De Beers wants a lot of control over its Everlon Diamond Knot program, as evidenced by what it’s asking of its retailers. At least one version of De Beers’ agreement with retailers includes the following provisions:
"Retail partner shall obtain Sightholder’s prior written consent before making any statement to the press or issuing any press release [regarding Everlon].
"On request from Sightholder, Retailer shall provide Sightholder or [De Beers UK] with access to its Retail Stores to inspect the Licensed Products and the sales process relating to them.
"Retail Partner shall supply Sightholder and [De Beers UK] with an Advertising Plan within 3 months of the Commencement Date … Within 10 days … the Retail Partners shall be advised whether it is accepted or rejected."
De Beers spokeswoman Lynette Gould notes: "Obviously we have control over the manner in which De Beers IP is used—the name, logo, design concept, etc. We need to do so for the protection of the brand and on behalf of the participants who have determined that it is worth committing significant amounts of their Q4 marketing budget towards. We are committed to ensuring that the brand idea retains its integrity and appeal to consumers and is not compromised to the detriment of all parties."
So far, 300 independents and most of the majors have signed up for the program, including Zale, J.C. Penney, and Helzberg.
One notable exception to the list of majors is the nation’s largest jeweler, Sterling. Company spokesperson David Bouffard noted: "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."
The feedback on Everlon from the trade has been mixed, particularly for the name (which was chosen because of its associations with the words forever, ever long, evergreen, and Avalon). Still, De Beers’ faith in the concept is shown by its introducing a variation, called Encordia, in Asia, under the auspices of Forevermark. However, De Beers has stressed that "this is not an attempt to do a Forevermark in the United States."