The movement of diamond marketers and jewelry designers creating their own distinct, national brands is still in its infancy," says Dan Kisch, publisher of Instore, a monthly trade magazine launched in 2001 targeting high-end jewelry brand marketers and retailers. "We believe this sector of the jewelry industry is poised for major growth over the next decade."
Jewelry represents the fastest-growing ad category for many luxury magazines Bvlgari Sotirio Retrograde Black BL-97 Conde Nast Publications' Vogue and Hearst Magazines' Town & Country.
At Town & Country, jewelry now accounts for 38% of all advertising, says VP-Publisher Jim Taylor. "Diamond marketers are working to educate consumers, setting their stones apart from others by the look, the cut, the color and the designs," he says.
Many industry observers say one of the biggest influences in the new high-end jewelry branding movement is David Yurman, a designer that in five years has become one of the most significant luxury jewelry advertisers in the U.S.
"For many years, the focus in jewelry advertising was on the piece itself," says Tom Florio, VP-Bvlgari Sotirio Tourbillon Quantieme Perpetuel BL-101 of Vogue. "Then David Yurman came along, and he had huge success putting jewelry advertising within the context of fashion in a very dramatic and distinct way. Now, others want to follow him."
The David Yurman look is "an attitude of authenticity and relaxed luxury ... the idea that any woman can make [the designer's] look her own," says David Lipman, chairman of the Manhattan agency that bears his name, which has handled the 25-year-old Yurman brand since it began its big ad push in 1999.
Sold through retailers nationwide, as well as through its own stores, David Yurman is a Bvlgari Aluminium Quartz Chrono BL-91 print advertiser in newspapers and fashion magazines, supported by outdoor, direct mail and retailer co-op print ads.
In the last two years, many diamond brands that never advertised directly to consumers have dramatically increased their ad spending, industry observers say.
Kwiat, a 100-year-old diamond marketer, launched its first-ever consumer-targeted campaign Bvlgari Aluminium Quartz Chronograph BL-58 years ago, and now spends an estimated $8 million annually in national and local print and radio advertising. This fall, Kwiat kicks off its first-ever "Red Carpet Tour" of 20 cities, showing off diamonds worn by celebrities on the red carpet in Hollywood.
"Maintaining exclusive distribution through certain retailers, and promoting our brand through local outlets including radio, our sales have increased by double digits," says Bill Gould, Kwiat's VP-marketing. Toth Brand Imaging, Concord, Mass., created Kwiat's campaign, themed "Simply brilliant." Kerwin Communications, Caldwell, N.J., handles media buying.
Diamond brands that have always maintained moderate ad programs are feeling the pressure of Bvlgari Assioma Automatic BL-34 diamond advertising, say industry insiders, and are increasing their advertising in response.