Graff Diamonds Corp. is hoping to become more user-friendly.
The brand, known for oversize yet elegant diamonds, has revamped its Web site in order to attract a broader customer base.
“We had a Web site, but it definitely had to be updated and show the company in a better light than it had in the past,” Graff president and chief executive officer Henri Barguirdjian told WWD. “The brand needs the exposure, and the public needs to have access to what the brand is about, a fuller dialogue.”
Working with the Camber Group, an independent digital creative agency based in London, where the luxury firm is headquartered, Graff created a comprehensive site that details everything from the diamond mining process and sourcing to how the brand analyzes a diamond’s worth and how it designs a collection. While customers can’t make purchases online, they can inquire about pricing on the site and be connected with a Graff salesperson.
In addition to showcasing current jewelry and watch lines, Graff retells the stories behind how it has acquired its most famous jewels, such as the Lesotho Promise, a 603-carat rough diamond that the brand bought in 2006 for $12.4 million.
The brand is currently working on a mobile version of the site and plans to roll out the Web site in several different languages. First up will be simplified and traditional Chinese in the next few months. Arabic, Japanese and Russian will follow.
The company cautioned that it would not be jumping into the world of social media, as it prefers to maintain an air of exclusivity.
“Our clientele loves the confidential aspect and the high-end plush aspect of the transaction, if you will, versus going out on social media,” said Barguirdjian, who admitted that the relaunch is part of a greater strategy for the company to increase awareness and sales.
Indeed, the Web site rollout mirrors Graff’s expansion plans. The brand, which has doors in the Far East in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Taipei, plans to open new locations this year in Macau and Hangzhou in China, as well as additional stores in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
“We’re going to remain faithful to what we are. Having said that, we continue to grow our brand,” Barguirdjian said. “Our focus, for obvious reasons, is Southeast Asia. We’ve barely scratched the surface with store growth.”
While the jeweler, which has a fleet of 24 stores worldwide, is focusing on Asia, Barguirdjian said it hasn’t experienced any resistance from its wealthy clientele.
But recently, the brand made headlines for pulling its initial public offering in Hong Kong last month, citing “adverse market conditions.” Investors largely agreed that the London-based jeweler’s sky-high price, which would have valued the company at around $3.48 billion, also played a major role.
Still, since the recession, Graff has experienced strong growth, as consumers increasingly see diamond and gold jewelry as an investment.
“Since the economic downturn of 2008, our sales have dramatically increased, which shows that our clients are looking for the finest, best diamonds that they can find,” the ceo explained. “They realize that the value of diamonds have increased so dramatically compared to anything else.”