The Experts’ Scent – Fragrance Foundation Annual Event

Nearly 200 of the fragrance industry’s elite were in attendance at The Fragrance Foundation’s annual members-only State of the Industry event, held on November 15, 2012, at the Harvard Club in New York City. Carrie Mellage, Kline’s Director of Consumer Products practice, attended the event where she presented, among other data, the findings from Kline’s recent survey on fine fragrance.

Following opening remarks by Elizabeth Musmanno, The Fragrance Foundation’s newly appointed president, Andrew Morse of HighTower, gave a macro view of the current state of the overall global economy, its effect on the global consumer, and what we can expect going forward.

Carrie then took the stage to share Kline’s real-time overview of the current state of the fragrance industry and the expectations for the 2012 holiday season. She revealed Kline’s prediction that fragrances will again outpace total beauty industry growth for the second time in over a decade. In addition, she asserted that the fragrance market will likely post a full-year growth around 4.5% in 2012.

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(Images from Fragrance Foundation event by Owen Hoffmann of Patrick McMullan.)

Although Hurricane Sandy is projected to negatively impact the important holiday season, Carrie stated that the fragrance market had been trending at roughly 6% through the latter part of October. However, due to the vast devastation in the New York metropolitan area, consumers were left without basic necessities and were forced to spend money on unplanned purchases such as home repairs and generators therefore suggesting that fragrance sales could be negatively affected in this area of major purchasing power. Even those left relatively unscathed have had a mindset reset, centering their values on health, family, and friends, and this emphasis will likely impact how they shop this holiday season.

Kline also noted factors that are helping to buoy the industry in 2012, which include successful new scents targeting a younger demographic; classics, celebrity, designer, and artisan scents; distinctive packaging; gift sets and smaller sizes offering a lower price-point. Kline’s research indicates that Lady Gaga’s “Fame” is expected to be the most successful celebrity launch of 2012 while Chanel’s “Coco Noir” is predicted to be the most successful designer launch.

Next, Wade Gerten of 8th Bridge discussed the world of Facebook shopping and how to leverage the fragrance industry through Facebook. Among his suggestions were expanding the use of custom buttons beyond “like,” to include “need,” “own,” and “obsessed.” His research also showed that the number one reason people shop online is to avoid a salesperson.

Scott Galloway, a clinical professor of marketing at NYU Stern and founder of the L2 Think Tank, then talked about the fragrance industry’s “Digital IQ.” Among his insightful findings were the fragrance category’s low digital score and low share of Google real estate, in addition to his somewhat controversial rankings of the various fragrance brands in the L2’s “Digital IQ Index.”

It certainly was an interesting agenda, and Kline was again honored to participate in this esteemed event.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Kline’s presentation and/or results from the survey that fed into our findings, please contact Kline’s fragrance expert Donna Barson at Donna.Barson@klinegroup.com.

For more, see Cosmetics & Toiletries USA.

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