Apparently, chocolate, champagne and cognac are the new brown; if we’re talking diamonds, that is. Celebrities and women with a bit of cash to spend are rushing to get their hands on these brown gems, the latest must-have item of jewellery.

After all, those words that are now used to describe these brown diamonds – champagne, cognac, chocolate – conjure up feelings of indulgence and decadence, a real treat.

It seems, though, that the rise of the brown diamond is actually a very clever marketing ploy.

Historically, brown diamonds are the most common colour variety of natural diamonds and also the least valuable, with the majority being used in industry rather than in expensive jewellery.

A recent news article in the Daily Mail, reports that jewellers are “fooling women” by creating a buzz around these less valuable stones, which are often now priced at a similar level to the traditionally more valuable white diamond.

But are they really fooling women or has this just been a clever marketing campaign by jewellers with an abundance of brown diamonds?

Traditionally these were industrial diamonds but now they are a la mode. How have they been changing the perception of these once unpopular stones?

Jewellers have been running marketing and PR campaigns with these elements:

  • Getting celebrities to wear them at key red carpet events, therefore establishing them as the must-have jewellery of the moment.
  • Rebranding them and changing their names to something more appealing. Out with brown, in with chocolate, cognac and champagne.
  • Giving them a similar price tag to other coloured and clear diamonds, creating the impression they are valuable.
  • Separating them from their industrial heritage. When people are buying brown diamond jewellery, no mention is made of the fact these are the most commonly occurring diamonds.

 As with so many things, items are often worth what people are willing to pay for them.

The marketers in the diamond industry saw an opportunity to create and then build on a “new trend” and went for it.

The lesson for other marketers? When you are next faced with one of your products or services which is low-value and in low demand, think laterally and see if you can take it from industrial and common to sought-after and valuable; like the humble brown diamond.

By Morwenna Tudor, Marketing and PR consultant at KMS Marketing

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