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A DIAMOND STORY. Not your ordinary fairytale. Once Upon a time…. There was a very very powerful company called De Beers.

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A diamond story


Not your ordinary fairytale

Once upon a time

Once Upon a time…

There was a very very powerful company called De Beers.

De Beers was the largest supplier for diamonds worldwide. The company was so powerful since it controlled every aspect of the diamond industry from its mining to distribution.

However, dark dark days were coming for De Beers. Its share of the diamond market had fallen as high as 90% in 1980 to less than 60% because it could not control global supply.

De Beers was no longer a very powerful diamond monopoly.

A diamond story

so the destroyed De Beers decided to reinvent itself and shift gears….

The following slides show us how the company tried to regain its lost market share.

The plan

The plan

  • Enter US Market

  • Increase value of US diamond jewellery market

    • Increase ‘Heavy Owners’ of diamond – women with 8 or more pieces of diamond jewellery

    • Want these Heavy Owners to be diamond purchasers AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE in their life

A diamond story

De Beers started its plan through developing and launching 3 ideas which they called


Beacon 1 : Past, Present and Future

Beacon 2 : Right Hand Ring

Beacon 3 : Journey

A diamond story

Beacon 1: Past Present Future

Diamonds at that time had represented “engagement love” : pure innocent and perfect.

They changed the idea to represent 3 stages of love – its past, present and future. 3 stones each told a unique story; one stone symbolising your past, one your present and the final your future.

Focused on anniversaries and gifts.

Beacon 2 right hand ring

Beacon 2: Right Hand Ring

OLD : Diamonds on the left hand to signify marriage and engagement. Celebration of ‘Relationship’

NEW: Celebration of ‘her’. Captured the Sex and the City generation. Unique style/spirit relevant to married and single women.

Beacon 3 journey

Beacon 3: Journey

Old: Idea of love as Perfect

New: Love is a journey, not a destination. Couple’s love deepens as they weather hardships together.

Justifying narratives

Justifying narratives



  • Number of Heavy Owners (those owning 8 +) increased by 76% from 2000 to 2006

  • Number of Medium Owners (5-7 pieces) significantly increased

  • Ideas drove more than $14.7 B of retail sales

  • Desire for Beacons has translated into intent. 14.2 M women in US would most like to acquire a Past, Present, Future piece as their next diamond acquisition. 17.2M US women would also like Right Hand Ring as next piece.

A diamond story

During the Beacon period (2001-2006), total US diamond jewellery category grew by $9.2 B – increase of 35% from 2001.

Source: Total Market Survey

Awareness and desire for beacons

Awareness and desire for beacons

  • All 3 beacons had high awareness. Past, Present and Future scored the highest having been in the market the longest.

  • Right Hand Ring generated awareness not only for the narrative, but for the idea of women buying themselves diamond jewellery.

  • Global Rollout: Beacons have rolled out globally. In Japan, the Past, Present and Future has been adapted and proved to be a success.

In the end

In the end….

  • De Beers communicated a great business idea to its consumers since they found it extremely meaningful and relevant to the consumers’ lives

  • A Diamond is still Forever. But thanks to Beacons, diamonds can allow people to express and celebrate other emotions.

A diamond story

A Diamond is forever.

By: Szamantha Lim. October 15,2013

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