Consumers are largely unaware of diamond and jewelry brands

The awareness of branding in the consumer market is rising, but has not yet created a huge purchasing draw, according to a recent survey.

Of the 13 percent of respondents who do own a branded diamond, 34 percent cannot identify the specific brand, according to the recent Internet survey of jewelry consumers. Zales Diamond and Hearts on Fire remain the most widely recognized diamond brands. However, between the May 2006 study and a similar study conducted in October 2004 study, Hearts on Fire has gained recognition while Zales Diamond has appeared to have lost some of its consumer market recognition.

The study, which focused on diamond and jewelry branding was conducted by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council, founded by market research firm MVI Marketing Ltd., Paso Robles, Calif. JCOC is an e-panel of fine jewelry consumers throughout North America representing all ages, genders, income levels, buying categories and geographic regions; and serves as a tool to predict consumer behavior. A total of 2,571 persons took part in the study. Questions ranged from awareness of branding to the importance of branding in diamond and diamond jewelry purchases.

A total of 45 percent of participating panel members said they would be unwilling to pay a premium for branded diamond jewelry.

Of the 13 percent of respondents who do own a branded diamond, 34 percent cannot identify the brand. Of the two-thirds of respondents who do not own a branded diamond, the most commonly cited reasons are they are either too expensive (20 percent) and they have never heard of branded diamonds (20 percent). A total of 19 percent said they have never received a branded diamond and 17 percent said they have never considered a branded diamond.

Of the two-thirds of respondents who do not own any branded designer diamond jewelry, 32 percent said they are too expensive, 19 percent said they were never given branded diamond jewelry, 17 percent said they never considered buying branded jewelry.