True confession time – I love advertisements. I skim the news, but study the ads. My cable TV company has provided me with a neat gadget that lets me fast forward through programs so I can watch more commercials. Instead of original artwork or velvet Elvis paintings, I have framed Ivory Soap advertisement reproductions hanging on my walls.  

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day we were bombarded with advertisements about diamond rings.  By my count, about 80% of the ads were what is called benefit ads, i.e. ads that make a cause and effect promise. Usually the ad shows a man purchasing a diamond ring and getting kissed by a pretty girl, with a hint there is more to follow. Sometimes there is even a tag line such as “Every kiss begins with …”.   

About 20% of the ads were feature-focused. A very serious sounding narrator talks earnestly about such features as cut, clarity and carats. 

The obvious problem with the benefit ad is that usually it’s kissing that leads to the purchase of the diamond ring, seldom is buying the diamond the primary causal agent. If it were, my guess is the stores would be jammed. Probably not one man in ten-thousand can really judge cut, clarity and carats, so feature ads are also a problem.  

While driving with my finger on the radio scan button, I did hear one very interesting ad. A man’s voice simply said, “I know it is very difficult to buy a diamond ring without the nagging feeling that you have been taken advantage of by the jeweler.” The voice went on to explain that there are many variables that determine the value of diamonds, but that special training and special tools were required to make a good decision. He then said that he thought that the best thing to do if you wanted to buy a diamond ring, was to buy it from someone whom you trust. The clinching argument was that you could trust him, because he guaranteed the value and would be happy to buy the ring back at full price if you could find a better value for money anywhere else.  

That ad really got me thinking. Here at Braxton-Bragg, we buy millions of dollars of diamond tooling for re-sale. To me, all diamond tooling looks pretty much alike. We can and do test products and have products analyzed by experts, but we only buy from people who we trust and have known for a long time. It is not blind trust, we do verify, but it is a relationship based on trust, nevertheless.  

It seems to me that a stone fabricator has the same problem as a guy looking for a diamond ring – How do I avoid being had?  I think that the fellow on the radio really had it right; you need to buy from people who you trust and you should demand a written guarantee.

As we try to figure out advertisements to convince you to buy from Braxton-Bragg, we point to the fact that we list country of origin on our website for all of our products. We also post our prices upfront without doing anything cute like saying, “call for pricing,” and we have an unconditional, money-back, 30-day, written guarantee on everything that we sell.  

So, to sum it up, our tooling won’t do anything for your sex life. We don’t expect you to share our excitement over the quality of our diamonds, the diamond concentration, the types matrix bonds, or the finish that results, but we do offer a written, unconditional, money-back, 30-day guarantee because we know that we can. 

Have a good read, Rich Hassert

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