Features

Enticing Uninspired Consumers

November 11, 2005

After Sept. 11, challenges remain on how to get women to the fragrance counter.

The aftermath of September 11 kept an already slumping market in a downward spiral and an "uninspired" consumer was born. This was the topic of The Fragrance Foundation's fall 2002/winter 2003 trends forecast, "Great Expectations, motivating the uninspired consumer," in May.

The Ladies' Home Journal (LHJ) conducted a series of polls, the first of which coincided with Sept. 11. In these polls, women said they focused less on themselves and more on the nation. Prior to Sept. 11, women were concerned with simplifying life, but afterward, wanted to regain control and future certainty. The most intriguing observation was that the recession really wasn't that bad, yet consumers changed their buying behavior.

"This was the first recession in history where spending wasn't down," said David Lagani, vice president and publisher of LHJ at Meredith Publishing. "But women were shopping for what they needed, not what they wanted."

In a January poll, LHJ readers said even though there were great deals in the market, there was a lack of quality and assortment. An April poll found women were more concerned with the war on terrorism than economic conditions. The opposite was true in January, illustrating the increased need for women to feel secure.

A hardened woman emerged from the advent of Sept. 11, according to Myrna Blyth, editorial director, Meredith Publishing. This entailed a woman who knew she held up the economy and had to maintain some normalcy.

"After 9/11, women acted differently. Their security was threatened in a very direct way and they had a very tough-minded reaction," noted Ms. Blyth. "Traditionally, women have not been enthusiastic about their involvement in war. But whether it was their abiding concern for security or the fight against terrorism, women got involved."

For "not needed" items, LHJ's April survey showed convenience and service were three times more important than price, and if it was a "special" product, especially something memorable, women were six times more likely to spend a great deal of money. "Fragrance, for a variety of reasons, fits that bill," insisted Mr. Lagani.

Fragrance has also changed dramatically in the past decade from luxurious items to a holistic experience, lifting the burden of today's stresses.

"In the last 10 years, the industry has caught up to the notion that fragrance is important," said Annette Green, president of The Fragrance Foundation. "Well-being is what fragrance is about today in addition to luxury. But both need to be there to create a successful fragrance."

Like Rosie the Riveter, women today realize their impact on the economy. The challenge is tempting them to buy fragrance.
So what do consumers prefer these days? The Fragrance Foundation's Fall/Winter 2002/2003 Trends Report revealed the women's fragrance market features light and fruity fragrances during the day and floriental scents with a twist at night. As for the men's fragrance market, fresh and spicy notes are worn in the daytime and classic heavier scents in the nighttime.

Kellyanne Conway, president of the polling company, said despite the androgynous response to war, consumers' view on fragrance is very gender-specific. Women primarily use fragrance to feel good about themselves, while men apply it to be more attractive. Yet both agree an established brand is more important than a new brand, Ms. Conway said.

"Women are brand-loyal, but not brand monogamous," noted Ms. Conway. "Consumers will pay more for quality, and the one non-categorical word that means quality to consumers is 'freshness.' This is so important to the notion of fragrance."

Ms. Conway suggested an un-tapped fragrance category is the mothers-to-be-someday population, specifically women ages 28-40. These women expect to have kids and base their life decisions on this outlook. The Fragrance Foundation also pointed to trends emerging in the infants/children market with light aromachology, while teens demand individualistic scents.

Some experts believe that an established brand is not the answer to slumping sales. "Customers are still attracted to newness," insisted Barbara Zinn Moore, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, Lord & Taylor. "It makes the fragrance special and memorable."

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

  • Catch These Rising Stars of Beauty

    Catch These Rising Stars of Beauty

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 6, 2017
    Who won what at Fashion Group International's Rising Star awards show

  • Discourse on Disclosure

    Discourse on Disclosure

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 6, 2017
    Transparency impacts the cleaning industry.

  • The Top Stories of 2016

    The Top Stories of 2016

    December 26, 2016
    The companies and topics that grabbed headlines and your attention this year.

  • What the Halal  Is Going On?

    What the Halal Is Going On?

    Imogen Matthews , In-Cosmetics||February 2, 2017
    Demand for these beauty products is surging thanks to a fastgrowing Muslim population.

  • Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Guadalupe Pellon and Annette Mehling , BASF||February 2, 2017
    BASF researchers detail the attributes of the company’s highly effective hair care system focusing on scalp sensitivity.

  • Defining Clean Skin

    Defining Clean Skin

    Nava Dayan PhD, Dr. Nava Dayan LLC||February 1, 2017
    A look at the issues, research and history surrounding this controversial topic.

  • Hitting the Right Notes

    Hitting the Right Notes

    January 6, 2017
    Agilex Fragrances is the leader in the middle market fragrance category.

  • The Smell of Clean in 2017

    The Smell of Clean in 2017

    January 6, 2017
    Changing consumer lifestyles and demographics are impacting the scents found in the household cleaning category.

  • A New Contender?

    A New Contender?

    January 6, 2017
    Detergent sales are up, innovation continues and Henkel is determined to make it a dogfight in the segment.

  • Engagement 2016

    Engagement 2016

    January 6, 2017
    CSPA convenes in Fort Lauderdale for annual meeting.

  • Slow & Steady

    Slow & Steady

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    In a tumultuous environment, steady gains posted in the industrial and institutional cleaning sector are welcomed.

  • The World Comes to Orlando

    The World Comes to Orlando

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    More than 1,600 chemists traveled to Florida for the IFSCC Congress

  • The Plex Phenomenon

    The Plex Phenomenon

    Denise Costrini, Croda North America||December 1, 2016
    Croda details the hair-protecting qualities of bond multipliers and the company’s new bond-building formulation system.

  • New Hair Care Ingredients

    December 1, 2016
    Check out the latest releases from suppliers.

  • Hair & Now

    Hair & Now

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor ||December 1, 2016
    The shampoo and conditioner category is expanding with modern takes on these classic formulations.

  • Perform or Perish

    Perform or Perish

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 1, 2016
    Success in today’s skin care sector begins with active ingredients, formulated in products that address modern-day issues.

  • Aromas Revealed: Fragrance Disclosure

    Aromas Revealed: Fragrance Disclosure

    Daniel Greenberg, Agilex Fragrances||November 2, 2016
    Fragrance disclosure is a potentially dangerous issue.

  • New and Noteworthy:  Fine Fragrance Roundup  for Fall 2016

    New and Noteworthy: Fine Fragrance Roundup for Fall 2016

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2016
    Check out the latest launches in fragrance this season.

  • Soap Opera

    Soap Opera

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 2, 2016
    FDA’s recent antibacterial ruling has soap sector stakeholders scrambling to keep some ingredients in their formulation kit.

  • New Ingredients for  Household Cleaners

    New Ingredients for Household Cleaners

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2016
    Here are ingredients introduced by suppliers during the past 12 months.

  • A-Okay!

    A-Okay!

    Imogen Matthews, For In-Cosmetics||November 2, 2016
    K-Beauty influences cosmetic development around the world.

  • Shine On

    Shine On

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2016
    Oral care products are rising to the task with innovative components.

  • Next Gen  Antiseptics

    Next Gen Antiseptics

    Emily Kalal and Katherine S. Maka, RITA Corporation||November 2, 2016
    RITA researchers detail the benefits of 0.75% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) antiseptic handwash

  • Change Is in the Air

    Change Is in the Air

    Doreen Wang, BrandZ ||October 3, 2016
    Technology is changing the personal care market

  • Skin Care of One’s Own

    Skin Care of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 3, 2016
    Nu Skin’s ageLOC Me—which melds the worlds of smart-phone technology, efficacious ingredients and personalization

  • Special Effects

    Special Effects

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    Fall 2016 color cosmetics reflect light and offer a focus on elements like pigment, slip and wear.

  • Works of Art

    Works of Art

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 1, 2016
    These suppliers know that the container can be just as important as the juice to entice luxury shoppers.

  • Silent Partners

    Silent Partners

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    From research & development to logistics to confidentiality, savvy distributors help finished formulators achieve their goals