Traditionally, luxury fragrances have been available only through a handful of exclusive high-street retailers. They were marketed via glamourous TV ads, roadside billboards, and full-colour print ads in glossy magazines.
However, with shifting consumer mindsets and an ever-evolving retail scene, the appeal of such marketing is changing for the modern-day perfume customer.
The new generation of fragrance customers favours the video-centricity of social networks, particularly TikTok, where #perfume has over 12 billion views, and #parfum (the French equivalent) has almost 5 billion. (Source).
A retail re-think is on the cards for perfume brands in order to not only stay relevant to their ever-evolving consumer base, but to also expand their sales into previously unexplored markets.
It’s all about stepping outside traditional marketing and sales norms to make luxury fragrances more accessible to more people.
Those brands that take the time to fully explore and understand the potential of a shifting consumer base will reap the rewards that come with winning new customers – particularly those who don’t subscribe to traditional marketing and sales channels, but instead place their faith heavily in online research and digital influencers.
An Unlikely Gold Mine
At first glance, the online world is not typically where you’d picture a product whose main feature is its fragrance doing particularly well. Smell is intangible, and without physically going into a store and spraying perfume onto your skin, it’s tricky to make it seem desirable.
But that was before the takeover of social media platforms by younger consumers, many of whom wouldn’t consider making a purchase without first seeing what their favourite influencer thinks about it.
Future-proofing your fragrance brands – particularly those slower-moving or underperforming lines – means moving away from cookie-cutter sales strategies and campaigns aimed at a smaller, more affluent market towards those that focus more on the individual needs of the modern consumer.
Positioning your luxury fragrance brands in a way that taps into the digital lifestyle and emotional well-being priorities of younger markets – while still remaining faithful to your roots – is the key to ensuring longevity and predictable, forecastable income.
Change is the Only Constant
There’s simply no escaping the fact that the fragrance market is undergoing massive change, driven by consumers who are turning everything we’ve ever known about the way people look for, engage with, and buy products on its head.
While there may still be those consumers who steadfastly stick with the signature scent that has served them well over many years, the bulk of future fragrance sales looks set to come from consumers looking to purchase many different perfumes to reflect their fluctuating emotional moods.
From what we can see, although there has been an encouraging recent upswing in prestige fragrance sales, the biggest transformation in the industry is happening lower down the price-tag spectrum.
In the UK, for example, predictions are that 63% of fragrance sales will be non-luxury by the end of 2023 (Source).
It’s a statistic that likely sits uncomfortably with many perfume brands, but it’s nevertheless an accurate reflection of the changing nature of the industry.
It’s also a timely reminder that there has never been a better time to re-look at your brand’s sales strategy.
You only have to look at the significant reinvigoration of perfume sales happening in big drugstore chains.
Gone are the days when these mass retailers were widely considered places for upmarket fragrances to fastidiously avoid as potential sales outlets. Today, the haphazard merchandising and messy displays have been replaced with attractive, professional spaces in which the modern customer can explore a wide variety of affordable fragrances at their leisure.
And while the meteoric cost-of-living rise might finally be showing signs of plateauing, there doesn’t appear to be any indication that it’s likely to return to the “normal” levels we’ve been used to anytime soon.
This means consumers are continuing to look for more affordable versions of everything – and fragrances are no exception.
The Beautynet Effect
At Beautynet, we believe this is an exciting time for the fragrance industry.
Yes, there are challenges, but if you reframe them so they start to look like opportunities, the picture looks a lot more optimistic – and lucrative.
Traditionally, there has been an arguably intentional tendency to position luxury fragrances as being out of reach to many. It was this very exclusivity and teasing unattainability that made them so aspirational.
Happily, this positioning is changing – and it’s a change that we’re excited to help facilitate.
It’s all about making luxury more accessible without losing the aspirational positioning that builds a brand’s equity.
By tapping into previously unexplored markets and developing innovative sales strategies to appeal to those markets, we can create long-lasting and forecastable incremental revenue from brands that might otherwise languish in the shadows of your better-performing lines.
Of course, we appreciate that the tried and tested, familiar strategies are always going to feel more comfortable and familiar. But we believe our track record speaks for itself.
To date, we’ve helped our clients unlock additional revenue totalling millions of Euros in just a few years – all without compromising on their brand equity. This is revenue that would have been left on the table by lines that would have ended up costing our clients money in warehouse storage instead of making them money through exposure to new and innovative markets.
We like to call this The Beautynet Effect.
There’s no denying that, to stay competitive and profitable, luxury fragrance lines have to embrace the diversity of the perfume purchasers of the future.
Perhaps iconic beauty brand Hugo Boss inadvertently hit upon the secret of selling luxury fragrances when it named one of its lines “Boss Bottled.”
Because there’s little doubt that the longevity and profitability of fragrances lie in appealing to the senses (and not just the olfactory ones) of tomorrow’s consumers who are already showing us that when it comes to making Euros from scents, it pays to think outside the bottle.