Get over it!July 25, 19
Some of our readers may have noticed that I am an Eagles music fan.
Last week, as I was driving north for a day of work at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), I listened, together with two young female neighbors who caught a ride with me, to the Hell Freezes Over album. This is the ultimate Eagles album, a collection of live recordings of the best of the Eagles from the 1990s. The first track on the album is the song "Get Over It."
To my surprise, these kids knew most of the songs.
"Of course we do!" one of them said. "This is an important part of historical rock and roll! We love the Eagles, the Doors, the Beatles!"
Wow, these kids know their - no, our classics!
As I am always thinking about what to write next for my weekly online Memo, I then decided to quiz them about the classics many of us make a living with: diamonds.
"What do you know about diamonds?" I asked them, after explaining briefly what I do.
"My grandma has a big diamond ring," one of the girls responded. "She keeps it in a safe though. Only wears it on special occasions."
"Diamonds are for rich people," the other said. "Why would I spend money on that? Besides, aren't diamonds causing trouble for people in Africa? I saw that movie with Leonard De Caprio last month on Netflix. Terrible!"
I had to explain to them that conflict diamond virtually were a thing of the past, and that diamonds have the potential of doing good in Africa, with the livelihood of millions of people depending on them.
They nodded, but seemed unconvinced.
"Have you heard about synthetic or lab-grown diamonds?" I then ventured to ask.
"No," said one.
"Eh, yes," the other chimed in. "Are you talking about diamonds made in a microwave? I think I saw something about it on TV."
"Have you seen anything on TV, social media or elsewhere that talks about the good diamonds do?" I asked them.
During the rest of our two-hour drive into the Tel Aviv metropole, I lectured them a little more on the topic. After dropping them off, I couldn't help but wonder if they would ever want to ride with me again?
Time and again, we're confronted with the fact that the diamond industry does not understand the world it operates in. Surely, the industry is not stating its case, nor is it being effective in promoting diamonds or telling positive, riveting stories about them to the consumer, especially to Gen Z.
A few weeks ago, the IDE proudly launched a video clip under the title "Fake Times, Real Diamonds."
The narrative tells the viewers that "We live in fake times, with fake news, with fake beauty, fake friends, fake pleasures and fake food." "Really, nothing is real?" the narrator then asks.
But he has the answer: Love is real. And yes: diamonds are real.
Only at the end, does the only real positive message appear: "I love natural diamonds."
In an IDE statement, it said: "At a time when counterfeit products and fake reproductions flood almost every market, few commodities remain as rare and exceptional as natural diamonds. In this campaign, we want to highlight the exceptional qualities of natural diamonds, as symbols of love and timelessness over the generations and throughout the world."
Unfortunately, the overly negative video doesn't say that. Instead, it caters to the sentiments of the midstream - the members of the trade - rather than to the target community - the consumers.
Consumers, however, do not respond well to negativity. On the contrary, they need positive messages that allow them change their mindset about diamonds.
The tone of the current promotional efforts designed by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) with its "Real is Rare" slogan has diverted attention from the good diamonds do, to the industry's impractical fight against lab-grown diamonds.
Turning back to the Eagles, it is time for the industry at large to "Get over it."
Get over your obsession with LGDs, we're wasting time, talent and resources fighting windmills.
There are organizations out there that should be more the focus of our efforts, such as the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF).
So here's what we CAN do:
Let's pull these positive organizations into the center of our efforts.
Let's empower, fund and support those organizations that tell stories that will resonate with the new generations of consumers and engage them.
Let's encourage the LGD-producing community to work with us to differentiate between our products. There is enough room for all of us in the market.
But most of all, the industry needs to get over its self-indulgence, start facing reality and begin investing in its own future - big time - instead of leaning back and complaining.