It’s refreshing when an industry looks to new ways of promoting their products instead of being stuck in the past. And especially when that industry could be the world’s second oldest.
We are talking Perfume.
Common wisdom is that demographics are a problem for the perfume industry, with people today wearing fewer fragrances. So what to do?
From the NY Times:
Meet the perfumer, the fragrance industry’s latest ploy to lure people to the perfume counter. After recruiting designers, then celebrities to distinguish one fragrance from another, the industry has dispelled the aura of secrecy that long surrounded perfumers and tapped the creators to help sell their products.
By promoting the names and personalities of the people who create a particular fragrance the industry is taking on risk in a number of ways. But while transparency is always risky, it resonates with the current demographic.
As part of a 2010 campaign, the Fragrance Foundation is encouraging retailers to hold seminars where perfumers will meet with customers and discuss the inspiration for their fragrances … “The consumer will say: ‘Oh, it was developed by Jane Smith? I love her work.’ And it will be a very normal extension to your purchase” …
I applaud the folks who are taking this risk and having confidence in their customers. I wish more industries would take this approach, e.g. ‘old media’ are you listening?
By the way, if you’d like to read a fascinating book about perfume, and need a Christmas gift suggestion, then I recommend The Emperor of Scent. It not only invites you into the world of perfume creation, but provides an extraordinary evocation of scent on the printed page.
Teensy addendum: The second half of The Emperor of Scent gets a little nerdy around the physics of olfaction. Mass spectrometry and stuff like that.