Perfume is one luxury item that can change the way people feel. Whether it is more beautiful, confident or sexy, when a woman stands at the counter picking out a new perfume, she is definitely thinking about the scent that appeals to her. However, she is also thinking about its use—is it for every day or just special occasions? And what does it say about her?
Each fragrance option offers a choice about who the consumer wants to be and what she wants to convey about herself during those moments in time. There is a strong bond between a fragrance brand and the consumer, and brand owners must have an understanding of this connection so it is incorporated into all aspects of product development, marketing and packaging. Most importantly, the perfume must deliver on the brand promise when the consumer applies it to her skin. This moment of truth can be the making—or breaking—of perfume brands.
Packaging to Tell a Story
All the elements that go into a luxury fragrance product are meticulously selected, even down to the small details such as the perfume’s spray. But to explain the importance of the spray, it’s best to walk through the full product development and marketing mix: The quest for the perfect fragrance begins with sophisticated research and development to create a scent that has the potential to form an emotional connection with the consumer. Each perfume is developed with a specific demographic in mind, but also the experience it is hoping to emulate, whether that’s a special occasion such as a wedding or a guys’ night on the town.
From a marketing perspective, each fragrance is an opportunity to tell a story, which can be brought to life through print and TV advertisements, as well as social media engagement. Celebrities and models endorse and personify elements of the brand, delivering a visual promise of what consumers can expect from the perfume experience. And these channels and tactics foster touch points with the consumer, building on the emotional ties that exist between the consumer and brand. But another very important touch point in this evolution of a fragrance development is its packaging.
Packaging plays an important role in the fragrance experience, drawing consumers to certain shapes, sizes, colors and logos that appeal to them on the shelf. Above all, they expect packaging to feel luxurious, yet it must also be functional. Brand owners select enchanting designs and materials for bottles, caps and cartons to attract the consumer and evoke a desired emotional response. But often, brand owners miss an opportunity to form a stronger connection with consumers through the fragrance’s spray.
The spray comes into play when consumers actuate the sprayer and feel the fragrance applied to their skin. Through consumer research, MWV determined that when consumers are asked to focus on the perfume spray, they can easily differentiate and appreciate the different spray experiences, and they relate it back to the product, creating a memorable experience. Consumers noted that they use a fragrance based on their mood, whether it was with energizing and fresh fragrances to stimulate or a sweet fragrance to brighten a mood. Correspondingly, the spray is a powerful tool—after all, it is at the center of the consumer’s interaction with the product.
The spray itself provides an opportunity to reinforce the key tenets of the brand. For example, a fragrance that communicates "spring" through its scent, bottle shape and color should have a spray pattern to match. Does the spray envelope a woman in a soft, fine and powerful spray that evokes the springtime? Is the spray the beginning of a morning ritual or is it a finishing touch? By leveraging consumer insights and combining the right variety of technical capabilities, brand owners can drive differentiation through the spray experience.
In the past, brand owners saw the spray as purely functional. However, this new research reveals the spray has the potential to enhance all of the other marketing and branding tactics that go into telling the story of the fragrance, which will help close the deal and heighten the overall appeal of the product.
A Positive Consumer Experience
In developing a holistic spray experience, beauty packaging companies and fragrance brands should look at factors such as the sound, the atomization, how the fragrance touches the consumer’s skin and the control over the amount applied. Research from MWV has shown when each of these factors delivers on the brand promise, a brand can create a perception of luxury through the subliminal—which is often stronger than the tangible.
For example, MWV recently launched two new fragrance sprays, the Melodie Forever and the Melodie Agile, in an attempt to help better define a brand through its spray. With a fine spray, gentle actuation and a whisper sound, the Agile spray provides a softer, more romantic brand message for a fragrance, while the Forever spray provides a long, uniform spray of fine particles for long-lasting yet subtle touch. With options such as these, brand owners can select the spray packaging that perpetuates the type of experience they envision for their product.
High fashion, luxury brands focus on precision, craftsmanship and meticulous detail with their fragrances to convey quality and attract and retain customers. Using marketing and specific, detail-focused packaging, brand owners are able to connect with those consumers to create brand impressions through multiple sensory points. Through this process, the spray can be used to better reach overall branding goals, taking into account factors such as the demographics of the target user, the concentration of the formula and the season of the year. By doing so, fragrance brands can consistently deliver that experience with each and every use, helping forge the necessary connections between brands and their consumers and driving loyalty and repeat purchase.
Sandy Gregory is the fragrance marketing director for MWV with global responsibility for the growth strategy of MWV’s fragrance dispensing business, innovation and product development. To learn more about MWV, visit mwv.com.