Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How to succeed in marketing your own perfume

I once knew a not very good artist who, to my amazement, sent me an invitation to a show he was having at a prestige gallery. I went, out of curiosity, (the paintings were junk) and observed him making sales!

We can argue over tastes in art but the fact was he was a far better salesman than he was an artist. And this should give us all hope.

Creating a successful perfume is not easy. Just ask anyone at Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Inter Perfumes, IFF, Givaudan, Firmenich, or whoever. For every fragrance that "makes it" in the market place, an uncounted number die -- because they weren't "the right" fragrance at the right time and place, and because they were not SOLD successfully.

Yes, you can make profitable sales with a less than brilliant fragrance. If you couldn't, the perfume industry would be quite different than it is today.

Marketing people often don't have much choice about what they are called upon to sell. In advertising circles, the mantra is, "there are no dull products, only dull copywriters/artists/art directors."

The simple fact of business life is that you have to work with what you have ... sell what is in front of you ... generate a profit for your company from a product that might not be as great as what your competition is selling.

If you don't, your company will be out of business, your employees will be out on the street, and your spouse and children might start to wonder about you and your business sense.

Yes, you have to learn to sell what you have, to be enthusiastic about it, to find its good points, to find customers who can appreciate it, and convince them to pay you, not a "fair" price, but a price that allows your company (especially if it is a 1-person company!) to flourish.


But while you are selling the perfume that you HAVE, the perfume that you have made already, it is essential that you keep working on your NEXT perfume, using the feedback (or lack if it!) gained from your current fragrance, working toward new fragrances rather than sitting idle.

I was recently reminded that, when Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel first tried to make a comeback in fashion, at the age of 70 after being out of the business for 16 years, her collection was a disaster. But when her financial backer tracked her down, she was already working on her NEXT collection. Which proved a huge success.

Life does not revolve around a single fragrance. As a perfume creator, you have the opportunity to create many scents. You don't know which of them might be your big breakthrough. But if you keep selling hard with what you've got, and keep developing new fragrances, there's a good chance that you will, in time, find yourself with a very good business.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Do You Sell Your Unknown Perfume Successfully On The Internet?

Here are some points that may help!

Point # 1
The first step in selling perfume successfully from a website it to establish your yourself as a credible merchant. The websites used by successful internet merchants differ radically from "corporate information" websites that may be built around beautiful images, music and animations, all of which delay navigation from one page to the next. To sell on the internet, your website has to function like Google or Yahoo. Navigation must be simple and rapid. Pages must pop up quickly -- with the information buyers are looking for. Ordering has to be functional -- simple -- straight forward -- crystal clear -- and easy to navigate.

Point # 2

The next step is building traffic -- traffic from potential buyers. Traffic from non-buyers only serves to help the search engines take an interest in your site. Your traffic mix must include a good percentage of qualified prospects for your perfume.

How do you achieve this when your perfume is unknown? The search engines can't bring you traffic if nobody is looking for you. Shouting "My New Perfume" at your website won't help.

Since your perfume -- and, probably, you -- are unknown, you will need some sort of CONTENT at your website that people ARE searching for, and, to be effective, it should relate to the possible internet searches of people who might be good prospects for your perfume.

Articles, information, solutions to problems all offer you opportunities to build the right kind of traffic on your website. Don't fall for the line that these will make your website look ugly. The only people who tell you that are people who don't have to sell something from a website.

Point # 3
Let the customer sample your wares. Unless you are a VERY good advertising writer, or unless there is some VERY special association with your perfume, it is unlikely that you will generate sales without offering samples. Samples will not eliminate the need to "sell" your perfume -- as you now must "sell" the visitor on taking action to request your samples. BUT, if you price your sample order so that it appears "generous" (i.e., you don't appear to be trying to make money by selling your samples!), it will be far easier to sell a few samples for the cost of postage and handling than it will to sell a full size bottle.

And remember, if they DO NOT like your samples, they are telling your something! Perfume is a VERY personal product and, if a person likes what you are selling, they will PAY. But if your perfume does NOT strike them as being special -- more special than anything they would buy at the mall, they will not order the full size bottle.

Today consumers have many fragrances to choose from at the mall and, if you are simply trying to imitate a fragrance that is already a success, you have little chance of making a sale. To succeed in selling your perfume or cologne online, it had better be special! -- or your promotion for it had better be special! At least to your target buyer!

Point # 4
Once you have, through your samples, attracted a consumer for your fragrance, make it affordable. If you need to get $50 on ounce or more for your perfume, consider selling it in 1/2 ounce -- or even 1/4 ounce bottles, so that, at least for their first order, the customer don't have to shell out such a big chunk of money.

In the early days of the Coty perfume business, the company prospered by offering its perfumes in a range of different size bottles. Those who had little money could still enjoy a Coty fragrance by purchasing a small (almost tiny!) bottle. Those who had more money could buy a larger bottle. How did rich woman distinguish themselves from their less fortunate cousins? Why they could use MORE perfume and perfume themselves more often!

Let me know how these suggestions worked for you!