Building consumer trust in your brand when the tide turns

Right from the inception of the De Beers Group 133 years ago, trust has formed the heart of its legacy. At Forevermark, the group’s diamond brand, we carry forward this heritage with great pride. The trust our consumers place in our diamonds, our ethics, and processes through a change in tide, evolving trends, and crises is as precious to us as our diamonds.

When consumers buy a Forevermark diamond, they know that each diamond is natural, beautiful, rare, responsibly sourced with the assurance of their own unique inscription number. These factors offer a guarantee that every Forevermark diamond meets the exceptional standards of beauty and rarity and is responsibly sourced. Our diamond selection processes and checks, right from mine to finger, are so stringent and exacting that only less than one percent of the world’s natural diamonds make the cut to be inscribed as Forevermark.

Building this innate trust in our brand has come from years of fine-tuning ourselves very closely, to changing consumer demands, shifts in behavioral patterns, and market dynamics. As a jewelry brand, we’ve always been ahead of the curve, anticipating unwarranted shifts in our industry and being ready with alternate business strategies to serve our consumers to the best of our ability, given the circumstances.

We do this by regularly conducting research to be informed about the on-the-ground realities, customer expectations, and retailers’ sentiments. In fact, the recent De Beers Insight Report highlighted that the pandemic has made consumers value-conscious and they are now seeking fewer, better meaningful things in their lives and that’s where diamonds play a part.

As a brand, we are very conscious of the imprint we leave behind in nature. We ensure to give back ten-fold of what we take from nature through various initiates and extensively work with the supporting communities. To create a lasting impression, The De Beers Group has announced 12 ambitious sustainability goals for the coming decade, termed as ‘Building Forever’. These goals are based around four pillars — leading ethical practices across the industry; partnering for thriving communities; protecting the natural world; and accelerating equal opportunity. They represent the brand’s commitment towards creating a positive impact that will endure well beyond the discovery of our last diamond. Today, consumers are looking for brands that are giving back to the community or attached to a cause because when they wears a Forevermark diamond, they can rest assured that they are adorning a piece of nature in its most natural, genuine form.

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]One of the key reasons why we’ve been able to retain the trust of our consumers is that we maintain transparency and assurance for our diamonds. The stringent selection process for a Forevermark diamond ensures that each diamond is processed on the basis of their unique, individual traits. The Forevermark Diamond Grading Report verifies each step of the journey of the diamond from its source and the inscription card provides the unique number inscribed on each diamond.[/box]

The diamond market in India, has been particularly resilient with the Indian consumer continuing to show their love for diamonds irrespective of the economic turmoil, reflecting a forward thinking, resilient mindset. On their part, our consumers have repeatedly shown their trust in our brand even through trying times.

In fact, one of our recently conducted survey’s on consumer sentiment and the general attitude of potential Indian diamond consumers post COVID-19 helped us set the stage  to serve the post-pandemic customer with newer, innovative strategies that matched with the current demand.

Some of the report’s highlights are:

Indian consumers’ love for buying diamonds remains strong surpassing all other global markets in recent years. They are particularly interested in buying diamonds for themselves, showing a huge potential for repeat purchases.

This interest was also seen in the younger, mid- affluent self-purchasers and young professionals with a growth mindset, who adapted their life around the change. For them, growth, a future-forward and positive mindset was far greater than the fear of a pandemic and economic turmoil.

Since the buying and giving of diamonds remains an intrinsic part of the fabric of our culture, Indians prioritized these purchases over all other luxury items, especially during and after the festive season as online sales, picked up during this period.

Offline stores have always been very important but being available online throughout the pandemic helped maintain a positive footprint that focuses on the themes of family and tradition, while still enabling a feeling of luxury and excitement for the consumer.

As the country gradually reopens, retailers are now facing a new challenge of getting consumers out of their homes and back into stores and making them feel safe as they shop.

By molding our offerings to these changing dynamics, we are all set to once again deepen the trust of our consumers. In the near future, our goals will revolve around making the online jewelry sales experience as real, seamless, and special as the in-store experience. From an industry perspective, I feel that businesses that are well prepared to deal with a turn in tide and move and adapt to shifting patterns will be successful in building a strong trust among their consumers. The emergence of exciting new trends will set the pace for the entire industry in the years to come, building better, brighter, and meaningful tomorrows.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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