W.B. David Introduces Leading Jewelers of the World
The new initiative includes a $21 million marketing budget in 2002
Diamond house W.B. David, New York City, introduced a new diamond marketing program to an exclusive group of high-level jewelers at a dinner in June. With the help and guidance of the Diamond Trading Co., of which W.B. David is a sightholder, the diamond company asked the invited retailers to apply to join a network called Leading Jewelers of the World. A second tier of jewelers can apply to join a network called Preferred American Jewelers.
The Leading Jewelers of the World network will comprise 100 jewelers who meet strict standards of excellence, especially in customer service. They also must invest 7.5% of annual sales to marketing/advertising (60% of which must be diamond-related) or invest 6% of annual diamond sales to marketing/advertising of diamond jewelry. This requirement relates clearly to the industrywide goal set by DTC to increase diamond advertising to levels nearer the 10% spent by other luxury industries.
A part of each Leading Jewelers of the Worlds ad budget must contribute to national advertising managed by the new network, along with financial participation by W.B. David and other jewelry manufacturers. The national ads also will promote a diamond jewelry line called LTD, an annual limited-edition holiday collection designed by world-renowned jewelry designers, says the company. Research conducted for the new network shows wealthy people want objects and experiences that arent commonly available; this collection is planned to fulfill that desire.
Members of Leading Jewelers of the World must make an annual commitment to buy $300,000 worth of diamonds from W.B. David or its divisions and participate in its holiday collection with a purchase of $100,000.
The Preferred American Jewelers network of 500 jewelers will include requirements similar to those of the Leading Jewelers of the World, but at lower levels.
After a pilot program this year, W.B. David plans to roll out a full program in 2002 with a marketing budget of $21 million. The budget will more than double by 2004, the company says. An exclusive mark and other collateral materials will be available to all participating jewelers.
One of Many?
Jewelers attending the event told Professional Jeweler they are intrigued but a little scared by the plan. They uniformly like the designation of Leading Jewelers of the World, but some question whether other such networks might spring up and make this exclusive group just one of many.
Other jewelers say they are nervous about committing such large portions of their ad budgets to one program and so much of their diamond inventories to one company at a time when larger, finer quality diamonds are often hard to find from a single source. Some jewelers say their own brand names dont need the cachet of this added designation, while others think it would enhance their status.
by Peggy Jo Donahue