Dear Industry Colleagues,
I hope that this letter finds you, your colleagues, and your families all well.
As we approach the festival and holiday period, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of our strategy and to give you a first preview of the next phase of our plans.
In my last update I shared with you the progress from the first phase of our new strategy as the Natural Diamond Council. We had launched our new website in the US, China and India and had made significant progress to transform our visibility and engagement on social media platforms in each market. I am very pleased to say that this progress has continued. The engagement levels on each platform far exceed our most optimistic expectations and the traffic to our websites is close to 100 times greater than in 2019. When we set out our strategy, our target was to become the number one platform globally for sharing and celebrating the Diamond Dream and we are now a long way down the path to becoming just that.
In September we launched Phase II of our plan with our new Only Natural Diamonds advertising campaign. Featuring Ana De Armas, the campaign highlights the many moments and relationships that diamonds and diamond jewelry celebrate. The consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive and we continue to see high engagement across the many platforms on which our audience sees the campaign. Media investment will continue to grow through the balance of 2020 and, following this success, we are confidently planning our media strategies for 2021.
Based upon evidence from the major markets around the world, the new strategy of the NDC continues to support a heightened desire for natural diamonds reflected in positive growth in diamond jewelry retail sales. We anticipate that this positive news will continue through the fourth quarter and well in to 2021 and beyond.
Before the end of November, we will be launching Phase III of our strategy. This next phase will focus on our partnerships with retailers and other industry influencers. The relationship between retailers, both bricks and mortar and online, and their clients has long been the strength of our industry. Many retailers have built a relationship of personal trust over many generations. But we are now challenged as to how we continue to build this same trust amongst a younger audience that is more likely to research their purchases through digital platforms. To address this, the Natural Diamond Council will be launching a new program to partner with retailers to bring expertise, digital content and advertising in an easily accessible format to expand the reach of the Diamond Dream.
On a personal note, I remain very confident about the future of our industry. Up until now, industry partners have politely humored me as someone who is new to the industry and a little over optimistic! But all the experience that we have gained since we launched as the Natural Diamond Council confirms that young consumers still love diamonds and diamond jewelry, we just need to talk to them in the right voice. If we do so and can expand the reach of our voice, particularly as we emerge from this global crisis, then we have many amazing opportunities ahead of us.
Finally, the social values and ethics of our industry continue to resonate strongly with consumers. More and more, our industry puts social values and sustainability at the heart of our business activities, and I commend you all for the great work that has been done throughout the crisis. I encourage you to continue to share these activities with ourselves and our friends at Diamonds Do Good so that we can continue to promote the great work being done.
On behalf of the team at the Natural Diamond Council, we wish you good health and prosperous business as we head towards the end of this most unpredictable year.