JHF 24K outing 2022-cropped

Jeffrey Fischer

Honorary IDMA President

Shooting for the moon

January 12, 2023 – The preliminary results of the 2022 holiday jewelry sales season indicate that it was a ‘mixed bag’ but that, in general, most retail jewelers were pleased with and mostly relieved about their year-end performances.

The next obvious question is: what will 2023 bring?

It naturally will all hinge on how well we market and advertise our products  – diamonds and diamond jewelry – to the consumer. More specifically – it will depend on how we imbue the consumers with desire and excitement about diamonds!

In late December, Nick Hayek, the delightfully unassuming CEO of Swatch, spoke to Bloomberg TV about the phenomenal success of the MoonSwatch, a watch based on the Omega Moonwatch.  

Hayek admitted that the rate of the MoonSwatch popularity had come as a surprise. “Of course, we did everything to make it happen, but it was a surprise!”

Asked whether the MoonSwatch was not undermining the Omega brand, Hayek said, “On the contrary. Young people are fascinated with the story of the [Omega][ Moonwatch. The watch was on the moon! Omega is doing fine, and sales [of the Omega brand] increased, he said.

How much further can luxury brands go? “Billions of young, aspiring people do not want to be excluded. All these people want to have exclusive, fine products, not commodities! We need to offer them products that express joy of life and positive provocation, adding value to the people’s life,” the Swatch CEO stated. And how do we sell luxury when people are paying high electricity bills and hunkering down economically? “Let’s talk about exclusive products that create desire and evoke emotion. That has nothing to do with price,” Hayek determined.

Hayek, of course, is correct. Without actively promoting a compelling, emotion-evoking story, we won’t get far.

Since 75 percent of the polished diamonds sold in the market are not branded, we depend on generic diamond promotion to create and sustain that desire and emotion about diamonds. Most of this is done by the Natural Diamond Council (NDC), where the diamond industry and trade’s input and involvement are minimal, as is the support it needs. We expect monumental achievements from the NDC while operating on a relatively underfunded budget.

In some ten weeks, industry colleagues will meet in Israel for the 40th World Diamond Congress. By definition, the World Diamond Congress is a biannual joint meeting of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). As united and equal partners, we convene to discuss the issues of the day in an effort to foster our common business interests. It will be a lost opportunity if we do not put on our agendas the exploration of ideas on how we might help finance the generic marketing of diamonds adequately and sustainably. Hayek is touting the success of his Moonwatch. It’s time for us to put our heads together and shoot for the moon!

It is not too late to wish all our members, industry colleagues, and other readers a happy, healthy, and harmonious 2023.

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