While De Beers stubbornly clings to the well-worn “A diamond is forever” slogan, the Diamond Producers’ Association (DPA), in an attempt to attract the Millennial market, unveiled its own new slogan: “Real is rare. Real is a diamond.”
This slogan is awkward. It does not flow off the tongue. It has no emotional connection. And worst of all, it does not make a clear point. At least the old De Beers tagline makes sense and has an emotional pull. The new phrase also fails because empty slogans do not motivate Millennials, they want honesty, authenticity, and a sense of fair play.
Those of us in the trade will recognise that “Real is rare” is a reflection of the diamond industry’s panic at the threat of lab-created diamonds. To the consumer, this statement has little impact or meaning. Afterall, lab-created diamonds are real diamonds. Where is the point of difference? Using the word natural instead of real would be closer to the statement they are trying to make. However, it still only addresses the industry’s internal conflict and does nothing to create a desire in a consumer to own a diamond.
This slogan demonstrates that its creators underestimate the intelligence of the Millennial consumer. It still promotes the false notion that diamonds are rare when nothing could be farther from the truth. Even in slow years, world diamond production exceeds 100 million carats. 100 million of any product is not rare. Honesty, authenticity, and fair play cannot exist when while selling a lie.
Millennials are obsessed with research and can quickly discover the truth behind the lies. Or they can use their eyes and see the amount of diamonds available in even the most humble jewellery store. It is hard to establish value when ads for a 1ct diamond bracelet priced at less than $50 are delivered by email on a regular basis.
Millennials will respond to a campaign that highlights their own uniqueness. The want personalization of product and experience. So far the only program that understands this mindset is the Museum of Named Diamonds (MoMD). They recognise that the diamond is secondary to the people and the story behind it. Consumers can register a name for their diamond and create a shareable, multimedia presentation on the meaning behind their diamond.
Marketing to Millennials is not a single-generation endeavour. The Millennial culture and media acceptance moves upstream to the Baby-boomers. Boomers are still the largest group of diamond buyers. The new methods of reaching and motivating Millennials work just as well on Boomers. The industry needs to overhaul its marketing premise and rebuild it to suit the new realities. It will take transparency, honesty, and social responsibility within the supply stream and creative ways of highlighting the consumer’s emotional and spiritual uniqueness. Another meaningless slogan just won’t do it.