What is luxury to you?
Traditionally ‘luxury’ has been about quality, elegance and heritage but going forward aspects like innovation and originality will become more important. When I buy a luxury product or experience it is because it evokes feelings of joy and pleasure as well as a trust in craftsmanship and quality. For me luxury represents ease – not having to buy the same product over and over, having a signature style that I know works for me, appreciating good quality and having an emotional connection to products. Luxury is in the details of the product, the experience, the marketing, and the storytelling – it is all part of creating something with a bit of ‘soul’. I love the creativity and skill that goes into creating something that is on trend but is also timeless.
I always ascribed to a minimalist, less is more way of approaching consumption, where you appreciate things and experiences. As I am maturing luxury is even more of a feeling – the freedom of having time, feeling unrushed, being able to live on my own terms, authentically, being the best version of myself. Any product or experience that evokes that feeling and connects on a deeper level is a luxury to me.
What is the biggest priority for De Beers Jewellers right now as we move towards post-pandemic recovery?
De Beers Jewellers’ priority is to connect with the public and tell the story of natural diamonds in a new and compelling way. Diamonds are exceptional creations of nature, and we want to highlight their incredible journey from discovery to jewellery. Sustainability is key focus for us – our ‘Building Forever’ framework is both ambitious and extensive and ensures that our diamond have a positive impact on the people and places where they are discovered. We encourage clients to ask questions about diamonds, challenge dated preconceptions and join us on a journey of discovery.
We are also excited to be working on our latest High Jewellery collection that will launch in Paris during Couture in July 2022. These spectacular pieces are true works of art – they are magical! De Beers Jewellers has many iconic Fine Jewellery collections like Enchanted Lotus and Talisman – we want to re-energize these collections through deeper storytelling, partnerships, events, and all the wonderful ways PR can now work again post-pandemic.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the famous tagline ‘A Diamond is Forever’ coined for De Beers by copywriter Mary Frances Garetty. I love that story because I imagine her a bit like a diamond. Being a female copywriter at that time must have been a lot of pressure but she created something brilliant that influences consumer imagination to this day. At De Beers we want to empower women, both within the organization, but also externally. Wearing our jewellery should make you feel empowered and ready to take on the world – our designs, campaigns and PR efforts are all there to make people feel empowered, joyful and connected.
What trends are shaping the luxury experience industry?
Luxury experiences are now shaped by innovation – we see so much movement in the digital sphere. The ability of brands to create a ‘phygital’ experience that seamlessly merges the physical experience with the digital will be a great advantage.
Sustainability but also current world events will shape luxury – ostentatious displays of wealth and privilege are a thing of the past, but consumers are still looking for positive escapism. Something that brings joy and makes us appreciate the good things in life, while allowing us to consume more mindfully. Brands have more responsibility now in terms of how their products are made – consumer will want to know how people and places are impacted by their consumption choices. Personally, I think these developments in the industry are very positive.
There is also a nostalgia for the 90s and 00s now – what I love about the luxury industry is its ability to draw from the past without loosing sight of the future. It is a spirit of optimism – that we can be inspired by these iconic decades but create something new and exciting.
What brands do you most admire for their communications and marketing initiatives and why?
I admire brands that make their marketing and communications campaigns seamless, almost unconscious, and subtle. Every time I leave the Chanel make up counter, I know I have been “effectively marketed to”! I did not really need what I bought, but the brand keeps capturing me through media, digital platforms, friends, storytelling, and a playfulness that makes me want to engage. It is lighthearted – I feel like they are very good at building desirability and a rapport with consumers. The appeal is universal. Hermes has a similar way of playfully catching your attention and inviting you into their universe.
Currently there is so much information that fights for our attention – it is more difficult than ever to market effectively and tell a brand story in a way that does not just grab attention but prompts consumer action. I studied psychology and neuroscience, so I continue to be fascinated by the forces that move us – here I think the luxury industry has an advantage. Luxury brands are good at tapping into some of our deepest emotions – and it is emotions that move us.