Wandering around one of the newspapers, I came across some photographs of some ballet dancers.
I don’t know about you, but ballet rather passes me by, the clonking of the feet hitting the floor rather spoils the music, even if it is in time, as far as I am concerned; and, the energetic toing and froing on the stage Ieaves me cold.
So it is strange that I found myself really taken by the still photos of these ballet dancers, whoever they might be.
Same subject different packaging can make quite a difference.
Being told that the Russians have raised prices for their rough by around 4% at their latest sale and at the same time being told that customers of De Beers have apparently been informed not to expect a price increase at next week’s sight, maybe even some of the packaging in our own little world has changed.
It has always seemed to me that De Beers and the Russians have seemed pretty much joined at the hip when it came to pricing for much of the last few years.
One difference between the two was, again so I am told, that the Russian assortments were much more consistent.
De Beers / DTC assortments varied considerably and not only because of different intakes but what was seen as clear policy decisions to improve or weaken the assortment as a form of a surrogate price changes.
This ‘tweezer’ manipulation of the assortment to create hidden price increases has always struck me as odd and rather counter productive.
I would have thought that if you want to have a price increase it is not a bad idea if people know about it, it is not as if buying boxes of rough diamonds is like buying a glass of wine in Switzerland where they so often insist on serving the wine in a glass with a Plimsoll line, to make quite sure that you do not get a drop more than your designated and over priced quota without the slightest hint of drowning.
Talking about the Swiss, I was amused to read that when the Ethiopian plane hijacked this week on its way to Geneva airport, was accompanied by French and Italian fighters, being past 5 o’clock in the afternoon the Swiss air force had knocked off for the day.
This is a bit of a round about way to get to the point that apparently Monsieur Mellier of De Beers has indicated that he does not want to chop and change the assortments, but will keep them as consistent as possible.
This is quite a cultural change, assuming words are translated into actions.
It makes such common sense, apart from the benefits to the customers, it will also help De Beers get a handle on its own pricing which historically has been away with the fairies.
With a consistent product, reaction to the pricing becomes much clearer than living in the ‘too clever by half’ world of manipulating the assortment at the same time as also changing prices, which has so obviously left De Beers without the slightest idea about pricing, and that is going back decades.
Sufficient changes, including the already announced new demands for such items as properly audited accounts for its customers, to the packaging of De Beers seem to be being made that, maybe, just maybe, the actual product might be changing for the better.