Storeless Selling

The direct to consumer retail experience provided by television networks such as HSN and QVC provides brands with the ultimate platform to showcase their wares: a block of dedicated time for brands to make a compelling sales pitch of its products. Because the network provides the medium but brands are responsible for the advertisement, brands are given a lot of freedom to succeed on their own terms. And in many cases, that’s exactly what they do.

In May, the Carol’s Daughter fragrance collaboration with R&B star Mary J. Blige, My Life, won an impressive two FiFi Awards. The first one was for Fragrance of the Year in the Direct to Consumer category—which makes a lot of sense, as the popular fragrance was sold exclusively on HSN. However, even more remarkable was the second award of Breakthrough Fragrance Sales of the Year, an award that was bestowed upon the fragrance at the discretion of the board of directors, and goes across all categories. The fragrance set an new industry benchmark by selling 100,000 bottles in merely two televised appearances by Blige: a combined time of 13 hours. “Launching the fragrance on the platform of HSN gave Mary the opportunity to tell her story to millions of people at once,” says Steve Stoute, chairman of Carol’s Daughter. “She’s an artist who connects with her fans on a visceral level—it was imperative for her to connect directly with them. She doesn’t sell goods; she sells her understanding and love for women.”

Mally Beauty has also had great success through selling on QVC. “Since Mally Beauty is such a unique color cosmetic line, my partner Don Pettit and I focused on which outlets would be able to most effectively deliver the brand message and image to the customer,” explains company founder Mally Roncal. “QVC so graciously took us on as a vendor in 2005, and it really allowed us to speak to the customers and let them know what Mally Beauty is all about. Our strategy is to pick outlets where my energy and personality can be visible and directly experienced by the customers.”