Monday, September 3, 2007

Fragonard's unique approach to perfume marketing

Parfumerie Fragonard, named for grassoise French painter Jean-Honore Fragonard, was founded in Grasse, France, in 1926, in an historic factory building. Fragonard has been in the business of creating perfume for others (i.e., Elizabeth Arden's 1936 Blue Grass) and of marketing perfume under their own name. Fragonard's contemporary marketing technique is worth studying.

Fragonard, under the management of the founder's granddaughters, has created a perfume museum in the old factory building. The museum offers tours, both of the museum, with instruction on perfume making, and of Fragonard's modern factory and laboratories on the outskirts of Grasse. As with most such tourist tours, the final stop of a gift shop where visitors have the opportunity to purchase what they have just been primed for -- Fragonard perfume.

Backing up on site sales is a website that allows new converts to reorder -- and gives those who failed to order at tour's end a second bite at the apple.

So for Fragonard, sales promotion involves getting tourists to visit Grasse and -- since Grasse was once the heart of the French perfume industry -- once in Grasse it is only natural that they would want to see a perfume museum and perfume making,and once they have signed up for the tour, it is only natural that they would want to try a bottle of one of Fragonard's excellent perfumes. And, if they really liked it and now felt an affinity for Fragonard, the chances are excellent that, in time, they might reorder using the website.

This is very much like the promotional strategy used in the U.S. by small wineries.

How could you put this strategy to use? If you owned a B&B, you could feature a tour of your perfume "laboratory", demonstrate a few simple accords, romance your product a bit and take orders. (Be sure to have your perfume available in affordable sizes!)

If you do not happen to own a B&B, consider working with someone who does. For them, to be able to offer a visit to a perfumery would be a plus. For you, this would be a sales opportunity.

Of course the key to it all, besides having a few decent fragrances to sell, is to create a home perfumery that is visually interesting and a "tour" that holds the visitors interest. Probably some hands on lessons would be appropriate -- to get the people involved. And once they are involved, sales can be made. And, of course, you'll need a simple website that can take reorders.