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Fragrance Is Beauty

By: Lori Miller Burns
Posted: April 28, 2014, from the May 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.

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A successful franchise fragrance is a series of complementary and supportive scents sharing a singular identity, each totally aligned with the product and brand. And because this new fragrance drives purchasing decisions across the business, it’s more than just a beautiful olfactory event. It’s a brand asset that has enormous value.

Building Competitiveness in Private Label Brands

In multiple retail categories, including beauty, private label is changing. That’s because the opportunity today isn’t to compete on price, with minimal product design and appealing only to the low end of the market. The real opportunity—which offers significant opportunities for margins and profits—is to swim in the mainstream, compete aggressively against national brands and build destination brands that bring shoppers into the store. Consumers can then bond strongly to fragrance experiences they love and share that love with friends. This creates lifetime loyalty, repeat purchase and consumer buzz.

The opportunity is less challenging than it seems; what it takes is a commitment to intelligent planning, competitive design factors and, above all, winning fragrances.

Again, the driver here is the consumer. Today’s consumers are very open and receptive to private label brands, but they also want everything they get a brand products in private label offerings and see no reason to compromise or expect less. The success of major destination store brands in retailers like Walmart, Walgreens and Target proves the point. Consumers respond enthusiastically to the right technologies, the right ingredients, multiple performance promises, earth-friendly packaging and fragrances that connect instantly in the store, when the product is first sensed by the consumer, and then create beautiful, fragrant user experiences at home.

In fact, fragrance development is probably the most cost-effective way to enhance the performance profile of a private label brand. Smart perfumers approach private label opportunities the same way they do for brand leaders, creating new fragrance profiles that have the power to compete and win. Sensitive to the economics of marketing, perfumers also manage fragrance formulas to deliver the right fragrance effect at the right strength at the right cost.

Rethinking private label strategies and fragrances can be a life-changing event for a beauty brand. Major retailers have already learned the lessons: many now drive decision making by advising manufacturers on exactly what they want to achieve—and exactly what they need on their shelves—in order to compete successfully for the shopper’s loyalty and enhance corporate performance in categories that matter.

Lori Miller Burns is director of marketing at Arylessence. An experienced consumer products marketer, she has special expertise in consumer insights, trends and behaviors that help perfumers to develop competitive fragrances and clients to create winning brands. She worked as a marketing executive for some of the best-known and most innovative brands in America, including Clinique, Aveda and The Body Shop, where her experience included new product development, fragrance introductions, and consumer marketing. At Arylessence, Miller Burns publishes the Arylessence TrendWatch, a comprehensive review of trends that define the American consumer and provide new directions for product development, fragrance design and marketing. She leads a marketing team that develops special insights into products, packaging and colors that are setting new trends in consumer packaged goods, fashion, product design, home décor and furnishings.