Tuesday 1st June 2004
The World Perfumery Congress kicked off in exuberant French style at the Marché Forville, the Farmers Market. Young girls in colourful peasant costumes holding flower arches welcomed the delegates into the stall-lined coloured market draped in French national colours. Typical French fare could be had at the stalls, like Camembert and chevre, or pate and olive canapes, followed by ice creams and sorbets in different “parfums” and other delicious sweets. Naturellement, the French wine flowed freely! This was a perfect occasion to mingle and network and get to know a few new people in the industry from all over the world.
Wednesday 2nd June
The Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals (where Pulp Fiction producer Quentin Tarantino had announced the Cannes Film Festival winners only 2 weeks previously) was the venue for the lecture programme. The organisers, Jean-Pierre Subrenat – Congress Chairman, and Francis Thibaudeau -the Co-Chairman, introduced themselves, welcomed the more than 1200 delegates from 32 countries, and proceeded to introduce the first of 30 speakers.There would be ten 20-minute lectures each morning, with the Exhibition Hall housing 62 company stands for visiting late morning to early evening.
THE MARKETING OF FRAGRANCES: BRING BACK ITS ESSENCE
Peter B. Lichtenthal, Senior V.P.Global Marketing, The Estee Lauder Companies
The escalation of new launches: 32 in 1980 to 227 in 2003, has led to declining growth in the fragrance market. There is heavy competition from other gift categories like pens, watches, chocolates: we need to upgrade and enhance the emotional experience of buying fragrance and make fragrance an object of desire, the gift of choice. How? Packaging, e.g. by affordably upgrading e.g. bottle design; “Provenance”: the creative history of the fragrance; Retail environment; Innovative marketing; Holiday time:restore the value of perfume as a gift. Marketers should try to increase creative time and perfumers must push boundaries of creativity vs commercial viability.
THE CHALLENGES OF NEWNESS
Nicolas Mirzayantz, V.P. Global Business Development Fine Fragrances & Toiletries, IFF
The industry has gone for safety at the price of excitement. Branded products are not given time to develop market share, leading to new product launches. A fault is that we benchmark a market product and ask perfumers to create something like it. Instead, we should encourage perfumers to create something new, e.g. see Angel, which was never tested. We need consumers to love, not just like a fragrance. Newness provokes desire, leading to success; it provokes addiction, leading to enduring success.The theory of newness has 6 facets: change, surprise, incongruity, complexity, uncertainty, and puzzlement. A graph of 4 quadrants could be used to place perfumes: 1. “Intrigue”, 2.”Broad appeal”, 3. “Cult”, and 4. “Legend”. e.g. Coco Mademoiselle with its elements of puzzlement and surprise would go in Quadrant 1, Shalimar in 3, and Beautiful or Angel in 4. It is possible for fragrances in all 4 quadrants to become classics. Which quadrant you want to be in determines marketing strategy which determines how to launch and market the brand.