De Beers

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NThis case is about De Beers which is not only a diamond company but represents the diamond industry as a whole. De Beers successfully launched diamonds in Asian market, making Japan, the second largest diamond markets in the world. Its diamond as a ‘gift of love’ model was successful in Korea and Singapore as well. But the changing social & economic environment in late 1990s and its entry in China with the same ‘gift for love’ model opened the eyes of De Beers marketers. The question was whether De Beers' positioning of diamonds as symbols of love was right or wrong. Whether women were attaching love quotient to diamond or it was something else. De Beers imposed its global positioning as it is without accounting for cultural differences. But, in the changing environment of 1998 in Asia, this approach became a setback for the company. Various myths were shattered. Primarily, diamond market has men as customers and women as consumers. But in Asia, things were different. Also, ‘love’ was not the only reason for purchase and even love had several meanings. The case reflects upon the diversity of consumers' behaviour across countries and cultures, and the need for recognizing and appreciating these differences when launching new products in the new markets.

1. Based on the case data, and looking forward, how should De Beers market its products in Japan? in China? In other parts of Asia? In Europe? In the USA?

Japan –
Continue focus on higher income groups and age gp 35-55 yrs. Position diamond as daily wear luxury product. Introduce more designs that fit well with the dressing norms.

China –
Considering the evolution of strong middle class, De Beers should go for higher mkt penetration. Low cost designs that can be used regularly should be introduced. Tieups with local chains and availability of pdt in small cities to be started. In big cities, a separate & exclusive mktg channel for high end customers.

Reducing purchase barriers as...
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