In a recent formal presentation in London, De Beers announced that it plans to build the Forevermark, its source assurance program of diamonds inscribed with an icon and a unique identity number, into a global diamond brand.
“Working in partnership with the world’s leading diamond jewelry retailers, Forevermark will be established as one of the world’s leading diamond brands, inspiring, exciting and reassuring diamond consumers of all ages,” says De Beers managing director Gareth Penny.
Current plans are to launch the Forevermark brand in Hong Kong, China, and Macau in late 2008; Japan in early 2009; and Taiwan, India, and South Africa in mid-2009.
It’s no big surprise. De Beers has been testing a Forevermark marketing program for four years and the inscribed diamonds are already available in China, Hong Kong, India, and Japan.
Although Forevermark diamonds have been available in pilot projects in those countries, many aspects of the marketing program will change with the formal launch. Perhaps the biggest change is in the overall conception of the project.
The Forevermark began essentially as a consumer confidence program. The mark was conceived as a means to reassure consumers that the diamond they are buying is conflict-free and all-natural. The mark itself is invisible to the naked eye, only 1/20th of a micron deep, but can be seen on the table of the diamond through a special Forevermark viewer, even when the diamond is set.
But the success of the Forevermark program in the test markets had less to do with its function as a security measure and more to do with its status as a premium diamond. The program going forward will be less like a “woolmark” and more like a designer logo.