De Beers: How the Slogan “A Diamond is Forever ” Took Over the Chinese Jewelry Market

A diamond is Forever

De Beers is a diamond giant on an international scale. Founded by Cecil John Rhodes in 1888, De Beers has 134 years of history and currently running in diamond mining, diamond sourcing, diamond retail, diamond trading, and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. In the 1980s, De Beers even held 90% of the global rough diamond market.

Diamond rough stone

De Beers: A diamond is Forever Marketing Strategy

If there is a milestone in the development of the diamond industry, then it would be the year 1847 when De Beers launched the slogan “A diamond is forever”. They promoted this slogan with a video starting with “How else could two months salary last forever? A diamond is forever. De Beers.” This simple tagline totally changed the face of the jewelry market, especially in China. In 1940, only 10% of first-time brides were receiving diamond engagement rings, while in 1990 that number skyrocketed to 80%.

In 1993, De Beers decided to enter the Chinese market and started to collect Chinese translations of the slogan “A diamond is forever” in China. After half a year of collecting and comparing, the vision from a University teacher “钻石恒久远,一颗永流传” was selected. With a perfect translation, this slogan started a revolution in the wedding tradition in China.

de beers chinese jewelry
A diamond is Forever, De Beers

Why the Slogan Worked so Well in China

The translation of the slogan in Chinese highlighted that the diamond can keep its value forever, which directly fits the preference of Chinese customers. As an agricultural country, Chinese people had the habit to save money for bad harvests as well as war or disease. This is why ancient Chinese jewelry is always made with precious materials like gold, silver, or jade so that they can sell it in case of a financial emergency.

As a result, when De Beers came with their diamond and the slogan, Chinese customers were seduced: this investment asset was the highest proof of love. With 10 years of promotion, diamond rings successfully took the place of gold and jade jewelry and became a must-have for weddings. In 2022, Chinese consumers still favor De Beers for engagement rings. Above the current sales, the slogan is still echoing in China.

Write your Own Story in China

With more than 10 years of experience on the Chinese market, GMA is a digital marketing agency located in Shanghai and in Paris. Trusted by hundreds of brands, we get a higher expertise in the management of luxury and fashion brands.

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