Have you heard of “Fair and Ethically Sourced Gold Jewelry”? Wow! That sounds great, doesn’t it?
Now, many of you who are seriously looking to buy an engagement ring have heard of the “Kimberly Process”. To those of you that don’t know, it is an agreement by a group of nations to certify diamonds that are not involved in conflict. They are called “Conflict Free Diamonds”. That also sounds great! I wonder who the marketing genius was that came up with this phrase.
There is so much interest lately in “conflict free diamonds”, “fair mined gold” and other “politically correct” movements that a young couple can be overwhelmed with so much to learn and absorb. Who would think that buying a diamond engagement ring could be so complicated?
In modern days, we are bombarded by all sorts of marketing and advertisements all day long. So, why should the diamond and jewelry industry be immune to this kind of sales tactics?
What I am about to tell you may sound cynic but I have to get it out of my chest. “This business of “conflict free diamonds” & “ethically sourced gold” is all a marketing ploy!”
So who are you going to listen to? Why should you believe little me? Who am I to discredit what the whole industry is proudly displaying in their marketing campaigns? These are fair questions. So, before I continue, I must tell you a little bit about myself.
I have been in the diamond and jewelry business for 51 years. I started going in to my fathers shop with him every Saturday when I was only five years old! I began my career in this industry as a diamond cutter. I was cutting large expensive diamonds, while my classmates in high school where shooting hoops – I was too short anyway. After I married, my business kept me away from my family 46 out of every 52 weeks yearly. I was in India, Israel, Belgium or Africa buying rough diamonds, or travelling around the world selling the finished cut diamonds. My friends and neighbors were all envious of my “glamorous” lifestyle. Glamorous gets old. Careful what you wish for!
Now I am still in the jewelry industry, specifically a retailer and etailer. I like the business, and I like my customers. On the other hand, I do NOT like to see the industry being bombarded with marketing lies.
The very first class that I took when I started College – at The Bernard Baruch College of Business and Public Administration – was marketing 101 and what I see in the jewelry industry is just that.
Let me give you an example that will make things clearer. To those of you readers old enough to remember, we had Pepsodent, Ipana, Colgate, Gleem & Close-up. These were toothpaste brands. I have to tell you that these toothpastes didn’t differ much in their chemical composition or their ability to clean your teeth. What differentiated them were their marketing campaigns. The marketing industry needs to have a name and a brand and, once they have it, they go to work.
Today, the jewelry industry has marketable products such as “Conflict Free Diamonds”, “The Leo”, “Hearts on Fire”, and “Ethically Sourced Gold”. With these marketable properties at hand, the diamond and jewelry world goes to work as well.
This is the first chapter in a series of blog posts that will unveil the truth behind some of the marketing tactics used by the jewelry industry. Please, check my next post to get the whole scoop on this shocking industry secret.