In the competitive arena of the fragrance market, eye appeal and originality are key. Amid a long line of celebrity endorsed perfumes, Justin Bieber’s My World and Beyonce’s Heat have seen considerable popularity. Among fashion designers, Mark Jacobs has managed to tap into customer preferences through appealing product packaging, while Ralph Lauren is the leading lifestyle brand. Celebrity scents mostly target the young. According to Nancy Mills, consumer industry manager at Kline, while ‘established consumers’ are gravitating away from celebrity scents and re-embracing true classics like Chanel No. 5.
Chanel No. 5, which won a FiFi award for best media campaign, capitalized on creating an atmosphere of a stylish romantic rendezvous on the Orient Express in “Train de Nuit.” The mega-money add featuring Audrey Tatou gave the campaign a sense of celebrity.
Despite the advantage of a monster marketing budget, effective pricing and value-propositions are ultimately what sells scents at the moment, evaluates Nancy Mills, in a recent article for the Rose Sheet publication.
Besides having “effective marketing campaigns,” fragrances from Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret Beauty Company “are priced right and offer a continual influx of new products to create excitement. Additionally, there are all types of incentives to encourage trial including samples sizes at very favorable price points.” A search for greater value is making gift sets popular even beyond the holiday season. “Value is getting consumers to purchase and that is why there are so many gift sets, which are now called value sets because consumers think they are getting a bargain,” notes Mills.
Packaging is playing an important role in the marketing mix this year. In demand are bold, original bottles including those from designer Mark Jacobs. However, other alternatives to the traditional spray-form perfume dispensers have emerged as strong trends. Most notably, this includes solid perfume accessories and rollerballs.
Solid perfumes in the form of rings or bracelets have been employed in some of the latest celebrity endorsed perfumes including the aforementioned Heat perfume by Beyonce. However, even long-established, popular perfumes including Esteé Lauder’s Pleasures has received a marketing boost in the form of a new solid form release.
Rollerballs have become popular value-choice purchases. While offering the benefit of a lower price, they also provide the convenience of easy handbag storage and on-the-go application.
Through a series of interesting new initiatives, the fragrance industry is entering the tech arena, in an attempt to capitalize on the growing buzz of online marketing and social media. Several applications have been launched, aimed at providing customers with fragrance related information, including store locations, beauty tips, and personal scent selection advice. Esteé Lauder Fragrance Group released Ascent, an iPod application that takes customers through a series of questions to help them discover scents they might not have otherwise considered. Other fragrance guides are available to customers via their PCs. One Mighty Drop, an innovative website which delivers latest industry news, provides detailed perfume guides and even allows customers to personalize their favorite scents by designing their own bottles.
Fragrance marketers will have to try hard over the next several years to counteract the effects of changed consumer purchasing patterns brought about by the sluggish economy. Whether the fragrance market can rebound from the severe hit it received in 2009 remains to be seen. What seems likely, however, is the continuation of the celebrity trend, with notable celebrity launches anticipated next year including scents by Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.
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