October 2016

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Marketing to Millennials: New Approach to Diamonds

Much has been written about marketing to millennials, their personalities and quirks as consumers, and their complex relationship with diamonds. As discussed before on this blog, the millennial attitude to diamonds, from luxury to emotion to price tag, is complex and tricky.

Diamond Contradictions

On the one hand, millennials loathe pretense and old-fashioned attitudes about marriage and ownership. On the other hand, they still value relationships with family and friends, and being married or partnered still remains a life priority. On the one hand, social justice issues about the way diamonds are made and their effect on the environment reign supreme. On the other hand, who doesn’t still love a little bling, and an eternal gift that says ‘I love you’?

In light of these seeming contradictions, recent years have seen widespread preoccupation about the millennial consumer among diamond industry professionals. Do millennials like diamonds? Can they afford them? Will they still buy diamonds? Or are diamonds a bygone luxury with little relevance to the modern millennial woman and man?

Real is Rare: A New Approach

Industry players and organizations have devoted time and resources to try to discover the answers to these questions. De Beers recently completed intensive social research, and were delighted to report that millennials do still want to allure and experience of the diamond, but in their own way. In addition, the Diamond Producers’ Association launched the first marketing campaign for the diamond industry in 5 years, specifically targeted to the millennial generation. Entitled Real is Rare, the campaign was announced in mid-2016. It is designed to speak to the millennial yearning for authenticity. Throwing off the shackles of tradition and the familiar “Diamonds are Forever” slogan, the campaign recently released two promotional videos, which provide a telling glimpse into the way that the diamond industry views millennial relationships, and the way the industry believes millennials can connect with diamonds.

Diamonds: A New Love

Check out the short video to see the first “Real is Rare” promotional campaign. Titled “Wild & Kind”, it’s a brief, stream-of-consciousness style foray into the woman’s mind as she ruminates over her relationship and her partner. It is fascinating to note just how starkly the video goes against the grain of traditional marketing of diamonds. There’s no proposal on one knee, and certainly no wedding dress in sight. There’s torment, confusion, passion, indecision, but ultimately the will to be authentic, honest and true to one another. At one point, the female narrator says, “Maybe we’ll get married, maybe we won’t…”, which plays into the modern sensibilities of delayed marriage, and more fluid definitions of commitment.

Certainly the look and feel of the “Real is Rare” videos are taking diamond perceptions into new territory. It will be interesting to watch if and how this new marketing approach will take hold of the millennial consciousness about the role of the diamond in modern love.


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