Saturday, April 18, 2020

Two kinds of perfume, two kinds of risk

    There are perfumes that "everybody" likes and there are perfumes that some people love passionately while others can't stand them. Where is the money? Where is the risk?

    What I am about to suggest is not a universal rule but something you might consider. Trying to create a fragrance that everybody likes can be risky. Unlike those of major fragrance marketers, your fragrances will not reach the masses. You don't have enough money. Your fragrances can reach only select markets and a handful of consumers and, in these select markets, you'll find yourself competing with mass market fragrances -- and they will be better than yours, if yours were developed to please everyone.
    But think of the people you expect to promote to. What can you offer them that they can't get from the popular, well promoted, mass market fragrances so easily available to them? You're unlikely to impress them with the fine quality of your perfume. You, or whoever is making your perfume, will simply not be as good as the top professionals. But you can offer them originality. You can offer beautiful scents that are out of the ordinary and, because they are a bit "different" -- not following current fashion trends -- they will be "off limits" to the perfumers who are paid to create for the mass markets.

    The risk is that because these scents are out of the ordinary, not everybody will like them. Some people may hate them. But even those who hate them can help you sell, by talking about them, by generating buzz that will get more people to look at your fragrances. Some who look will buy.

    Yes, you must create a fragrance that has merit. You must create a fragrance in which some will see the beauty. You must create a fragrance that some will be passionate about, regardless of what others say.

    But look now what has happened to the risk. Rather than being a marketing issue where you're bumping heads with major fragrance marketers, now your risk is that you may not be able to create that beautiful but controversial fragrance! But this is a risk that can be overcome by common sense, hard work, and testing. And the costs of launching and promoting a new perfume that is painfully "ordinary" carries a far greater risk.