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Sniffing Out Trends
By: Jeff Falk
Posted: August 26, 2008, from the September 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
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“At Arylessence, market intelligence provides strategic direction for product development. It does not impede the creative process that is so critical in creating winning products, it enhances and supports it,” said Lori Miller Burns, director of marketing, Arylessence. “The competitive landscape in every category of products we service is tremendously large and challenging, and the more challenging it is, the more important market intelligence becomes. Product developers do not have the luxury of missing the mark with consumers. Merchandising space is limited and retail buyers must have successful products on their shelves.”
According to the report, three lifestyles—exotica, health and well-being, and luxury living—are driving fragrance inspirations for new products and brand expansion concepts through 2008. The exotica lifestyle, which reflects global influences, includes the use of exotic botanicals for beauty, home decor and household products. Scents highlighting the health and well-being lifestyle reflect restful, restorative and uplifting environments and complement consumer desires for soft, calming colors. The luxury living lifestyle connotes soft, jewel-toned colors and rich, spice-infused fragrances. In all, the report highlights 13 trends, as part of three overall lifestyle trends, driving consumer behaviors in lifestyle, attitude, color and fragrance selection.
Through the report, which covers an 18–24 month span, an astute marketer should be able to capitalize on what is already driving consumers or find gaps to fill within lifestyle trend positions. In addition, a step-by-step, strategic approach to addressing all attributes of the product will achieve the highest level of appeal to the target audience. New consumer trends are added as they come to light and declining trends are removed.
“Arylessence knows sound and insightful market intelligence will greatly enhance any product developer’s opportunity to succeed in the marketplace,” said Burns. “Knowledge regarding the competitive landscape is critical—without it, it is difficult to establish a winning point of difference. Isolating gaps and opportunities within lifestyle trend positioning can only be done with extensive market review. We accurately forecast fragrance and flavor trends at least two years out.”
Forecasting and Lifespan of Trends
The research, however, begins by looking into color trend. The company states that color trends are very reflective of lifestyle trends due to the psychological connection color makes. In addition, many prominent lifestyle trends are communicated through distinctive color trends.