A case study written for my brand management class in 2010 about Romancing the Stone (how De Beer changed the branding of diamonds)
1. Why did De Beers change its audience to women, instead of men, who are the main purchasers of diamonds? Discuss the differences between the targeting of women and targeting of men in terms of communication strategy.
Because they are not the ones taking the decisions about what type of diamonds to buy. The men are influenced by the women. Men almost never buy diamonds for themselves. Thus to change the desire for a certain type of diamond they have to market it to the ones that need to desire it. The targeting of men is more towards the emotions they hope to evoke by giving “the ultimate gift of love” whilst the communication towards women focuses more on the uses the diamond will have on their personal image. For men the communication needs to focus on the message that is delivered along with the diamond when it is given as a gift.
2. What are the difficulties in the brand moving from symbolizing a love relationship to one focusing on the woman herself?
Since men are still the ones buying the diamonds the symbol of love still has to be strong in the brand. If the brand changes to much into a focus the women herself the men might think that the women could buy the diamond themselves instead.
3. What are the implications for the brand strategy of the complex psychological relationship between couples?
The complex relationship requires a giving and a taking. There needs to be a balance between the two of them in order to maximize the brand impact. Since men are the buyers and women are the ones they are buying for the desire has to be awakened in the women whilst the men needs to find more of a practical use for the buying decision.
4. How could De Beers maintain their sales of traditional less expensive diamonds while focusing the brand on Solitaires?
Because the basic concept was still in the brand. Diamonds are a sign of love. The difference with a Solitaire is that they made it a little better than a normal diamond since it is unique. Thus they have created a perception that buying a normal diamond is a perfect sign of love but a Solitaire is a little better sign.
[pic: CC-BY, jurvetson]