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Diamonds, for diamonds’ sake

business Updated: Apr 24, 2011 22:30 IST
Anita Sharan
Anita Sharan
Hindustan Times
De Beers

Since January, global diamond group De Beers has been showcasing a pair of flawless, 35 carat, identical diamonds, the Steinmetz Yin and Yang, to mark the launch of Forevermark, its exclusive, premium diamond brand, in India.

Having covered Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi already, Forevermark will cover Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata soon.

De Beers is no stranger to India. It has had the experience of launching as many as three diamond jewellery brands — Orra, Asmi and Nakshatra — in a country myopically in love with gold. The idea was to sensitise Indian consumers to diamond jewellery as desirable and valued. However, De Beers being about diamonds and not about jewellery, sold all three brands to Geetanjali and is now doing what its core business is about: diamonds.

Stephen Lussier, CEO, Forevermark, observed, “In the last 10 years, India has been the strongest diamond market in terms of growth. It is already among the top five markets globally and in another five years, will be among the top three, along with China. We are seeing consumers here also graduating to simpler, larger diamond pieces in their jewellery.”

Forevermark will brand just 1% of the world’s diamonds. As Lussier described it: “Forevermark will brand the world’s most carefully selected diamonds.” Each chosen diamond will be branded with the Forevermark logo and a unique identification number, which can only be seen on the brand’s viewers that authorised jewellers will have at their outlets.

Significantly, India is among the first markets that Forevermark diamonds have been launched in. By the end of calendar 2011, the brand plans to also be present in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and the US. “We will be targeting the affluent end of the market. Our entry price in India will be Rs 30,000,” Lussier said.

To ensure perfection in the diamonds’ styles and faceting, the brand has selected 31 diamentaires from different markets, of who over 15 are India-based.

Since Forevermark is going to be about diamonds, the brand is tying up in each market with established jewellery retailers — Lussier called it partnerships — to create the jewellery. “We want to do designs and price points together with the retailers. Indian retailers understand price points. While we will bring in international design ideas from our design institute in Milan, Italy, especially for the larger diamonds that would focus on more international, simpler and more classic designs, we also look forward to Indian retailers coming up with design ideas,” he said.

Marketing will be largely digital to enhance consumer engagement with and experience of the brand. The use of traditional media will stay principally focused on print advertising.