DTC Unveils Marketing Plans for 2006

January 12, 2006

DTC Unveils Marketing Plans for 2006

The Diamond Trading Co. will introduce a new marketing concept to consumers, called "Journey Diamond Jewelry." JWT, DTC's marketing arm in the U.S., made the announcement Jan. 11 in New York City.

Journey will feature jewelry designs containing at least four diamonds arranged in a graduated pattern, from smallest to largest. The concept will expand marketing and advertising to jewelry categories including brooches, pendants, bracelets and earrings, because those categories best lend themselves to graduated-diamond designs. Journey rings will not be supported through advertising, at least not initially.

This move will also help consumers differentiate the Journey jewelry from other DTC campaigns emphasizing rings. Ring designs are featured through several other DTC marketing programs, including the "Right Hand Ring;" "Past, Present and Future;" and the "I Forever Do" marketing campaigns. JWT says it's not discouraging ring designs, but that the emphasis of the campaign clearly is on nonring jewelry.

JWT said market research showed the term "journey" evoked notions of a couple's personal story or a shared relationship within the context that love is a progression or evolution, and grows stronger as the couple stays together. Journey diamond jewelry expresses that concept with designs showing a progression from smaller to larger diamonds as a metaphor for love that grows over time. The research also showed the Journey concept is perceived as more appealing and entirely different from DTC's other campaigns by men and women.

"It's important to emphasize this not a diamond add-on concept," said Richard Lennox, director-in-charge of the diamond marketing and advertising group at JWT. "Each jewel is a complete piece where the entire 'journey' can be seen at once." This concept is aimed at diamond jewelry buyers who might acquire a set of Journey earrings first and aspire to purchase a matching bracelet or pendant later.

Lennox and other JWT officials said retailers will be able to see new designs when the program officially launches at the 2006 JCK-Las Vegas Show in June.

DTC's fall marketing campaign, which leads up to the Christmas season, will emphasize consumer publicity and advertising for Journey. "We expect it to generate over $10 billion in sales, surpassing even the three-stone campaign which has had an annual growth rate of nearly 35% per year since 2000," says Lynn Diamond, director of the Diamond Promotion Service.

While manufacturers and retailers may have existing pieces in inventory that fit into the Journey concept, JWT officials cautioned that the items meet strict guidelines:
•The jewel must contain diamonds only.
•The diamonds must graduate from small to large. Diamonds that graduate from small to a larger diamond then descend in size again, (such as in some necklaces) do not qualify.
•The designs must contain at least four graduated diamonds and contain at least one "significant" diamond. However, price points and diamonds of all sizes are encouraged. DTC believes this will encourage sales in areas where stocks are heavy.

The Diamond Promotion Service says it is accepting a total of 40 design and manufacturing participants exhibiting Journey Diamond Jewelry designs at its DesignMax site between Jan. 18 and the end of March. The site gauges and reports consumer opinions and purchase-interest in given designs in an effort to help designers and manufacturers tailor their designs to consumer desires. There is a cost to manufacturers of participating (6-10 designs for $10,000 and 11-15 designs for $15,000) and DPS says it honors requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information go to www.dps.org/marketingprogs/journey/index.jsp.

Jewelers are urged to prepare to launch the new marketing concept shortly after JCK Las Vegas by:
•Having Journey diamond jewelry on display
•Using signs and displays prepared by DPS.
•Making use of marketing programs and sales training provided by DPS.
•Acquiring point-of-sale materials from DPS.

by Robert Weldon, G.G.

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