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Rare Carat Named the Kayak of Diamonds by Harvard



Diamonds are difficult, but purchasing them shouldn’t be.

Diamond ring


Actually, are diamonds a woman’s best friend? Diamonds are viewed as a symbol of love and ‘forever’ in culture, in large part because of brilliant marketing strategies (and the industry-controlling monopoly De Beers exercised for more than a century that raised ethical questions).

Ajay Anand founded “Rare Carat,” often known as the “Kayak of Diamonds,” in response to the strain of buying a diamond without being ripped off (or buying from unethical sources) and a lack of openness in the supply chain and industry.

He was dissatisfied with the approach he used to buy the engagement ring for his fiancée, so he set out to develop a fair marketplace for diamond buyers that would be supported by blockchain, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and data science.

Before making a purchase, the typical buyer who is seeking the ideal ring to pop “The Question” conducts a substantial amount of research. This may rank just behind their first home or automobile as one of their most costly purchases.

Additionally, a variety of elements, including color, carat, cut, clarity, and fluorescence, can affect a diamond’s price on the market. Since gemologists are frequently motivated to sell particular stones based on commissions or other sales incentives, the market is full of knowledge asymmetry. The actual client is not considered in any of this.

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How it works

The online store Rare Carat does not stock or advertise any of its own diamonds. Users enter various parameters (such as price, shape, and carat) on the site, and the platform populates the results with a number of relevant listings for comparison with total pricing transparency and ratings from unbiased gemologists. The user interface is similar to that of Kayak or Expedia, except instead of finding hotels and flights, consumers are looking for diamonds. Through free online information, the website also attempts to inform visitors about the diamond purchase process.

In addition, Rare Carat unveiled Rocky, the first diamond “chatbot” (powered by IBM’s Watson services), to assist customers in their search and buy decisions in a manner akin to that of a physical shop, but with 100 percent impartial transparency.

Rocky assesses diamonds based on their carat, cut, color, clarity, polish, and depth and provides consumers with buying advice akin to that of a true gemologist. Rocky’s sole motivation is to offer clients the greatest rate depending on the criteria they provide.

According to Anand, “Rare Carat’s technology draws on the vast amount of data it has accumulated over the previous four months, including 10 million data points on diamond pricing and characteristics, more than 2 million user queries, and more than 100,000 messages the firm has exchanged with users. Rocky also keeps getting better because of machine learning. Every day, a gemologist assesses the bot’s work and feeds the feedback into IBM’s Watson services, improving Rocky’s ability to identify the greatest offers for consumers.

Business Model

Rare Carat doesn’t stock or sell any of its own diamonds because one of its top concerns was to maintain its objectivity. The platform functions only as a marketplace, bringing together providers and customers through open information exchange. None of Rare Carat’s revenue comes from commissions; all of it comes from advertising.

Target Customer

Rare Carat does not want to cater to the more affluent consumer base that prefers to shop at stores like Tiffany’s and Cartier for premium jewels. Instead, they want to support the bigger average millennial demographic who are merely seeking to get a good deal and are familiar with internet shopping.

Value Creation & Value Capture Strategy

By offering information and pricing transparency, as well as guidance from human gemologists and a step-by-step purchasing process facilitated by Rocky the chatbot, Rare Carat aims to provide value for diamond buyers. Rare Carat is democratizing the purchasing of diamonds via the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, and virtual reality. Previously, much of this process was veiled in mystery and smoke.

The goal of Rare Carat is to simply assist the typical millennial internet buyer in making one of the most significant purchases of their lives. Their value capture technique is entirely ad-based, with no compensation paid for sending customers to certain businesses, in order to maintain objectivity.

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Opportunities and Challenges

Although they have a laudable aim and a good value capture approach, being an ad-based company has several drawbacks. For one, it will be challenging to increase platform income outside the paid promotion. Rare Carat is pursuing a variety of options, including:

  • Blockchain technology will provide openness in an industry that is frequently immoral by enabling buyers to understand the mining and processing supply chain from which each gem comes. This technology is the result of a collaboration with Everledger.
  • Virtual reality is a new technology that Rare Carat plans to introduce to its platform. This would make it possible for ring buyers to simulate the process of trying on jewelry and comprehend how it would seem to them after a purchase.
  • Rocky, their chatbot, will soon have more Watson services, such as Watson Vision, which can interpret reports on diamond quality.


Ajay Anand, CEO of Rare Carat, remarked that chatbots may be very beneficial in the correct business and use case. “We’ve discovered that diamonds are a particularly good fit for the media, especially given the highly organized decision-making that follows the well-known four Cs of diamonds: carat, cut, color, and clarity. Rocky has demonstrated his expertise in the diamond purchasing decision-making process by assisting our beta testers in making the right choices.


Things to Consider When Working with a Local SEO Company for Growing Your Local Business



Local SEO – search engine optimization – strategies are not like your usual SEO techniques. Whereas your usual SEO strategies target a large, often global audience, local SEO caters to a much smaller crowd, often reduced to the likes of the geographical boundaries of a town, city, or state.

Through local SEO, it’s possible to target an audience from a specific geographical location, which helps businesses rank for local search terms, make it to local business listings on Google, and incorporate local backlinks efficiently.

photo credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi / Pexels

Focusing on local SEO is important for local businesses for several reasons.

Firstly, businesses can increase their visibility in local search results resulting in more website traffic and sales. Local SEO can also help build trust and credibility with potential local customers by providing accurate and up-to-date information about their business through optimized website content. Finally, it can help businesses outsmart their local competition by becoming more approachable to the locals.

Given how important local SEO is for such businesses, it must be done properly. For that, you have to bring in experts well-versed in local search engine optimization. Before you do that, however, here are a few things you must consider.

What Services They Offer and What Their Approach Is

Local SEO companies offer a range of services that can help your business improve its local online presence, appeal to more local customers, and increase revenue. Some of the services they should offer should include the following.

  • Local Keyword Research: Through local keyword research, the agency can help you work out the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for your business in your local area.
  • On-page Optimization: This involves optimizing your website’s content improve its relevance and search engine rankings locally.
  • Google Business Optimization: The agency will optimize your Google Business listing to ensure it appears prominently in Google’s local search results. In most cases, a direct search for your business will highlight your business profile right at the top of the results.
  • Local Link Building: Local link building can help you acquire links from other high-quality local websites to improve your website’s authority and search engine rankings.
  • Citation Building: This helps build accurate and consistent business listings across various online directories to improve your local visibility.
  • Reputation Management: Reputation management makes it possible to monitor and manage your online reputation through strategies like online reviews and social media oversight and management.

What are Other People Saying About Them

We’ll explain this with an example.

Charleston, South Carolina, is home to several landscaping companies, and when you Google for such services near Charleston, it will show you a ton of options. However, for smaller businesses, ranking in this list is difficult. That’s why American Artists Landscaping, Inc. turned to a Charleston SEO Company known as Mr. Marketing and has been working with them for two years now.

Thanks to the Charleston-based local SEO services provided by the agency, the company has now grown from a small business to a six-figure local business in under a year. That’s the power of local SEO. It can help you grow, get discovered by the locals, and become one of the best in your area from scratch.

As this SEO agency helped American Artists Landscaping, Inc. with their business successfully, the company had nothing but good things to say about the agency.

Similarly, you need to go through Google Reviews and other review sites to see how good the SEO agency is before working with them. Always look for local clients the agencies helped because your focus is on localized search engine optimization.

SEO experts working on a client's project

Get an Idea About Their Previous Clients and Success Stories

An SEO company is only as good as its clients’ success stories. While reviews can help you know about the company’s work, looking into these success stories or case studies can help you understand how they operate and run things. It’s also a good way to check if they have experience with a business from your industry.

Check how they helped their clients, what client SEO problems they solved, how they impacted the local SEO rankings afterward, what kind of strategies they deployed, what is their approach to different on-page and technical SEO problems, etc. The more you familiarize yourself with these things, the better you can understand what the SEO agency’s game plan might be with your case.

Converse with Them to See If Their Vision Matches Your Expectations

By now, you’re already aware of a lot of things the local SEO company does to help its clients. Now it’s time to talk to them and see if their vision matches your expectations. Here, the agency will mostly highlight your problems and how they tend to solve them. If you think their plans and strategies will go with your brand and can help you achieve your targets, by all means, strike a deal with them and get to work.

Once all this is done, you’ll be working with a local SEO agency that not only knows what it’s doing but can also get you the success you’re eyeing in the local market.

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5 Reasons Why Storytelling Should Be a Priority for Marketers



In today’s fast-paced digital marketing world, capturing the attention of potential customers can be challenging. With so much noise and clutter online, marketers must find innovative ways to stand out. One highly effective technique is storytelling.

Storytelling has existed for thousands of years and has always been a powerful tool for engaging and connecting with people. However, in marketing, storytelling is often overlooked or undervalued.

Brand storyteling

In this post, we will explore why storytelling should be a priority for marketers and how it can help them achieve their goals.

1. Develop Deeper Connections with Customers

The success of any marketing campaign relies heavily on the ability to create a strong connection with customers. Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to do this, as it allows marketers to communicate their message engaging and relatable. By creating stories that evoke emotion, marketers can make their brand stand out from the competition and form deeper connections with potential customers.

You can also use storytelling to create an emotional narrative that resonates with your target audience. This will help build trust and loyalty between customers and your brand, allowing you to cultivate a loyal customer base more likely to become long-term customers.

2. Create Memorable Messages

Storytelling has the power to create memorable messages that stay with people long after they have encountered them. This is especially important in the digital age, where people are inundated with daily information and ads.

If you want to make sure your message stands out, storytelling can help you create content that is more memorable and engaging than traditional methods of advertising. With a good grasp of Sanderson’s Laws and the crafting of stories, you can create messages that will stay with people for a long time. The stories can be used to build brand identity and create an unforgettable customer experience.

3. Improve Conversion Rates

Storytelling is a powerful tool for improving conversion rates, as it effectively draws in potential customers and keeps them engaged throughout the customer journey. By creating compelling stories that resonate emotionally with your target audience, you can ensure that your message is more likely to be remembered and influence potential customers.

Storytelling can also help you create a sense of urgency, as it allows you to paint a vivid picture of how the customer’s life would be improved if they took action now. This will encourage them to take action and convert to your offer.

Analyzing marketing campaigns
photo credit: Pixabay

4. Reach New Audiences

The primary goal for any marketer is to reach new audiences and expand their customer base. However, with so many people online, it can take time to stand out from the competition. Storytelling offers a unique way for marketers to capture the attention of potential customers and draw them in with an engaging narrative.

Stories can be crafted to appeal to different groups of people, allowing marketers to reach new audiences and expand their customer base. This is especially important for brands trying to break into new markets or reach a younger audience.

5. Enhance Brand Image

Brand image is consumers’ perception of your brand and its products or services. Storytelling can be a great way to enhance the brand image, as it allows you to communicate the values and mission of your company engagingly. This will enable you to create a strong impression on potential customers, helping them develop an affinity with your brand and become more likely to choose your products or services over the competition.

Storytelling is an essential tool for marketers that should be noticed. Through storytelling, marketers can create deeper customer connections, develop memorable messages, improve conversion rates, and reach new audiences. It can also help enhance brand image and create a strong impression on potential customers.

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How John Accardi Made CRAVEBOX a Top-Selling Amazon Brand



John Accardi started CRAVEBOX in 2014 from his apartment. At the time, he had just dropped out of a Georgetown University PhD program, had no savings, no investors, and no business experience.

Accardi says the decision to start CRAVEBOX was risky and the odds of success didn’t look good. “At the time, I was so excited about starting my own business, I didn’t really recognize all the risk. I just wanted to work for myself and wake up every morning with the freedom to tackle my own to do list instead of someone else’s.”

John Accardi

For the first 3 years, CRAVEBOX operated out of John’s apartment and made no profit. John stayed persistent and had a gut feeling that he was making progress and that success was around the corner.

John said, “Those first few years were frustrating because it felt like every day was a disappointment, but the constant failure motivated me. I got to the point where I told myself I would try forever. I was giving guitar lessons on the side to pay the bills and I decided that I’d work on CRAVEBOX until it either succeeded or I was an old man.” This long-term mentality worked because sure enough, CRAVEBOX started growing. John learned how to optimize his Amazon listings and CRAVEBOX moved into larger and larger warehouse spaces and its staff grew.

Now CRAVEBOX operates out of a 60,000 sqft warehouse space in North Wales, PA with an impressive staff. “I never thought CRAVEBOX would become this successful. It’s been an incredible journey,” says Accardi.

To become a top-selling Amazon brand, John first focused on creating great images. “I realized early on that your product’s main image on Amazon is the most important part of the listing. So I learned photography and most importantly, photoshop, to take and edit fantastic images.” CRAVEBOX products now have the best-quality images in the category which gives the listings an advantage over competitors.

Accardi also focused on price. John says, “To be a top selling Amazon brand, you need to look very closely at your toughest competitors and make sure you are offering a better value. Your product either needs to be better or your price needs to be lower. This will determine your Amazon rank and visibility.” The key to offering great value is of course an efficient business and operation.

Lastly, to build CRAVEBOX into a top-selling Amazon brand, Accardi focused on reviews. “Amazon customers are tough and the only way to build a sustainable product and brand is to sell quality products that naturally collect a high review average. This is challenging but if you can offer a better product than your competitors, you will garner better reviews and rise to the top of the category.” 

John is excited to continue growing CRAVEBOX. He is especially excited about their holiday products: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. He’s also excited about new CRAVEBOX products they’re introducing, for example: CRAVEBOX Kids, CRAVEBOX 110count, and CRAVEBOX Cookies+Crackers.

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