De Beers invests $100 million a year in marketing its Forevermark diamond brand, said Gareth Mostyn, the company’s head of corporate finance, at an analyst seminar held in London on Nov. 3.
“It’s a core part of our business,” said Mostyn. “It’s at the heart of what we do.”
That number is still lower than the $200 million a year De Beers regularly spent on marketing during the single-channel era.
CEO Philippe Mellier said the demand for branded diamonds is rising exponentially, noting that Forevermark is now in 1,500 doors in 34 markets and just inscribed its one millionth diamond.
“We would like to be the biggest diamond brand in the world,” Mellier said.
On synthetics: Director of strategy and new business Bruce Cleaver admitted lab-grown gems “can present a threat to us,” but “all of our research shows that people prefer diamonds out of the ground.”
On the withdrawal of banks from the diamond sector: “We strongly believe there will always be money for the good diamantaires,” said Mellier. “I think [our] new contract criteria will ensure that all our clients are bankable.”
Mellier said the company was committed to its retail chain, saying it gives it information on the high-end market. “From a financial point of view, it’s a small operation,” he said. “From a knowledge point of view, it’s very big.”