ALROSA is planning to launch marketing programs promoting Russian-mined diamonds, chief executive officer Andrey Zharkov said Monday.
The company will run pilot programs in key markets this year, marking the first time it is engaging in direct marketing of its own, he noted.
The Russian miner is one of seven member companies of the Diamond Producers Association, which is mandated to produce generic marketing on behalf of the industry, but until now has shied away from running its own advertising campaigns.
However, Zharkov recognized the need for the industry to increase its efforts to raise consumer demand.
“High-value, competing alternatives have fared better than diamond jewelry over the last decade,” he said during International Diamond Week in Israel. “We all need to increase our marketing effort. Over the next few years, it’s one of the strategic goals of the industry to increase demand at the consumer level.”
Zharkov noted that millennial consumers were looking for assurances regarding the authenticity of their purchases, and that traceability programs were consequently gaining momentum. Tracing and promotion of natural diamonds are also necessary to protect the supply chain from undisclosed synthetic diamonds illegally making their way in, he added.
ALROSA is therefore participating in the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)’s “mine to market” program, Zharkov reported. The program combines the highest level of authentication and information about the entire life cycle and processing of a diamond, starting from mining the gem and ending in jewelry manufacturing, he explained.
The new marketing and branding programs represent a slight departure for the mining company, which has previously driven growth by focusing on raising diamond production. He reiterated ALROSA’s plan to increase production 5 percent to 39 million carats in 2017, adding that the company expects to sell all the diamonds it recovers this year at relatively stable average prices.
Zharkov stressed that the miner was working to strengthen its brand both at the consumer level and within the trade. As part of its engagement in the trading centers, it recently renamed its regional sales offices to bear its name. Whereas the Israel office, for example, was previously known as Arcos Diamonds Israel, it is now ALROSA Israel, he said.
“It’s very important for us to support the different diamond centers,” he stated. “We recently renamed our office so that there’s no mistake who you are dealing with. It’s part of our brand development.”