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The Cost Of Perfume Part 5 Brand Positioning

In part 1 of this series about the costs that go into creating a perfume we looked at the ingredients. In part 2 we looked at packaging, part 3 the marketing campaign and part 4 distribution. Today we are looking at the final bit of the puzzle and that is:

Brand Positioning

I would probably go as far as saying that brand positioning is the most important part of creating a fragrance line (or any product line really) and while it’s not a cost as such it does create implications for your final retail price.

It’s something I touched on in the post about the marketing campaign – looking in depth at your ideal customer is really the starting point for any new business regardless of the product. I have many students who come to me for coaching and to classes wanting to start a product line (both perfume and skincare). The very first thing I ask them to think about is “who is your customer?” We sometimes get so caught up in what the product should look like, smell like, feel like that we forget that it is not us that is going to buy it. For the artists amongst you there may be some disagreement here as many feel like they are creating something that is a work of art, something that expresses our very soul or an abstract concept that we have a passion for. This may be true but if you are asking someone to part with their cash for your product you have to know who that someone is and what they desire art or not.

I did some work for a deodorant brand relaunch recently and in order to create their new positioning they created a customer profile. She had a name, a favourite supermarket, her 2 children had names too. The profile was so in depth that you could see her picking up her favourite magazines and shopping for clothes. Aiming your product at women aged 25 to 55 with high disposable income is not enough – making your customer profile too broad risks it appealing to nobody. The tighter your positioning the better results you will see. Forget about the bottle, forget about the packaging and even forget about the fragrance until you have a crystal clear image of the one exact person who will buy it. Scary as that sounds it works!

Here are 20 Questions to get you started

  1. NAME
  2. AGE
  3. MARITAL STATUS
  4. CHILDREN
  5. WHERE DOES SHE/HE LIVE
  6. INCOME
  7. OCCUPATION
  8. LIFE BELIEFS/VALUES
  9. FAVORITE BOOKS, MUSIC, TV SHOWS
  10. FAVOURITE MAGAZINES/BLOGS
  11. WHAT DOES SHE/HE SEARCH FOR ON GOOGLE?
  12. WHAT EVENTS DOES SHE/HE GO TO?
  13. WHAT DOES SHE/HE DO IN HER FREE TIME?
  14. WHERE DOES SHE/HE SHOP FOR CLOTHING?
  15. FAVOURITE BEAUTY/PERFUME BRANDS?
  16. FAVOURITE SUPERMARKET/FOOD SHOP?
  17. WHAT AUTHORS OR EXPERTS DOES SHE/HE FOLLOW?
  18. WHAT’S HER/HIS FAVORITE MEAL?
  19. WHAT KIND OF CAR DOES SHE/HE DRIVE?
  20. WHERE IS HER/HIS FANTASY HOLIDAY?

Price is not a reflection of cost sometimes price is a signal of luxury and quality that appeals to a certain audience. Think carefully about where your brand will sit in the current market and take a look at the products it will sit alongside. Never assume that someone will not buy your product because it is “too expensive” and be careful not to place your own buying habits and filters on your brand. Remember you are not your customer!

There has been a move to break away from the “one price fits all” paradigm that has been blighting the sector, which has both enabled and been a result of increased focus on the ingredients of a perfume. One segment in particular that has benefited from this trend is the prestige segment, which also includes niche brands; anecdotal evidence suggests that sales in this segment have been going strong even in the current recession (Harvey Nichols fine fragrance sales were up 40% in 2008, Tom Ford’s Private blend (£250/bottle) sales have doubled at Selfridges). For those that can get away with it, this much higher pricing structure also allows brands to generate sufficient returns on their fragrance portfolio without having to resort to a high volume sales approach.  From: http://luxurysociety.com/articles/2009/10/fragrances-the-essence-of-a-good-brand

As always leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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