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Forevermark U.S. President Charles Stanley speaking at the brand’s annual Las Vegas breakfast, held Thursday at the Four Seasons hotel. The brand unveiled its marketing plan for the remainder of 2018, and De Beers executive Stephen Lussier also addressed the company’s decision to begin selling lab-grown diamonds.
Las Vegas--Omnichannel and female self-purchasers will be the focal points of Forevermark’s marketing strategy this year, the De Beers-owned diamond jewelry brand announced.

Included as part of its omnichannel strategy is the launch of e-commerce capabilities on Forevermark.com in the fourth quarter.

Forevermark U.S. President Charles Stanley said Thursday at the brand’s annual Las Vegas breakfast that consumers will be able to buy pieces from two collections--Tribute and Forevermark Alchemy Collection by Jade Trau--on Forevermark.com. Proceeds from all online sales (minus a service fee) will go to the consumer’s chosen jeweler or, if no jeweler is selected, the nearest retailer who carries Forevermark.

The addition of online sales is one of a number of upgrades the diamond brand is making to its website.  

Forevermark also is adding online appointment booking, “Live Chat” functionality and a quiz to help consumers determine which of the archetypes, and thereby diamond shapes, in Jade Trau’s Alchemy collection is the best fit for them. The quiz will be on the Alchemy landing page on Forevermark.com.

Tribute and Alchemy are both collections aimed at women who buy jewelry for themselves, which De Beers sees as a key market moving forward.

“This is a long-term growth opportunity for us,” Stanley said, citing statistics from De Beers’ latest research that show women, both single and married, buying jewelry for themselves accounted for 33 percent of diamond purchases in the U.S. in 2017, up from 27 percent in 2013.

Forevermark will be promoting Tribute through national TV, print, digital displays, social media, paid search and CRM, as well as a national custom digital video and influencer campaign.

Alchemy also will be promoted across the U.S., via digital and social media.

Also at the breakfast, Forevermark played its new 30-second bridal commercial that will be available for jewelers to use with local tags. The emotionally charged spot, which Stanley asked to be shown twice, drew applause from the audience.

Forevermark turns 10 at the end of this year, as the brand launched in China in December 2008 (but did not come to the United States until 2011). It now has 2,250 doors in 26 countries.

The brand’s global CEO and De Beers’ Executive Vice President of Marketing Stephen Lussier opened the breakfast talking about the “bold moves” De Beers has made recently, chief among them the announcement that the diamond company would begin selling fashion jewelry set with lab-grown diamonds.

While De Beers is set to begin selling its man-made diamond jewelry direct to consumers in September, both the company and Lussier seem intent—at least in communications to the trade—on casting lab-grown diamonds as less than. At times, the longtime diamond mining company seems reticent to even acknowledge the fact that lab-grown diamonds are, in fact, diamonds.

De Beers included in the press release announcing the launch of what it is calling Lightbox Jewelry a quote from brand General Manager Steve Coe that read: “We’ve learned from our research that there is a lot of confusion about lab-grown diamonds, what they are, how they differ from diamonds...” Not “mined” or “natural” diamonds, but just “diamonds.”

At the Forevermark breakfast Thursday, Lussier—who referred to lab-grown diamonds as “man-made crystallized carbon” that has the properties of a diamond—said, “At De Beers, we never had anything against lab-grown stones. We just don’t believe they are a substitute for, or the same as, diamonds.”

They aren’t rare and, unlike diamonds, can be made cheaply, he said.

Lussier added the stones are not for marking emotional moments but for wearing as fun fashion items, with prices that are transparent, linear and related to the cost of manufacturing.

When asked afterward about his remarks, Lussier stressed the fact that natural diamonds are mined from the Earth as the main point of differentiation between the two stones, and reiterated that “being from the Earth is a big thing” when asked to outline other differences between mined and man-made diamonds.

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