At a press conference on July 13, De Beers said it will drop the De
Beers name from its generic advertising, after several years of making it
more prominent. The move is part of profound changes announced by the
company, which will now use the name Diamond Trading Co. as its public
DTC is adopting the famous diamond slogan, "A diamond is forever" and has
developed a new icon known as the ForeverMark. The icon's design is the
shape of a natural diamond containing a star at its center. "This icon,
combined with the DTC identity and slogan, will be the glue that binds the DTC
and DTC sightholders," says Gary Ralfe, the company's managing director. More
importantly, the DTC identity will be what end consumers see in the
company's generic advertising. The program will be implemented January 2001.
The move to drop the De Beers name surprised many in the industry, given
the obvious worldwide name recognition De Beers enjoys. But the name will
remain as the corporate identity and more. Officials strongly suggest it
will be used sometime in the future to brand an exclusive tier of top diamonds.
They see it competing with a multitude of other brands. "This is an option
that is being explored. It is another workstream, and we will know more about
it towards the end of the year," says Ralfe.
The name change accompanied De Beers' expected announcement it has
altered its relationship with its sightholders, to work harder at being their
"supplier of choice." It will offer marketing advice and consumer research to
its clients as a benefit of doing business with De Beers.
But the "choice" goes both ways. De Beers also announced strict rules of
ethics it will hold sightholders to, as well as new business
practice criteria put in place to help it choose market-savvy
sightholders in the future. The ethical rules include strict prohibitions
against doing business with countries that deal in conflict diamonds, as
- by Robert Weldon, G.G.