But people who’ve been there know that JCK is much more than a simple tradeshow. Industry leaders from the entire diamond pipeline and from around the world come to inspire and be inspired. There, a mere conversation can change the course of thousands of diamond businesses.
Therefore, we can learn a great deal about the future of the industry from the mere words uttered there. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but not when it comes to JCK’s most popular buzzwords; they will reshape the diamond industry as we know it.
The Buzzwords and the Key Takeaways
The most popular buzzwords spoken at this year's JCK event were; Metaverse, Sustainability, Transparency, AI Grading, Web3, NFT, Digital Data, Traceability, Customization, and Branding. Does this list surprise you? Probably not.
If you attended the event, you must have heard most of them in the opening keynote presentation sponsored by Sarine. There, Swan Sit, former Global Head of Digital Marketing for Nike, Estée Lauder, and Revlon, delved deep into the Metaverse, NFT, and Web3. Or perhaps you heard them in the Sarine lounge when discussing end-to-end traceability solution and digital reports with Matthew or Michael. But even if you didn’t get to attend JCK this year, we see these buzzwords all over recently and from different players in the pipeline; in magazines, webinars, social media chatter, events, and hallway conversations. But how does one practically put these buzzwords to use, and what is the core need behind them?
After showcasing Sarine’s latest technology at JCK 2022, Matthew Tratner, General Manager and Vice President of Sarine North America, offered the insights he gained, “All of these buzzwords are, in fact, tools. They are a means to an end. Most businesses in the diamond industry are now searching for ways to increase efficiency, add value to diamonds, build brand trust, build a community and create brand loyalty,” Matthew says.
Furthermore, through these words, we can learn about the ways the industry will go about reaching those needs, what are the current challenges most are facing today, the goals, and what the future of the industry will look like.
“Today, retailers’ brands take a back seat in most diamond reports that feature only the name of the grading lab in a visually-limited way,” Matthew says. “In exchange for the confidence a grading lab provides, retailers are giving up a chance to elevate their brand with customization, personalization, and innovation.”
However, the rumblings of change are being heard everywhere. Retailers are waking up to the realization that they can take back what they gave and even earn more. With AI-based solutions, retailers today can also increase their profit margins, accelerate time to market, and overall elevate the retail experience, and Matthew certainly sensed that at JCK. “People see now that there’s a different way to sell diamonds,” he says. They can do more business and keep more of the reward in a way that wasn’t possible 7-10 years ago; they are now realizing that, and we will see greater adoption of new technological solutions across the pipeline.”
Revolution or Evolution?
"This year’s JCK was special. From my time socializing at JCK in the Sarine lounge, a few words repeatedly came up in conversation that did not fit the traditional sense of the diamond industry. That made me realize that we are in a time of change and openness to new paths forward,“ Matthew recalls.
Whether it is because of the pandemic or the upcoming recession, the war in Ukraine, or other world-changing events that occurred in recent years, in the midst of every crisis lie seeds of opportunity and progress. But does this surprising turnaround stem from the emergence of a specific platform or technology that is revolutionizing the industry, or does this stem from a gradual transformation that spans years?
Matthew believes we are witnessing an evolution of how diamonds are begin sold. “I feel like we’re at a point where we’re evolving to a new way to do business,” he says. "Of course, you have a way of doing business for many many years, and it’s only natural that times like these will make you start questioning it."
A long-term organic evolution naturally takes time, and from JCK it’s evident that people in the industry are opening their eyes to new ways of doing business. “The big moments at JCK for me were when I sat with a retailer, and he suddenly fully realized all the great things Sarine can bring to his business. I’m genuinely enthusiastic about the way we were welcomed to people’s businesses as a new and more efficient way of working, and it felt like an organic way of evolving.“
What’s dangerous is not to evolve. The ones that are now taking advantage of the new technologies, trends, or buzzwords, if you will, are going to have a real advantage.