Helping an Iconic Diamond Brand Adapt to a Major Category Disruptor

Diamonds are timeless, signifying love through generations. Natural diamonds are over a billion years old, and both rare and beautiful. But in the past years, new technology has enabled the production of high-quality, synthetic diamonds in a lab. Suddenly, the world of diamond jewelry is no longer what it was for generations.

360 Market Reach (now Leger) has worked with DeBeers for many years to understand the evolving diamond market from both a jeweler and a consumer perspective as Millennials and Gen Z enter the diamond jewelry market. But the introduction of lab-created diamonds presented the possibility of changing the diamond jewelry industry at its core.

We sought to help DeBeers understand:

  • Are lab-created diamonds a fad or a lasting impact?
  • Will lab-created diamonds significantly hurt the entire natural diamond industry?
  • Are lab-created diamonds an answer to ethical and environmental concerns about diamonds?
  • Are lab-created diamonds just a sub-category that will fill a unique need and ultimately help to grow the diamond industry?

By studying this new phenomenon, first with a qualitative in-depth understanding of the possible implications among different buyer and non-buyer groups, and then quantitatively to assess the size of key potential impacts, we helped DeBeers design a multi-tiered approach to navigating through uncharted territories.

Our research provided DeBeers with iterative learnings that helped them craft a communication strategy that clearly delineated between natural and lab-created diamonds and educated consumers about the true value of a diamond beyond its composition alone.

By giving DeBeers a deeper understanding of consumer attitudes toward and expectations of lab-grown diamonds, we helped ensure the successful launch of their new Lightbox brand of lab-created diamonds, while preserving the established DeBeers brand reputation as a leader in natural diamond jewelry.

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