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GCI: How has fragrance marketing changed over the last decade, and how does a supplier or marketer anticipate the changes to come in order to continue helping brands to successfully market fragrances?
Judith Gross: There have been several major changes, and IFF has not only accompanied our customers in handling those changes, but sometimes has helped them anticipate the changes that were to come. One of the major elements that has changed in the marketing of fragrance is the explosion—in terms of the number of launches—with the constant need for newness on the market and the constant desire expressed by consumers, expressed by distribution, expressed by brands themselves to constantly have new propositions.
Another extremely important trend has been over the last 15 years, the increasing globalization, as well as [the] increasing concentration of our customers, which has led to the need for increased differentiation. And when that’s combined with more and more launches, differentiation becomes more and more difficult. So, IFF has anticipated and tried to give as many [options] as possible to its customers. IFF is a company that doesn’t simply manufacture fragrances, it’s a company that creates fragrances while understanding the emotional impact that fragrances have on consumers. Because when you think about it, sure you might go to a fragrance because of the brand. You might fall for an advertising campaign. You might think a bottle is gorgeous, but the reason—year after year—that you’re actually going to repurchase that fragrance and put it on your skin is because there’s an emotional connection that exists there, which you don’t find anywhere else. And if you don’t have that emotional connection—however good the advertising, the bottle, the color, the model, etc.—it just won’t work.
Marcy Fisher: So much has changed, yet the concept has remained constant—as marketers we must engage and excite our consumers ... the challenge for us is that she/he has many fragrance options and so many more places to learn about product. As marketers, we need to stay ahead of the curve to reach our consumers with new media, innovative product technology and intriguing product presentation.