Professional Jeweler Archive: Diamond Opportunity: Cash in on Anniversaries

March 2005


Diamond Opportunity: Cash in on Anniversaries

By Robert Weldon, G.G.

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I Forever Do.” You’ll have no problem remembering this slogan because it’s featured in a major advertising initiative the Diamond Trading Co. launched in February. The marketing initiative is large, soaking up over one-fifth of the DTC’s annual marketing budget.

The tag line has a familiar ring, of course, shadowing DTC’s instantly recognized slogan “A Diamond Is Forever.” This variation on the theme is aimed at married couples, husbands in particular. The tag also reminds couples of the fateful line uttered in the past: “I do.”

Huge Market

“I Forever Do” is aimed at the huge market of married couples (56 million souls in the U.S. get married every year). DTC and its marketing arm, J. Walter Thompson, view this as a major untapped opportunity for retailers to sell diamonds throughout the year. “Customers, especially men, don’t have this idea that they should commemorate anniversaries with jewelry embedded in their souls yet,” says Richard Lennox, director in charge of the diamond group at JWT.

JWT research suggests U.S. retailers are largely unaware of what portion of their business relates to anniversaries. JWT estimates some 150,000 couples celebrate anniversaries every day and notes that while 65% of women say they want diamond jewelry for their anniversary, only 6% of them get a diamond. DTC and JWT are aiming at the remaining 94%.

JWT estimates this is an untapped $4.8 billion market, as big as the Christmas season is for selling diamond jewelry. JWT studied demographics, and some surprising data emerged. “Anniversaries are tied into how recent the wedding was,” says Claudia Rose, JWT’s diamond industry strategy director. “We found the strongest reaction to anniversaries in the first through seventh year. However, we also found that the value of anniversary presents goes up as age increases.”

Family Ties

The new initiative ties in with DTC’s “Past Present and Future” three-stone jewelry campaign, say JWT officials. All products featured in the advertising are three-stone jewelry. Some manufacturers who attended a DTC-sponsored breakfast meeting in New York City in January to present the initiative to the trade questioned this approach, wondering why it should be limited to three-stone jewelry.

“The goal is to get consumers to buy into the idea and to build desire and emotional value for the category,” says Lynn Diamond, director of the Diamond Promotion Service. Adds Lennox, “It’s a way of marrying concepts that are already hugely successful together with a new idea.”

The Campaign

“I Forever Do” launched on TV with a variation on “Steps,” the renewal-of-wedding-vows campaign that began late last year. The new segment features a strong “I Forever Do” message.

The print campaign features a two-pronged approach: the familiar “Seize the Day” black-and-white campaign aimed at humorously instilling guilt in men and driving them to buy diamond jewelry and a new “Pictures” campaign featuring a collage of family color photos, much like a scrapbook of a typical American couple. Both campaigns started around Super Bowl weekend and Valentine’s Day with ads in major newspapers and Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Condé Naste Traveler, Traditional Home and Golf Digest.

DPS is geared up to help retailers understand and tap into the program. It will supply an “I Forever Do” business planning guide package tailored to educate retailers and supply them with marketing tools such as in-case displays postcards and ad slicks. The guide also will help retailers aim their own programs at their individual consumer bases.

Manufacturers, meanwhile, have been encouraged to produce lines of “I Forever Do” jewelry. They also are encouraged to develop their own advertising strategies surrounding the initiative.

Meanwhile, DPS is launching new marketing software in March called the DPS Marketing and Sales Engine. It’s a targeted database in which consumers will enter personal information. Then the software sorts and integrates the data. For a fee, retailers and manufacturers can tap into the information it provides.

For more information on the campaign, call DPS at (212) 210-7500.

Collages of happy couples meant to evoke a photo album will be part of the DTC’s anniversary ad campaign.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications