of the purchase, but recognizing a tremendous opportunity that may not be tapped.”
The report is a call to action for the industry — and retailers in particular — to change the way it talks to women, Lussier added. It’s a “powerful message” that influenced De Beers to increase its 2017 marketing budget to $140 million, with a large chunk earmarked for its US holiday campaign, he added.
The company is hoping to capitalize on strong growth it has already seen with its Forevermark brand in 2017. Forevermark diamond sales volume increased by double digits in the US this year, Lussier reported.