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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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“Think about the prominence of the color green in the marketplace today, in a variety of shades and tones. This color trend reflects the significance of nature-inspired and health and well-being lifestyles trends, which, by the way, have an extremely long trend cycle, extending over an indefinite period of time,” said Burns. “The presence of blue is also very important, highlighting a global focus on clean natural resources, such as water and the air that we breathe. What changes with color trends is that the tonality distinction of trends and different colors will cycle through as lead colors in the marketplace.”

The lifecycle of the trends in the report is several years, as the company focuses on what it sees as enduring trends, not fads.

“Arylessence recognizes the benefit of a fad for clients that are extremely responsive and have a quick product development cycle; we can and do help with fads as well. However, our main focus is translating enduring trends with winning fragrance connections,” said Burns.

By taking a wide range view of lifestyle trends that drive consumer behavior, Arylessence believes that the three lifestyle trends and consumer attitudes identified in the report influence almost every product category. How each trend is communicated or interpreted takes a different approach from segment to segment.

“The essence of the luxury living trend, for example, is consistent, but its translation must be customized sector by sector,” said Burns. “For example, a skin care product in the luxury prestige market [like Neiman Marcus] would have different luxury characteristics than a skin care product offered in mass luxury [or masstige], or one offered in a luxury hotel setting. A select number of product categories might be exempt from the benefit of a particular trend simply because the end product provided by the category does not speak to a lifestyle. Think about health care and the translation of the gourmet trend—probably not a trend on which you would focus when developing a line of health care products [sans the use of soft vanilla tones].”