‘Supplier of Choice’ Set to Go

Following its official blessing from the European Union, De Beers’ market-shaking “Supplier of Choice” strategy will debut this summer, three years after it was first announced.

Rumors that the company will prune its client list by as much as 50% have made sightholders jittery about the program’s launch. They already have received an extensive questionnaire requesting, among other things, their businesses’ audited records for the last two years. And in line with the “Supplier of Choice” program’s focus on marketing, the form quizzes them about current marketing programs, including how many full-time employees handle marketing.

De Beers’ current timetable says clients will be informed of their new status in May. Nonqualifying clients will continue to get allocations through the end of the year.

While De Beers executives have said that not all current clients will likely meet the company’s new criteria, they also expect to take on new sightholders. To keep the selection process as objective as possible, the sightholder data will be partially analyzed by a computer.

In July, the DTC will trot out its “sightholder identity”—sightholders that may use the “Forevermark,” the diamond-shaped emblem that appears at the end of its commercials.