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Building A Brand: THE DE BEERS STORE CASE STUDY


Jeff Prine

Does the De Beers store, merchandise, and environment take advantage of the De Beers brand, which has been advertising in the U.S. since 1938?

Todd DeGarmo: The store is, at one level, exquisite. De Beers is synonymous with diamonds and the store definitely has a luxurious quality. Beyond that, I am not sure that the name De Beers conjures up much iconic imagery. The store is certainly a good platform for establishing an image.

Jean Jacullo: The environment and merchandise in the store is very good. Nonetheless, the overall De Beers brand strategy is somewhat confusing, primarily since I think the advertising is not in sync. The merchandise and the store environment are attempting to appeal to a modern customer, but the advertising campaign doesn't convey this message.

Ilia McCormick: As a result of De Beers' extremely successful long-term advertising and marketing campaign, the brand is squarely positioned as the most powerful name in the industry. The expectation for the new flagship is enormous. The De Beers brand ethos is so deeply ingrained in us all that anything short of brilliant would just not live up to expectations. Unfortunately, the merchandise, store, and selling environment appear to be inconsistent with the branding message put forth since 1938.

Paula Peterson: If De Beers was just another jewelry store, I wouldn't be as critical. However, it is a much-heralded foray into jewelry retail by two very illustrious companies, De Beers and LVMH. These companies are capable of assembling a global team of talented professionals. The bar has been raised to its appropriate level. Consequently, while De Beers may have made major changes to its format from the original London store, the New York store is still missing a sense of vision or allure. The merchandise, quite frankly, was boring and the store seemed cold and uninspiring.

How would you describe the positioning of the store and its target customer?

DeGarmo: The store is as accessible as Tiffany with Cartier price points. It is certainly oriented to the customer who would be put off by Harry Winston. The fact that everything is clearly priced gives one an immediate sense that you will not be embarrassed by the potential of affordability.

Jacullo: The target customer is definitely an upper middle class consumer, with prices starting around $500 and going up to many thousands of dollars. The target age group seems to be a broad cross section, from young adult to mature consumers. Although the higher-priced fashion merchandise is probably aimed at the more mature customer, the engagement ring assortment includes opening price points and total diamond weight that could appeal to a younger customer.





diamond ring
The new De Beers LV store in New York City presents engagement rings at the "Bridal Bar," and often displays signage with price and carat size ranges.
interior of DeBeers store NY, NY
De Beers' contemporary New York City store was designed by Italian architect and interior designer Antonio Citterio, who has also designed stores for Damiani, Valentino, and Ungaro.
ring by Neil Lane
De Beers LV will open its second U.S. store, on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, this month. It will feature a new jewelry collection by red-carpet favorite Neil Lane.
Renaissance jewelry
Renaissance model
Modern or Renaissance? Our consultants have mixed opinions on the new De Beers print magazine ad campaign, which shows a Botticelli beauty and uses a "Forever, Now" tagline.
Talisman collection rings
Merchandise at De Beers LV ranges from engagement rings to unique, cutting edge designs. The "Talisman" collection includes textured signet rings with rough diamonds.
Todd DeGarmo
Todd DeGarmo
Jean Jacullo
Jean Jacullo
Ilia McCormick
Ilia McCormick
Paula Peterson
Paula Peterson
Spiral Rose brooch
De Beers LV has a lot of potential, and competition, to become the diamond jewelry destination. This "Spiral Rose" brooch is from the store's new "Talisman" collection.