Outlook on Driving Diamond Desirability: NDC’s 2021 Imminent Projects, David Kellie

Kicking off 2021 with a partnership program for retailers, new consumer research, advertising campaign momentum and an initiative for emerging designers.

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Dear Industry Colleagues,

I would like to start out by wishing you and everybody in our industry a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021. We are all glad that 2020 is now behind us and we look forward with hope to an ever-improving year ahead. Our thoughts remain with all of those that continue to be impacted by the COVID crisis.

Here at the Natural Diamond Council, we continue to see many reasons for optimism within the industry, however counter intuitive that may appear before we near the end of the pandemic. As of today, Holiday sales in the largest markets of the world appear to have been net positive, consumer sentiment (to which I’ll refer to later in this letter) remains very strong, and our industry has reacted quickly to upgrade its digital capabilities. All of which points to a longer-term recovery for the diamond jewelry sector.

To support this recovery, I would like to take this opportunity to advise you of a number of new initiatives that we will be launching in the next few weeks.

The Third Phase of the NDC strategy will see us create deeper and more complete partnerships with retailers around the world. Our partners, both bricks & mortar and online, have a critical role to play in both inspiring and educating consumers. Their capabilities impact on both the short term and long-term success of the industry. At the NDC we are fortunate to have the resources and expertise to support retailers and our new program offers advertising, education and digital content opportunities on a scale not previously offered. We have successfully pre-launched the program with a very positive response and so we will soon be announcing the full launch to the retail industry in the US, followed shortly after in China, India, and other markets of the world.

Next week we will also be announcing the results of consumer research conducted in the US in the final quarter of 2020. Specifically targeting the Millennial and Gen Z audience, the research set out to understand the desirability and purchase motivations of this younger audience, enabling us to ensure that we, as an industry, are adapting our message and business model to maximize opportunities with future generations. Despite the pandemic, or because of it, desirability of diamonds remains very high amongst this audience with real diamond jewelry being number 2 only to travel when it comes to choices on which to spend discretionary expenditure. This and other key data from the research are all very positive and we look forward to sharing it in more detail shortly.

Before the end of January, we will be launching an important project that seeks to encourage and support emerging jewelry designers from communities that have historically not had access to the resources, finances and networks required to build a successful business in the diamond jewelry industry. At the NDC, we value diversity and commit to playing an active role in promoting inclusivity and equal opportunities for all, within our own operations, among our collaborators and across the wider industry. Developing talent from diverse backgrounds is critical for the success of any business, particularly in creative industries and I am proud of the work being done by our team in conjunction with our partners to give real support to these emerging designers. As the initiative develops, you will be seeing and hearing from the talent that we are supporting.

Finally, we continue to invest in our advertising campaign featuring Ana De Armas through 2021, focusing on key purchase periods of Valentine’s Day / Chinese New Year and Mother’s Day. Ana also has a number of high-profile movies launch this year which will add to the awareness of the campaign.

We look forward to accelerating our progress in 2021 and sharing with you a number of new initiatives as we advance through the year.