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Collaborations and the Golden Rule

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: February 11, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 8

And those tools are tools that again help IFF and our customers understand what is the emotional connection that [they] have to fragrance, how to generate that emotional connection, how to identify the nature of that emotional connection and, therefore, how to steer the type of emotion that we want to create between a fragrance and consumer to something that makes sense for a given brand … for a given region, for a given category, etc.
GCI: How do you consider what’s going on in the market, how you’re serving marketers today and how you’re looking forward at the same time?

Judith Gross: That’s really where you can differentiate the role of fragrance house marketing versus brand marketing. On the brand side, marketing really is about product development and making sure that you identify within the brand the opportunities that ease you into developing a new product. On the fragrance house side, first of all, it’s a much broader definition of marketing in the sense that we are looking at all brands. We are looking at almost all product categories. We’re looking at all regions, and we are simultaneously working on brands that belong to each of the most important fragrance groups in the world and at the people that work on them.

So as marketers within a fragrance house, our role is to develop tools—marketing tools, which both help [to] understand and analyze trends; trends not only in their olfactive reality but also in terms of advertising signals, in terms of packaging and bottle signals, in terms of semantics. So brands is one level. The other level is: what are the current sociocultural trends which are [currently] affecting consumers’ tastes, and what are the emerging sociocultural trends that are strongly affecting and will strongly affect consumers’ tastes for fine fragrances in the future? And IFF has been at the forefront of the creation of several in-depth marketing inside tools, which help do exactly that, which help anticipate consumers’ future preferences—both from an olfactive standpoint, as well as from a marketing and from a sociocultural standpoint.

[This analysis] is something that we do in conjunction with our creative team, because the purpose of this is not just to supply marketing information, but to really nourish [a] creative development perfumery team and make sure that the marketing vision of this anticipation of future sociocultural or olfactive consumer trends is going to be feeding perfumerists’ creativity, and this is something they’re going to fly with to create the fragrances of tomorrow.

GCI: In a presentation called “The Forgotten Fragrance Consumer,” Barbara Preyssas, global vice president, Analysis Scent International, said that fine fragrances are competing in a new beauty world where everything has a significant fragrance. Do you agree? Is there competition between fine fragrances and say, a personal care product?