As a newcomer to the jewelry industry, synthetic diamond is taking some market share of natural diamonds with their lower price and sustainable concept. However, synthetic diamonds are facing some backlash in the Chinese market. How to survive in China is currently an important question for synthetic diamond jewelry brands.
What is a Synthetic Diamond?
Synthetic diamonds are lab-grown diamonds with the same chemical composition and physical properties as natural diamonds. Since they are grown under control, synthetic diamonds usually have relatively high quality in color and clarity but are only roughly 1/6 the price of natural diamonds.
The Quick History of Synthetic Diamond
The history of synthetic diamonds can be traced back to the 1950s when Union Carbide produced the first Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds in 1952. It was followed by another method called the high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) method, but they are mostly produced for industrial use. Until the 2000s, gem-quality synthetic diamonds are created with the CVD method while colorless synthetic diamonds are available in commercial quantities by the mid-2010s.
The Sustainable Concept of Synthetic Diamonds for Western Countries
Compared to natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds do not need to be mined which avoided the ethical problem in the diamond mining process. These laboratory stones are better from a social perspective but also from an environmental perspective. Synthetic diamonds reduce pollution and damage caused by mines. This became a strong advantage when promoted in western countries. But in China, this unique selling point is not working the same way.
The Challenges of Synthetic Diamonds in the Chinese market
Diamond jewelry got popular in China since the entry of De Beers with their slogan “A diamond is forever”. Chinese customers are still attracted by the idea that the value of diamonds can be kept forever. This idea boosted the diamond industry but became a challenge for synthetic diamonds. With the development of manufacturing techniques, the price of synthetic diamonds is definitely going to drop, leading to an important value loss.
On the other hand, Chinese customers are never huge fans of sustainable jewelry. Sustainable concepts can be a plus to jewelry, but not the main drive for a purchase decision.
How can Synthetic Diamonds Survive in China?
The positioning for synthetic diamonds is very important, brands are losing their advantage when they are trying to take the diamond market. The main strategy is to take this marketing positioning the other way around. Instead of targeting diamond lovers, trying to cut in the fine jewelry industry can be a nice option to avoid the argument between natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds.
Use Social Media and PR to Promote your Sustainable Concept
The sustainable concept of synthetic diamonds needs to be promoted slowly on social media. Chinese customers usually have a slow attitude toward sustainable concepts, which needs brands to take advantage of Chinese social media to warm the topic up. The main social media to target a young and sustainable-driven audience will be:
- WeChat: Write long articles with push notifications with insights about sustainable jewelry
- Little Red Book: Share your content with market education posts about synthetic diamonds
- Douyin: Work with KOLs and influencers with a strong community dedicated to sustainability
Creating topics on social media can slowly bring sustainable concepts to your Chinese audience and eventually lead to a new trend in the Chinese jewelry market. You will need to combine your social media operations with a PR campaign to have institutional marketing around your brand. For instance, you can get press releases in Vogue China and ELLE China to talk about your history and collections.
Found yourself interested in the Chinese jewelry market and want some professional support? Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation about your brand and collections.
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