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Sniffing Out Trends

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: September 5, 2007

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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].”

If a trend holds true in one product category, does it also hold true for another? Arylessence thinks it likely, though portrayed in a different way. The creative fragrance or flavor must communicate the trend in its designated consumer venue. In addition, the trend’s fragrance message should be customized for the product benefit.

The expectations and interpretations of each trend can vary based upon demographics, but there can also be a universal understanding of what the lifestyle trends represent. Adding subtle cultural or customer profiles will allow the trends for a given group to be more accurately defined.

“Most consumers fit into one or more trend categories because these are key trends driving purchase in the marketplace,” said Burns. “The interpretation, presentation and characteristics of the trend will assist in how each trend resonates with select demographics.”
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