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3 Approaches to a Fragrance Strategy


Our research identified the different fragrance strategies that 3 well-known anti-aging products can employ to contribute to their success in the market.

The anti-aging product category is extremely strong today and will continue to grow over the next few years as the population continues to get older. Within the ‘jungle’ of the personal care category, consumers are bombarded with a wide selection of any anti-aging products and messaging. In addition to the prestige brands (Estee Lauder, Shiseido, Clarins, etc.), the key players in the personal care industry (Unilever, P&G, L’Oréal, J&J, Beiersdorf, etc.) are all actively competing in this fast-growing category.

Therefore, a well-known brand introducing a great product innovation, with attractive marketing, and perfect sensory cues (texture, absorbency, etc.) is not enough to create differentiation within this space. It is clear that marketers need a unique emotional hook to inspire consumer loyalty. One of the best ways to create a strong emotional bond with consumers is the product SCENT.

The product scent is one of the most difficult product characteristics to be copied! Anchored in consumers’ memory, it is an important defender of BRAND EQUITY as it delivers strong messages about the brand identity (e.g. high quality, trustworthy, innovative, etc.) and about the product (e.g. creates beautiful skin, appropriate for sensitive skin, effective against wrinkles, etc.). This is why the industry needs to put as much of an effort in fragrance development (and creation of a SCENT EQUITY) as it does in the rest of the product mix.

While fragrance may be considered as one of the key marketing tools, it appears that traditional sensory research and market research techniques do not adequately provide the insights needed to uncover the ways a particular fragrance connects to individual consumer emotions and memory. SENSANALYSIS focuses in filling this gap. Through our years of expertise in multi-sensorial research and consulting, we have helped our clients create memorable fragrances which evoke consumer emotions, optimize the product experience, and ultimately lead to brand loyalty.

We conducted internal consumer research with 3 well-known anti-aging mass market brands: L’Oréal Revitalift, Procter & Gamble’s Olay Total Effects, and Beiersdorf’s Nivea Q10. The results highlighted how these three brands can successfully use and position scent differently, in relation to their brand positioning. Hopefully this will be a good starting point for you as you think about your own brand’s fragrance strategy:

- Breaking Conventions: The brand seeks to ‘make the difference’, surprise consumers and break established rules to bring innovation. As such, the focus for the fragrance would be to help support its ‘unconventional’ messaging and innovation.

- Innovative Ingredients: The brand focuses on extensive research and the use of innovative ingredients. Therefore, the scent can be used to highlight or bolster the impressions of the key ingredient within each product.

- Brand Imprint: The brand uses a strong, established Brand Heritage to back up new technology. Therefore, it is important to maintain a strong ‘brand smell’ across its product portfolio; while slight variations across products are needed to bring differentiation and innovation, a strong scent equity for the brand is key. 

We would like to encourage you to take this quick fragrance diagnostic:

Do I know if my fragrances are working to their full potential for my brands?

Are my fragrances optimally evoking…

- our brand values?

- our product innovations?

- our concept promise?

Contact us for help in defining or optimizing your brand fragrance strategy!