Have you asked women?

Marianne Riou

After working almost two years in the diamond industry and reading articles on the subject almost daily, I find that some of them are of more concern to me than others. And the much-hackneyed theme of generic advertising is one of them.

Last year, the debate revolved around the pertinence of reviving generic advertising, just like in the best years of De Beers. We are past that. It’s official. The World Diamond Mark program was meant to be launched last July (Please see Sergei Goryainov’s extremely interesting article, published on our website.) If you go to the WDM website, you will read: “It’s the end of something, it’s the beginning of everything…” and “(official site coming October 2013)”. It is now November. Anyway. The program seems nevertheless to be active and the slogan for the next big generic advertisement on diamonds is apparently: “When the world loves, we are here”.

Hum, hum. I am puzzled. To me, this sounds rather like: “wherever there is love, we are there”. When you’re in love, are you interested in knowing that: 1) others too may possibly be in love? 2) others “in the world” could choose or want a diamond jewel to seal their love? Quite frankly, when we’re in love, what are we interested in, besides our own belly button and that of our beloved?

You will most likely argue that this slogan is meant to be universal and of a general nature, that it is intended “for everyone”, “everywhere in the world”, meaning: “If others buy themselves diamonds, why not us?

I am constantly hearing about the end consumer, about what has an effect on him, what will make him react and what will make him consume. Hence my question: have you asked the end consumer’s opinion? Have you asked women?

I’m assuming you did? Like in any good marketing program, the WDM must have conducted studies and surveys among consumers.
But I am an end consumer and this has clearly no effect on me. Yet, I am married and in love with my husband (yes, I know, you’re fascinated!) But we did not feel the need to seal our love with a diamond ring. The much too old De Beers slogan (“A diamond is forever”) did not reach us. We could still do it, even outside of the “bridal scope”. But this new slogan from the WDM does not appeal to me.

Women are the end consumer for diamond jewelry, right? It is true that mainly men buy them, but they buy them first and foremost for women. I see diamond engagement rings around me. But not only. And not as many as the industry could hope for. Besides, I don’t think that they come from the store windows of the top jewelers. Of course, this is France. Our social class counts for a lot. And so does our culture. Nowadays, France always portrays luxury. But to say that we consume it, that’s another story. Yet I ask myself about the desires of women, or the desires conveyed by women. Everywhere in the world.

In certain countries, people, middle class included, put their money in jewelry. In the end, does this generic advertising need to have an effect on the very rich? Aren’t the latter above this type of consideration? They have the means, so the question of whether or not it is wise to invest in a diamond engagement ring is not an issue. But what about for the others?

Why think within the “bridal scope” so often? As this is certainly what is again conveyed in this slogan. Why remain so impersonal? Why not imagine that what each and every one of us likes about love is that feeling of being unique and different. We no longer talk about eternity. Not all love lasts. We no longer talk only about marriage. Westernized societies are past that. As for the others, they’re on the same path. Everywhere in the world, women, according to their living environment and to what is simply and humanly possible, look for more independence, more culture, more freedom and more equality…

What is it that we want? For diamonds to gain a stronger foothold in the usual consumption approaches, all the while keeping in mind that it is still a luxury good.

Why not imagine that these diamond jewels could be given not just for engagements or to be forgiven for mistakes made? Why not imagine a more open speech or slogan? Why not imagine that women may sometimes want to buy these jewels themselves? Or that men wear them more now? Finally, maybe a slogan adapted to each region of the world and each culture is needed?

But this is just a column. And this is just my opinion…