I just came across a must read article for anyone interested in creating new markets. The article is about De Beers and how they used marketing to help create new markets for their diamonds. The article is even more intriguing when you realize it was written in 1982. Since then, the diamond markets have grown by leaps and bounds. De Beers is no longer the monopoly it once was, but that’s not the point.
The point is, very early on De Beers worked to create the “need” for diamonds. Almost every week there is some founder of a startup talking about creating a new market for your product. De Beers is the ultimate in making this happen…compressed carbon into cash.
Several interesting facts from the article:
– The slogan “A Diamond is Forever” was chosen because they wanted people to think of diamonds as family heirlooms and kept in safes as opposed to being sold on the open market
– In just 14 years, De Beers erased a 1,500 year tradition in Japan with the introduction of the diamond engagement ring
– The “Eternity Rings” campaign came about when Russians mines were producing smaller diamonds that were not high quality. So they took 20 of these diamonds and set them into a ring and called it the “Eternity Ring” – brilliant
I’m still waiting to hear from the team that created the “Two month salary” campaign for De Beers…they have some explaining to do.