David Kellie, NDC CEO Exclusive Interview To Mines To Market On Digital Strategy “Only Natural Diamond’
Q. What is the mission of the NDC launch?
A. The primary reason for re-establishing and relaunching the organization’s identity and brand is to be truly consumer-centric and clearly focused on representing natural diamonds: both the product and the industry. The new name states the singular focus and the word ‘Council’ better conveys the integrity, authority, stringent standards, and the accountability of all the organizations that contribute to it. The NDC will promote the desirability of natural diamonds and be the trusted resource and authority for both consumers and the industry. The consumer-facing platform has been repositioned under the brand name Only Natural Diamonds’ (OND), a definitive digital destination for natural diamonds. The aim of OND is to inspire, educate, and protect consumers by inspiring and being an insightful authority on the world of natural diamonds.
Q. Going by the current economic climate, how ‘Only Natural Diamonds’ brand can connect with millennial young buyers?
A. Young buyers today are looking out for brands that are embracing authenticity, naturality, sustainability, purposefulness, and timelessness, the very same values that drive our industry. They attach greater personal meaning to every luxury good purchase, and even more so if they are buying something for a loved one. Natural diamonds are inherently timeless and represent conscious luxury. We want to connect with the consumer on a level playing field as, in an attempt of appreciating all things natural, they look to buy fewer but better-quality items carrying timeless, heirloom value.
Q. How this digital strategy ‘Only Natural diamond’ reinforces the legacy and heritage of natural diamonds?
A. We want diamonds to be the ultimate symbol of life’s most significant moments, an authentic source of creative inspiration and self-expression, the purest embodiment of our relationships. The OND website, which will have a mix of Indian and international articles, will act as the go-to destination for innovative content, developed in partnership with top-in-class creative partners. Featuring esteemed contributors from editorial jewelry veterans to emerging talent from the worlds of jewelry and publishing, we will team up with subject-matter experts to lend us a voice of authority. The website offers insightful coverage under six key pillars connecting the natural diamond world. Through the content resting under each of these pillars, we will highlight the inherent value and timeless legacy of natural diamonds from the past, while showcasing their versatility through the latest diamond jewellery trends and designs
Q. How will this digital platform create opportunities for retailers of natural diamonds?
A. We have not only focussed on consumers but also in the process of launching trade-specific initiatives for our retail partners. We have our own retailer portal where we are extending an opportunity to retailers to join forces with us in our endeavor to build the natural diamond dream in India. This portal gives them a chance to become NDC ambassadors and get unlimited free access to best-in-class marketing assets that can be leveraged in-store and on digital platforms. An e-learning platform was created with a purpose to help the retail sales force of the industry to upskill and empower them by sharing resources and knowledge on natural diamonds. We have also included a feature ‘Find a Retailer’ on our website for consumers to find a trusted local jeweller who offers a wide range of high-quality natural diamonds. Our wish is to make natural diamonds aspirational and uphold the desirability for consumers and the trade fraternity plays an important role in this journey.
Q. How will this digital platform (NDC website) address the sustainability and ethical practices of the producers?
A. The natural diamond industry is driven by values such as naturality, sustainability, and purposefulness. The Natural diamond council website enlists the sustainability pledges undertaken by NDC members that are realistic, measurable, and impactful to support United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Natural Diamond Council (NDC) members go through years of planning when they work with governments, local and regional communities, and indigenous populations and all these efforts will be highlighted in the content we create.
Q. Can we get an overview of the six key pillars and how these six key pillars will connect the natural diamond world? / What can we expect from the newly designed site in the coming years and how it is different from the previous one?
A. The website offers insightful coverage under six key pillars connecting the natural diamond world – ‘Epic Diamonds’ covering the magic and mystery around legendary diamonds ‘Hollywood & Pop Culture’- focusing on diamonds in cinema, celebrity and red-carpet style ‘Love & Diamonds- talk about Diamonds in modern love, marriage, and commitment across cultures.’ ‘Style & Innovation- showcases most creative, stylish, and innovative talents working with natural diamonds’ ‘Inside the Diamond World’ A behind-the-scenes look at the people, places, and positive impact of the industry and Diamonds 101-collection of educational articles, historical background and shopping information on natural diamonds. All this being communicated by experts in their own fields will provide a level of credibility and lend a voice of authority to all the content uploaded by us.
- Our aim is to create a natural diamond dream. We want natural diamonds to be the ultimate symbol of life’s most significant moments, an authentic source of creative inspiration and self-expression, and the purest embodiment of our relationships.
Q. How the new website will reposition diamonds as a luxury item, in competition with luxury accessories and experiences?
A. With the new website, we want to create emotional dreams for natural diamonds that are exciting and culturally relevant. The website gives us an opportunity to celebrate values like uniqueness, authenticity, authority, extraordinary meaning and innovation – all of which are relevant to an audience that desires luxury products
Q. Can lab-grown diamonds give tough competition to natural diamonds?
A. Lab-grown diamonds are a different product for a different target audience. Natural diamonds will continue to evoke deep emotions while remaining timeless and rest within the aspirational luxury category. Our focus is on building the values of natural diamonds for our consumers
- This lockdown has meant that consumers are unable to interact with their loved ones to the extent that they would like to. As people stay home, their appreciation for the environment and all things natural is growing. When the scenario changes, they are going to crave avenues to express their love and affection in multiple ways. Natural diamonds are the ultimate symbol of love, so what better way to celebrate your relationships than with a gift of a billion-year-old, one-of-a-kind natural diamond?
- As consumers emerge with a sense of gratitude, they will also become more conscious about every choice they make. Slow fashion is going to be the new normal, and natural diamonds fit in perfectly with this concept. They are versatile, they never go out of style, their sparkle never fades and they can be used on both traditional and contemporary wear. As people choose fewer but finer things, they will look for heirloom pieces that they can pass on, and eternal natural diamond jewellery is the perfect way to do just that.