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Brand strategy for lab grown diamonds

publish:2019-12-06

Swarovski Created Diamond Forum”, organized by Guangzhou Diamond Exchange in concert with Swarovski Gemstones Business, was held at Jewelry Seasons China 2019 on November 29, featuring wonderful discussion on such topics as strategic direction of lab grown diamonds, marketing, brand building, synthesis technology and testing.
 
According to Bain Diamond Report 2018, three important trends affected the recent development of the diamond industry, including advances in digital technology, the development of lab grown diamonds, and generational shift in consumer preferences. In July 2018, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission amended its Jewelry Guides, clarifying “a diamond is a diamond” regardless of its origin. In September 2019, De Beers Group launched Lightbox Jewelry that introduced a new pricing paradigm. As the sixth most relevant brand in the global luxury sector, Swarovski launching Created Diamond has attracted full attention from the industry.
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Strategically way forward and marketing of
Swarovski Created Diamonds
From the Diama market test (launched in 2016), Swarovski learned that consumers acceptance of lab created diamonds was positive, and that consumer education is extremely important. Swarovski Online survey China 2017 shows that 86% of the respondents were very interested in Swarovski Created Diamonds before further information. Swarovski brand gives trust and confidence in the unknown new material of lab created diamonds. In addition to self-purchase, lab created diamonds are suitable for gift giving.
 
It is estimated that the polished created diamond market accounted for some 5% of the global polished diamond market in 2018. It is expected that until 2023, forecasted growth rate of the polished created diamonds is 7%-20%. Swarovski holds that created diamonds afford a huge opportunity to capture substantial new market.
 
 
How does Swarovski position lab created diamonds?
l Created diamonds are 100% diamonds, which are identical to mined diamonds in terms of chemical composition, physical characteristics, and optical performance.
l Build trust in created diamonds, open and clear declaration of lab-created diamonds and no mixing of mined and created diamonds.
l Educate and communicate with consumers: Real diamonds, Value for price and Sustainable
l Do not cause opposition between created diamonds and naturally mined diamonds. The two can coexist for the choice of consumers.
l Man-made as positive: not devalue or fight mined diamonds, both can coexist and consumer has the choice.
l Many occasions for purchase: birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s day, self-purchase, engagement /wedding, etc.
l Mined diamonds are the benchmark in pricing,
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By targeting new consumer groups (millennials), exploring a virgin material and all its possibilities, combining creativity with technology, connecting artistry with science and business acumen, Swarovski Created Diamonds accomplished Illuminating Creativity in Endless Facets. To be a trend setter and pioneer in the lab created diamond market, says Mr. Wong Chun Kit, Henry, Managing Director of Swarovski Gemstones Business in the Greater China region, Swarovski Created Diamonds is intended to lead lab created diamond innovation and capture a substantial new market.
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Swarovski Created Diamonds
Uncompromising Quality: Maintained by precision cuts by master cutters to the Swarovski standard.
Only the Best is Good Enough: Swarovski Created Diamonds works with 2 quality ranges: D,E,F / VS+ and G,H,I / SI1+.
Confidence and Trust: All products in all sizes are checked by IGI to ensure that they are lab grown. Larger Swarovski Created Diamonds (0.70 carat / 5.80 mm) comes with addition a lab report from IGI. Work hand in hand with NGTC to ensure it fits Chinese specifications
Inspiring World of Products & Services: A passion for color in all its varieties. Fueled by the endless possibilities of cuts and shapes opened up by the world of lab created diamonds.
Man-made as Positive: Laboratory created diamonds are a new, innovative technology which are perceived as very positive from the end-consumer
Transparency & Responsibility: Demonstrated by sourcing from trusted partners and “SWAROVSKI CREATED DIAMOND” laser engraving on stones
How to run a successful brand online
The development of the lab grown diamond industry is inseparable from successful brand operations in retail market. Mr. Zhang Jian, chairman of KADER Jewelry, shared operating experience of making KADER the TOP5 merchant in Tmall Fashion Accessory category since its debut on Tmall in 2013, providing useful reference for the building of lab grown diamond brands.
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Data-based operation
Accurate customer profiling. Based on the analysis of Tmall’s customer in recent years, KADER figured out its customers are concentrated in the 18-24 age group, and a sizable chunk of them are white-office workers while male customers having a higher proportion.
Prediction of market trends. Through “keyword popularity search” for the online market, KADER can predict market trends in advance. For example, there is a marked increase in consumer search for keyword “bracelet women” before holidays such as Valentine’s Day, May 20, and Qixi Festival, and related products can be developed accordingly.
Analyze customer preferences. Targeted product layout is achieved based on the popularity of “user search”. For example, “Wang Yibo ins” soared to the top in popularity in the Fashion Accessory category searching, and KADER conducts market research accordingly and develops products to fit with customer preferences.
 
Through the data collection and analysis, KADER has identified its customer group, and placed targeted ad according, forming a mutually reinforcing closed loop of data and sales.
 
Cooperation with IP
Since 2017, the KADER brand has been involved in jewelry, and has cooperated with many popular IPs such as “Honor of Kings” and “The Story of Minglan” in creating exclusive products in the category. It becomes a model brand imitated by merchants on Tmall due to its independent originality and is unanimously recognized by the market and competitors.
 
Brand empowerment
As an jewelry brand focusing on online channels, KADER has known the value of data since its inception. But it was in confusion in the face of a wealth of customers, complex tools, and changing markets. Through market analysis, KADER found that clients were keen on “Swarovski”.
l “Swarovski” ranks first in the brand search popularity in accessory category.
l  “Swarovski” is the only brand word among the top ten of search hits in the category.
In 2016, KADER forged cooperation with Swarovski Gemstones Business (zirconia category). The quality of Swarovski Zirconia gave a boost to KADER products, and KADER joined the ranks of 100 million yuan (revenue) brands in 2017. Swarovski, Pandora, and KADER rank among the top three in the Tmall accessory trading index; KADER is the only Chinese brand among the top five.
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Technological development and lab testing of synthetic diamonds in China
China is the world’s most important country for the production of HPHT synthetic diamonds. The main manufacturers include Zhongnan Diamond, Huanghe Whirlwind, Sino Crystal, etc., and there is tremendous output and unlimited potential. Accelerated technological innovation, cost reduction, and more usage (including jewelry) are the trends. In addition, China’s CVD synthetic diamond technology has developed at a fast clip. Major manufacturers include Crysdiam, Zhengshi Technology, and Xi'an Carbon Star Semiconductor Technology, etc. Some technologies and products are world-leading.
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Laboratory mainly uses microscopes, infrared spectrometers, ultraviolet-visible spectrometers, DiamondViewTM, and Raman laser (PL), etc. for synthetic diamond testing and identification.
Microscope magnification inspection
l Ni/Fe metal inclusions may appear in HTHP synthetic diamonds.
l White cloud and black dot inclusions may appear in CVD synthetic diamonds.
l HPHT synthetic rough diamond has obvious magnetism and can be attracted by magnets.
l Natural mineral, cloud-like inclusions, and indented natural are common in natural diamonds.
Infrared absorption spectrum
l Natural diamonds are mainly type Ia, and types IIa, Ib and IIb are few
l HTHP synthetic diamond: yellow is type Ib, colorless and nearly colorless diamonds are type IIa (diamonds with trace boron are type IIb)
l CVD synthetic diamond: colorless and nearly colorless diamonds are mainly type IIa
UV-visible absorption spectrum test
Natural and synthetic diamonds show different UV-visible absorption spectrum characteristics
DiamondViewTM fluorescence viewer
Observe the fluorescence characteristics and the growth structure characteristics of diamond surface under ultra-short wave (<220nm) ultraviolet light. The growth texture of natural diamonds, color division of HPHT synthetic diamonds, and the layered growth structure of CVD synthetic diamonds are different.
Raman Laser Spectrometer (PL)
Natural and synthetic diamonds are differentiated based on luminescence spectrum of diamonds induced by laser energy at a certain wavelength. CVD synthetic diamond has 737nm luminescence peak, and HPHT synthetic diamond has 883nm, 884nm nickel related luminescence peak
Synthetic melee diamond detection
To date, all HPHT synthetic type IIa diamonds have strong phosphorescence.
 
Ms. Song Zhonghua, deputy director of the Beijing Research Institute of the National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC) pointed out that synthetic diamonds are identifiable. NGTC’s scientific research on diamond detection, identification and grading provides powerful technical support for the healthy development of the industry.
 
The scientific and efficient identification technology of synthetic and natural diamonds has laid the technical foundation for the parallel development of the two categories.
The strategic way of brand building
At the forum on the 29th, representatives including brand owners, designers, and marketing consultants carried out wonderful discussion on the strategic way of lab grown diamond brand building.
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Mr. Wong Chun Kit, Henry, Managing Director of Swarovski Gemstones Business in the Greater China region, pointed out that the Ingredient Brand Program of Swarovski Created Diamonds can empower collaborative brands through Swarovski’s brand recognition, market insights, product design and others.
 
Mr. Zhang Jian, chairman of KADER Jewelry, believes that as the young consumers grow, their consumption will gradually upgrade. Rather than product materials, they pay more attention to design. The price of lab grown diamonds is suitable for this group. Through cooperation with big brands (such as Swarovski) or popular IP, products with better design can be launched. Lab grown diamonds will see breakthroughs among the young people.
 
Mr. Chu Weimin, secretary general of Shanghai Jewelry Design Association, mentioned that lab grown diamonds have wide application prospects on the condition of controlled output and quality and value assurance. When designing products, independent / Haute Couture designers may use natural gems or diamonds as the main stones, and lab grown diamonds may be used as auxiliary stones; brand designers will also extensively use lab grown diamonds as the prices are relatively low but qualities are guaranteed. Lab grown diamonds give greater scope of creativity to designers.
 
VETIVER is mainly targeted at the middle class and above. Mr. Gong Lifeng, CEO of VETIVER, said that this consumer group puts a premium on product design, family inheritance, and independent designer concept. Therefore, lab grown diamonds have advantages. On the basis of the same price, lab grown diamonds can provide more personalized jewelry with better design.
 
Brands do not mean names, logos, or slogans. A brand is based on products, team, and accurately targeted customer positioning. It distinguishes a product from competing products. Mr. Luis da Rosa, an independent brand consultant, holds that lab grown diamonds promise great possibilities. It allows bold design. For quick building of lab grown diamond brand, one can consider cooperating with big brands (such as Swarovski). Just as LVMH acquired Tiffany, it rapidly enters younger and faster fashion markets. Lab grown diamonds can also consider cooperating with different designers at home and abroad, or try cooperation across sectors, draw on other elements, and build brands quickly.
 
The high-tech genes of lab grown diamonds, the ability of stable supply, and its outstanding appearance same as natural diamonds have opened a window for this new material.
 
Whether lab grown diamonds can create new market increments depends on the concerted efforts of the industry.
 
The brand development of lab grown diamonds deserves our expectations!
 

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