Still on the defensiveMay 10, 19
This past week, I spent three days in my native Netherlands on "family business." To stock up on "Dutch essentials," I visited my regular branch of Jumbo, the Netherlands' second-largest grocer. I go there because Jumbo sells the excellent cheeses of a local farm, as well as a choice of locally produced organic products I like to fill my suitcase with.
While a huge chain, Jumbo allows and encourages its franchises to strike - often deep - local roots by integrating themselves in the local economy and community. This policy resonates very well with local consumers and is proactively explained as an effort to support the local suppliers, reduce the carbon footprint of the stores' product inventory and, finally, to cater to the buying public's suggestions and expressed preferences.
I was again reminded of this refreshing approach when I read in the newsletter of the US' National Retail Federation that next week Tim Hehenkamp, Executive Director Data and Personalisation of Jumbo will be drilling down into the hows and whys behind Jumbo's best practice decisions that have made loyal customers happier and boosted their bottom line at the World Retail Congress on May 14, in Amsterdam.
Obviously, Jumbo's approach strikes a note. By looking at the market and by listening to the consumer, the company consequently flexes its marketing muscles. It has learned to mold, mix and targets its product offering - in full cooperation with the local franchise - such that it can maximize its local sales. So simple and so impressive!
I was still thinking of this when on the plane ride back I looked - again - at the Diamond Producers Association's (DPA) report entitled The Socioeconomic and Environmental Impact of Large-Scale Diamond Mining. (Click here to download the report.) Published earlier this week, the report has generated a lot of coverage in the trade press and general business media
Some truly wonderful stuff has come out of the research that was conducted. With its additional "Total Clarity" report https://totalclarity.naturaldiamonds.com/TotalClarityReport.pdf the DPA has produced an encompassing document that can be categorized as an excellent corporate and social responsibility report covering the activities of the DPA's seven members.
The DPA has declared proudly that the reports mark an industry first. "Diamond producing companies representing three quarters of the world's production have come together to provide a window into the impacts and benefits of their activities on the communities and environments of the countries and regions in which they operate," the DPA's CEO said. As the report effectively covers all the topics that will help stave off any attacks by the diamond industry's opponents, it is all about the defense of the industry.
Are any of these documents the result of the DPA's conversation with the consumer? I cannot find any proof that the consumer has asked for any of this.The DPA reportedly has a budget of more than $70 million at its disposal for 2019. I truly hope that in a next round, our industry may welcome an as detailed, forward-looking report about the DPA's conversation with the consumer. After all, we're all eager to learn what consumers want, and what tools are offered to the industry to boost consumer desire for diamonds and diamond jewelry in the various markets.
In closing, if you have not yet read the cover story of this month's edition of IDEX Magazine, maybe you can find some time to do so this weekend? The May cover story is about those generic diamond promotion campaigns you have not heard about. To read, go to the IDEX home page and click on the Magazine icon at the bottom. I'd love to hear your feedback!