Senior Product Development Manager
Tru Fragrance and Beauty
1250 Broadway, Suite 1901
New York, NY 10001
The benefits of cosmetics and personal care products are both tactile and functional, providing a temporary benefit by enhancing the appearance of the face, body, or hair.
By contrast, fragrance transforms the moment, awakens the senses, creates indelible memories, and captivates the people in a room. The consumer’s experience of fragrance is subjective, abstract, conceptual, and emotional. The combined expertise of the marketer, perfumer, and designer is dedicated to focusing on the development of a product that communicates an emotional link and provides a cohesive, holistic sensorial experience to the consumer. Sensory cues are used throughout the packaging to communicate the olfactive character of the product as well as the emotional story; and these cues are the foundation of a successful fragrance. In this chapter, experts have been interviewed across all components of the development process, and a review of research has been compiled in order to expand the knowledge base of product developers and educate further about the stages of a cohesive fine-fragrance development process.
With over 1,000 fine fragrances launched globally in 2011, what is the best way for fragrance brands to stand out in the eye of the consumer and generate revenue for the brand? Expectations are set for the consumer through sensory cues such as the bottle, packaging, color story, and scent. If these elements are not aligned, consumers can experience sensory dissonance. The five senses are core to human experience and are essential to our perception of the world. In today’s beauty industry, marketers, perfumers, and designers need to work in tandem in order to meet tight timelines and anniversary sales and to be competitive in the marketplace. But is the final product always optimized? Were there connectivity points between the team to maintain synergy for the final product? Does it communicate the concept to the consumer?
Primary Question for Product and Brand Development:
What can companies do to integrate their internal process in order to produce a unified product the consumer will positively respond to, accept, and ultimately purchase?
Led by Brand Development or Marketing, a document called the “brief” outlines the objective and strategy for the finished product. The brief is shared with Product Development to initiate the project. After the initial review, additional briefs can be developed, narrowing the focus and outlining evolving details of the project. The initial brief puts the project in action, and detailed briefs such as the fragrance brief and creative brief are viewed on a micro level for the designated department. Product Development also creates a project timeline and a component pricing analysis, which outlines the budget for the product.
Initial Brief or Project Profile
- ● Brand identity
- ● Target consumer (demographic and psychographic)
- ● Quantitative and qualitative research results, if applicable
- ● Product positioning and white-space opportunity
- ● Competitive analysis
- ● Pricing and cost targets
- ● Quantity
- ● Distribution
- ● Target ship date
- ● Brand overview
- ● Target consumer with focus on psychographic
- ● Concept: Olfactive story
- ○ Mood board
- ○ Color direction
- ○ Product personality
- ● Olfactive category direction: Primary and Secondary
- ○ Primary: citrus, floral, fougere, woody, chypre, oriental
- ○ Secondary: citrus, marine, aldehydic, aromatic, green, floral, spicy, fruity, musky, gourmand, leather/animalic
- ● Oil cost target / Fragrance blend percentage
- ● Olfactive market inspiration or benchmarks
- ● Fragrance color
- ● Distribution (in order to understand compliancy restrictions)
- ● Regulatory and stability requirements
- ● Timeline for deliverables
- ● Brand overview
- ● Target consumer
- ● Product positioning
- ● Concept
- ● Component direction
- ● Color direction
- ● Olfactive direction
- ● Existing brand assets (logos, fonts, imagery, color)
- ● Budget
- ● Timeline for deliverables
While all the departments are working simultaneously, it is important to have connectivity points throughout the process in order to confirm alignment and clear direction towards achieving the ultimate goal.
Throughout the development process of a product, it is essential to think about the left-brain and right-brain functions you want the consumer to experience with the product. One must ask, “How will the consumer react to the product emotionally, creatively? How will the product function? What will the consumer experience through sensory cues? How will the concept or story be successfully translated to the consumer?” In developing sensory cues it is important to consider how each cue will translate the scent to deliver the concept to the consumer.