The Importance of Branding

Recently we launched our own brand diamonds – Crossfire, representing both the best cut and best value diamond in Australia. Up until then, we sold diamonds as diamonds, that is, the customers were sold a diamond and a certificate. Nothing else. What we’ve found is that the difference between selling branded diamonds vs non-branded diamonds is phenomenal.

By definition, a brand is a representation of both the functional and emotional aspects of a product – that is people buy branded products for their features or quality, as well as the emotional recognition that comes with the brand.

In order to best illustrate the difference between a branded product and a generic product, we bought two bottles of cola.

Cola

The bottle of Coca-Cola cost $2.85, whilst the bottle of generic cola cost $1.23 – a huge price difference, considering the bottle of generic cola is 2.25 litres, whilst the Coca-Cola is only 2 litres.

So just how does Coca-Cola manage to outsell the generic brand whilst charging over double what the generic brand is selling at?

One can only assume it is due, but not limited to the following factors:

  • People trust Coca-Cola to give them a quality product every time they buy their product. With the generic brand, some people may have either heard of or had a bad experience in the past.
  • Some people can differentiate between the taste of various colas and like the taste of Coca-Cola.
  • Coca-Cola is recognised as a leading brand of cola, therefore buying Coca-Cola conforms with social norms, whereas the generic brand is seen as “cheap”.
  • The shape of the bottle makes it a lot easier to handle.

However, the generic brand lists, no less than two times on the front of the bottle that the quality of the product is guaranteed, and if you’re not happy with it, then you can get your money back.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it?

Generic vs Crossfire

However, above is pictured are two ways that we’ve sold diamonds. On the left is a DCLA certificate in a diamond packet, representing how we used to sell diamonds, and on the right is one of our Crossfire boxes with a GIA certificate. Despite heavy assurances, and words like “internationally recognised” on the DCLA certificate, it’s clear from the past months’ sales of Crossfire diamonds that branding based on cut, extra features and the time honoured trust of a GIA certificate is a clear winner.

So whilst diamond merchants may think that their diamonds, as well as the certificates that go with them are the greatest things since sliced bread, what really matters is what consumers think.

3 Responses to “The Importance of Branding”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Hi, really interesting what you say about branding vs non-branding. I would be interested in your view as to how this all fits in with efforts to commoditise diamonds (eg, through the Rapaport auctions).
    Thanks
    Stephen

  2. Nikhil Says:

    Hi Stephen
    The further a retailer can get away from the commodity (eg diamond with a certificate), the more successful they will be. For example, a retailer offering a unique or custom designed engagement ring with a branded diamond and hearts and arrows melee will likely be more successful than a retailer selling just diamonds with certificates.
    Of course there are many ways retailers can offer unique products.

  3. Kent D. Thai Says:

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