Some thoughts and more information on the Everlon Diamond Knot campaign:
– De Beers’ name and reputation for marketing savvy still has considerable sway among U.S. retailers, as evidenced by the impressive list of majors it’s signed up, as well as the around 300 independents.
One notable exception on the list of majors is America’s largest jeweler, Sterling. Company spokesperson David Bouffard noted: “We are delighted that De Beers is supporting a diamond jewelry program, because their advertising creates a demand and supports the entire industry. However, we believe our exclusive Love’s Embrace campaign provides a competitive difference and advantage to us. … Our Love’s Embrace program is not subject to the kind of competitor discounting we’ve experienced in other programs such as Journey Diamond Jewelry, and we are not required to pay a fee for generic advertising with our brand as a tagline. … And also importantly, we control the rights to the program in the future.”
– As for De Beers’ sightholder clients, only four have signed up, in this time when budgets are tight. Not everyone was crazy about the idea, and one sightholder told me that he had reservations about whether De Beers would continue the program after this holiday. (Though one assumes if it’s successful, it will continue.) Others were nervous that September is a little late to launch a new brand and product for Christmas.
But the clients who have signed up are very much behind it. “It’s an excellent product for today’s economy,” Sam Offir of Pluczenik told me. “The retailers are very much behind it.” He notes the positioning is slightly different than what we saw for “Journey” and “the three-stone ring.” “They were about the history of the relationship,” he says. “This is a product that reflects the current state. It’s about feeling good today.”
– De Beers wants to manage this product “as a brand,” and control its image. As Bouffard notes, one of the things that hurt “Journey” was it was perceived as a product for the chains and discounted almost instantly. One can foresee possible tension between the chains, who slash prices seemingly out of habit, and the high-end independents that have signed on. This could be an interesting balancing act.
– The “Everlon” name was chosen for its associations – including “forever” (of course), “everlong,” “evergreen,” “avalon” and “decathalon” (as in a long distance.) Giving the product a brand name certainly makes it more trademark-able. However “Everlon” will only be used for this product – this isn’t an attempt to create a “Forevermark” in the U.S.
Overall, the business model De Beers is using is very similar to the one it used in India, where it was quite successful promoting “Nakshatra” flower jewelry. (It eventually sold the Nakshatra name to Gitanjali Group.)
– De Beers’ share of the marketing budget is being estimated at over $20 million. Certainly, producing a new TV commercial doesn’t come cheap.The DIC says the budget will be as “robust as anything we’ve done for the last five or six years.”
– De Beers is to be commended for putting something new out there, and that’s clearly why so many retailers have signed up. At the Rapaport conference last week, there were debate over whether this Christmas will be as bad last year’s. Without anything different to offer consumers, I fear that may be correct. So, whether or not everyone is on board with Everlon, we should all root for its success.