June 3, 2020
The Diamond Producers Association has rebranded itself as the Natural Diamond Council to better reflect its mission and acknowledge the split in the jewelry industry with more lab-grown, man-made gems coming onto the market.
Founded by seven leading diamond producers including De Beers Group, the Natural Diamond Council has an enhanced educational mandate to become the ultimate business-to-business and consumer resource, digital and non-digital for all things natural diamonds.
“We see the NDC rebrand as an opportunity to provide resources and support to many struggling small businesses and family jewelers while injecting confidence into our industry,” said Kristina Buckley Kayel, North American managing director at the Natural Diamond Council, New York.
“We have collected data that shows luxury spending will shift away from experiences and onto products that hold value as human connectivity has heightened as the world endures the pandemic,” she said.
“We believe the future of diamonds is natural diamonds.”
Another key change in identity is the consumer tag line, from “Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond” to “Only Natural Diamonds.”
The council also launched a new digital platform called Only Natural Diamonds and launched its Style Collective: Trend Report as part of its knowledge-enhancing mission.
In this discussion, Ms. Buckley Kayel reveals the reason for the Natural Diamond Council’s being, focus on content and research for diamond awareness, marketing natural stones, impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what comes next. Please read on:
Why the switch from Diamond Producers Association to the Natural Diamond Council?
The mission of the DPA has always been to build the reputation and protect the integrity of natural diamonds.
The rebrand is a pivot to better serve and resonate with the modern consumer.
We are establishing an authoritative resource and publishing destination for knowledge, information and inspiration for all-things-natural-diamonds.
We chose the new name to emphasize diamonds’ desirability as the ultimate timeless and natural luxury good.
We’re at a point where it is necessary to differentiate diamonds as natural and we believe it is the time to dive into the beauty, wonder and integrity of natural diamonds.
What role will the new digital platform, Only Natural Diamonds, play? And the Style Collective: Trend Report, will that be original research?
Only Natural Diamonds will be our digital platform and resource to inspire and inform consumers globally on the value and heritage of natural diamonds. It will continue to focus on the uniqueness and rarity of diamonds, but also delve into the meaning they hold with individual stories.
Our storytelling will sit within six marquee content pillars from “Epic Diamonds” to “Style & Innovation,” for example.
Our new message reflects consumer desires for products that are natural and hold value with authenticity and sentimentality.
The Style Collective is an opportunity to bring together a powerhouse team of experts and connect influential editors, stylists and retailers.
The fashion community has always been built on the principle of trends emerging from runway shows which the jewelry industry hasn’t successfully replicated yet.
We see the identification of trends as a way for the industry to rally together to not only elevate the profile of the industry, but to inspire consumers with directional themes that reflect the spirit of the times.
The story of diamonds is well known. However, lab-grown diamonds are also gaining in popularity. How will the council continue the campaign of stressing the value of real diamonds?
Education is an important component of our new platform.
By providing facts and insights in a compelling, user-friendly format, consumers will be well-equipped and confident in selecting the diamond that best aligns with what they’re looking for.
Who are some of the council's key members?
Natural Diamond Council is composed of the world’s seven leading diamond producers including AlRosa, De Beers Group, Dominion, Lucara, Petra, Murowa Diamonds and Rio Tinto.
The NDC reflects the collective commitment of our members to transparency, sustainable and ethical business practices, and environmental stewardship.
Will you be doing any new marketing to promote the new name and natural diamonds?
We will be launching our full campaign this fall/holiday which will live across all platforms.
Social media will play an integral role in our strategy, focusing on platforms our target audience already engages with.
It’s not only about creating beautiful and original content, but about presenting and amplifying it optimally on each channel to drive engagement, and also traffic to our Web site as we establish ourselves as the go-to digital destination on all things natural diamonds.
What is the state of diamond consumption worldwide?
As we return to the new normal, we’re seeing very encouraging signs and a return to luxury spending, particularly in China where the majority of jewelry stores are reopened and seeing pent-up demand.
There is a shift, especially in millennial and Gen Z consumers, who are seeking products that celebrate connections between people.
We believe these values will emerge even stronger after the pandemic and there will be heightened appreciation for products derived through transparent, ethical and sustainable practices and standards.
Natural diamonds are well positioned to align with these values and behavioral shifts.
The pandemic has thwarted several initiatives, if not stalled them. But the council chose to announce the new name now. Does the timing matter?
We see the NDC rebrand as an opportunity to provide resources and support to many struggling small businesses and family jewelers while injecting confidence into our industry.
We have collected data that shows luxury spending will shift away from experiences and onto products that hold value as human connectivity has heightened as the world endures the pandemic.
We believe the future of diamonds is natural diamonds.
What are the next steps for the Natural Diamond Council?
The NDC will launch a resource for diamond professionals that includes engaging e-learning modules ranging from Diamonds 101 to Selling to the Self-Purchaser and learning about the industry’s sustainability activities and commitments.
We will also offer regular webinars, in-store training and a vast range of bite-sized and easy-to-share educational content assets.
For the modern consumer, we want to demystify the process of buying diamond jewelry. It can be intimidating and overwhelming to distill the vast amount of information.
We hope to be the first stop on a consumer’s journey to provide all the facts – 4Cs and beyond – in a new and engaging way.
Diamonds Today: The Evolution of Natural Diamonds