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Martin Rapaport Says Put America First

Oct 28, 2014 12:48 PM   By Brian Bossetta
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RAPAPORT... Putting America first and stressing the importance of adding value in the U.S. diamond and jewelry market was the cornerstone of a presentation by Martin Rapaport, the chairman of the Rapaport Group, to members  of the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA), American Gem Society (AGS) and other industry groups on October 27 in Manhattan.
“The U.S. market is often taken for granted,” Rapaport said. “But it’s so important to the industry.” He added that the U.S.  is the “primary place” for the last 18 inches — a designation that refers to the retail counter and the final distance that a diamond travels over it’s long journey from mine to consumer — and it leads the world in “adding value” to diamond products that consumers buy.
Making customers happy, Rapaport said, is the “name of the game” for diamond dealers and retailers and that, he added, is “the cornerstone of the American market.”
At a time when some banks are pulling out of the diamond business, dealers must generate sales and not look to those institutions for extra money. The future, Rapaport said, is in “creating your own demand” in the U.S. and not relying  demand  from China and India, where it is  unpredictable and waning.
Branding, utilizing social media, championing ethics, communicating value to customers and “distinguishing yourself” from competitors are key to success, in Rapaport’s view. Dealers must also invest in and develop those practices in order to survive and thrive in today’s increasingly challenging and disruptive business environment. “Go deeper,” he said. “Don’t just sell diamonds, sell relationships.”

Tags: 18 inches, adding value, Brian Bossetta, diamonds, DMIA, Jewelry, marketing
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