Archive for the ‘Perfume’ Category

New Launches, and why they aren’t always fun.

November 19, 2009

How many perfume launches there are a year? Hundreds.
I’m surprised if there isn’t at least one a month in our store. Customers always want to know “what’s new?” and “what’s popular?”.

These 2 questions have generally got the same answer, because (as a rule) if something is new, it becomes popular. Then they want to know if it’s been popular (usually “yes, it has!”), and sometimes you get asked “what do you think?”. To be honest, most of the time I don’t like the new fragrances. Especially the Men’s launches. I am bored to tears of fresh (sport) fragrances. And every other launch is fresh. So I often have to either lie through my teeth and say I like it, OR find one good thing to say about it – one note that I like, or the longevity or something like that. So I have developed a bit of a routine when it comes to new launches. I always sniff them before they go out onto release and think about what I like about it, so when someone asks, I always have that honest answer. An example is “Joop? It’s good for a night out!” but what I really think is “Joop? It smells of the drunk chavvy blokes on the night bus!” and I’d put a lot of people off – a sale is a sale, and fortunately not everyone is going to buy Dior Homme.

As a rule, new releases get a promotional spot in store. The company that puts out the fragrance seem to spend more money supplying us with T-shirts, display materials, advertising and sometimes gift with purchase (forever more referred to as GWP) so that the launch of the fragrance is a success than is ever spent on the creation of the fragrance. Maybe 3 launches out of 10 they will supply us with samples of the fragrance to help promote it.

A recent, massively succesful launch is Diesel’s Only The Brave. It was launched in time for Fathers day and smells incredibly commercial – a typically fresh opening with a warm drydown – and as a result, the customers say “thats amazing!” or “that smells really good!”. It’s been the most successful launch for our company since their previous Fuel for Life launch and has remained shockingly popular since that initial launch. L’Oreal, the brand behind the Diesel license, are incredibly aggressive marketers, they raised awareness of the Diesel brand the sales period before they launched OTB by putting FFL on a GWP promotion, and then assaulted the screens with adverts for OTB as soon as it launched.

P&G also seem to have a consistent launch plan – for the first month of launch it’s just advertised as new, the second month a free mini shower gel or body lotion, eventually moving on to towels, bags and the usual GWP fare.

On top of the aggressive marketing, the GWPs and so on, the company might send an incentive to make sure you try to sell it, usually it means entry into a prize draw for a handbag or something like that. The only incentive I’ve ever gone mad for was a Chanel one. The prize draw was for a trip to London Chanel HQ for training, then a presentation on Les Exclusifs at the boutique. I was gutted that I didn’t win it.

Other launches are ‘silent’. There is very little money spent on advertising, no promotional site, and rely on the SA loving and ‘remembering’ the fragrance – and believe me, it’s easy to forget. 15 new launches at the beginning of the Christmas quarter is making it hard to keep up.