The new #Heeronmeinheera campaign talks about how Tanishq has a eight-point verification programme for the diamonds in its jewellery
Scammed and bruised by fleeing merchants and the rising popularity of lab-grown diamonds, a number of jewellery retailers in India are moving to restore faith in their brands. Robust certification processes and consumer outreach with assurances and guarantees are among the measures adopted by big retail brands. And the latest to join the chorus is Tata-group-owned Tanishq. Will the concerted effort by the big brands help counter the crisis of confidence that the industry currently faces?
Tanishq’s latest campaign is all about spotting the real diamond, separating the shine from the gloss that tends to bedazzle unsuspecting buyers. While Tanishq is targeting the end-customer with its advertisements, DeBeers has sought to assure the community of jewellers. It recently announced that it has created an immutable and secure digital trail for the selection of rough diamonds mined as they moved from the mine to cutter and polisher, then through to a jeweller. “The blockchain platform, called Tracr, will launch later this year and will be open to the industry,” it said in a press statement.
Customer confidence has been hit according to a survey that was conducted by Assocham soon after the scam. Demand for diamond jewellery could drop by 10-15 per cent as consumers worried about the fakes in the supply chain the survey reported. And this is not just because of the Nirav Modi scam, consumers are wary of the lab-grown varieties being passed off as true-blue diamonds.
Deepika Tewari, AVP-Marketing, Jewellery division, Titan says there has been a significant rise in jewellery made of low quality diamonds in the market today. “Through this campaign, Tanishq took it as a responsibility to really address the situation by bringing out pointers that consumers need to keep in mind when investing in diamonds,” she said. Apart from Tanishq’s educational thrust, even the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council has been engaged in consumer awareness and confidence building campaigns.
The need for such campaigns is even more acute outside the metros, said industry experts. In the big cities, consumers are assured about quality when they buy from branded showrooms. But the Assocham report showed, there is enough purchasing power and demand for diamonds in the smaller towns too, but buyers are worried about the authenticity of the stones and the retail outlets that that stock such jewellery.
As far as diamond campaigns go, purity is a fairly unusual pitch. Gold jewellers have used it in the past to differentiate their brands on the basis of the 24-carat promise. For diamonds, the advertising narrative has usually been around the old and worn tagline, ‘Diamonds are forever’. Ads have focused around diamonds being gifted on special occasions or purchased as hard earned rewards.
According to Tanishq, the present campaign demonstrates what consumers should look for. According to a note by the company, the campaign is meant to familiarise customers with the brand’s eight point verification and certification process.
It is not just big, national brands such as Tanishq that are using transparency and authenticity as a plank to talk to their customers. The 118-year old regional brand Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers (VBJ) recently set up a synthetic diamond screening device for its branded jewellery, which it claims is the first such effort in India. It says it uses SYNTHdetect, a machine built with support from International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR, a subsidiary of De Beers Group), which can separate natural diamonds from synthetic ones.
Amarendran Vummidi, managing director, VBJ said, “It significantly reduces the need for additional off-site testing, making it the ideal way to verify the legitimacy and trustworthiness of diamond jewellery,” he said. The global synthetic diamond market in the Asia Pacific region is estimated at $7,496 million and is predicted to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of seven per cent till 2023. Given how vast the industry is, it is impossible to track down every fake diamond in the system and Vummidi believes that it is up to the branded retailers to ensure transparency and restore consumer confidence.
Forevermark, the diamond brand from DeBeers group, has also launched a campaign to educate buyers. Sachin Jain, president, Forevermark said that they will invest in awareness campaigns across the Indian market. Speaking to the media earlier Jain had said, “There was an initial jolt (post-Nirav Modi scam) where customers were worried about quality of the diamonds. But everyone has moved on and people are back to investing in diamonds from brands they trust.” Going by the spate of recent campaigns, it does seem that there is still more time before his hopes translate into reality.