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An Experience Consumers Want to Make Their Own

By: Abby Penning
Posted: July 13, 2011, from the July 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Seeking out the best ways to talk to potential fragrance consumers can be challenging, though. Firmenich recently collaborated with The NPD Group on research of fragrance users, finding distinct differences between those deemed as heavy users and those who are non-heavy users. “The non-heavy users still love scent, but they use it in different ways,” says Butler. “We’ve also learned the consumers are very different—we don’t have just one target consumer, a women age 18–35. All these women are different—different life stages, different ethnicities, different backgrounds—and we want to speak to them in a way that allows them to participate. We learn to listen to find out what is relevant to them. What we’re seeing is that we need multiple approaches, and we need to go to the consumers rather than waiting for them to come to us. We want to create an experience they want to participate in and make their own.”

Additionally, all the elements of a fragrance need to support the scent itself. “If a client is looking for a scent that conveys green tea and cucumber, they are not only working with the fragrance for that, but also the color of the formulation and the packaging for the product that is very well-tailored to speak to those things,” Costa says, demonstrating the need for a 360-degree marketing approach when developing a new fragrance product.

New Fragrances for New Consumers

As always, keeping the brand in mind when developing new fragrances is always necessary in order to maintain a connection of the new products to the brand’s overall strategy and picture. “Right now, we are looking to create a signature fragrance that builds on the brand, which is what we’ve normally done,” Como says. She also acknowledges the importance of brand when developing new scents. “Each brand has its own personality, and that really helps guide where you can take it,” she notes. “You have to be true to your brand. There’s a distinctly developed DNA for each brand that helps it stand out and connect with its customers.”

Making that point of connection wherever possible is the key with consumers, whether it is through popular notes in scent, the medium through which the product is marketed or how the fragrance can be customized to meet their needs.