Friday, March 16, 2018

Can your company sell perfume? Are you ready for a test?

    As I slowly revise, update, and shorten Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!, I've decided to leave off the original pages on testing. The method described, which was so important for us at the time, would be useful to few marketers today. Still, it can stimulate your thinking about the importance of testing so I've archived this testing report in a short online article.

    Testing is the art of buying information at a low cost before making a substantially larger financial commitment. Testing, done properly, can alert you to projects that are sure to bring financial disaster, and it can open your eyes to large, potentially profitable, opportunities.

    If your plan is to develop and market a new fragrance -- a project that will involve considerable expense -- testing, properly done, can lower your risk significantly by giving you answers to these two important questions:

    First, you want to be confident -- based on real data -- that your organization will be able to successfully market a fragrance. Will your people -- your market -- buy perfume from you? You want to answer this question before you put big money into developing a perfume.

    The second question -- will your particular fragrance sell -- I rate as less important. Why? Because once you have demonstrated (through testing) that your company can sell fragrance to your market, it is now just a matter of honing in on the scent that has the greatest appeal to them.

    Your testing strategy here can involve purchasing all the components of your fragrance in bulk (except for the label and the scent itself) and then filling and labeling only a small number of bottles for each test. If the fragrance takes off, you can fill more; if the fragrance bombs, you can use some of the remaining components for your next try... and the next after that if necessary.

    But once you've established that your company can sell fragrance to your market, your "failures" are not likely to be crushing. Even if a new scent you are testing does not yield a profit (or just not the profit you would like to see!), it's likely that you will make enough sales so that the results will be far from a total loss.

    One final note. Once you've found your winner, don't stop testing. Keep looking for the next winner so that when your current hit starts to lose steam you'll have a proven replacement in the pipeline.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Naming Your Perfume -- What's really important

    What follows is a short appendix to a revision of Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! now in progress. Also in progress, a project to revise and combine two books: Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name  and How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume .  
     Now here's what will appear as Appendix i in the new, short version of  Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! --

    A good name for your perfume is useful. It won't make the fragrance "sell itself" but it can help make sales. It is worth taking time and putting some thought into a name for your perfume, even if you started your project with a name already in mind.
    Naming a new perfume successfully involves both diligent research and creative inspiration. The creative goal is to find a name that gives your fragrance a story that is told (1) by the scent itself, (2) by the name itself, and (3) by the promotional support, large or small, you give it. When name, scent, and story are in harmony, your chances of a marketing success are improved, sometimes dramatically.
Is anyone already using your name?
    You now have an issue of use. Is anyone else using your name or anything close to it? If so, your beautiful name could be a problem. Before you get too deeply committed to any particular name, search high and low for any other fragrance or fragranced product on the market that is using your name or anything close to it.
    There are two practical ways to search. First do an online search. Put your fragrance name into Google and see if you get a match in something that relates to fragrance. Search under your name plus the work "perfume." Search under your name plus the word "fragrance." Search under your name plus the word "cosmetics." With luck none of the results will reveal a conflict.
    Then go to the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and do a (free) TESS search. Here you are only looking for conflicts in the perfume category (classification IC 003). Sometimes you will find a mark whose registration has expired BUT just because the registration has expired doesn't mean that other party's rights to it have been lost. It might still be active in the marketplace and thus conflict with your name.
    Don't be discouraged if your first name runs into a conflict. Try again. In many cases you'll find that you were the first to associate the name with a fragrance.

Trademark rights
    Once you begin to market your fragrance under a name that nobody else has staked a claim to, you establish rights to that name, whether you register it with the trademark office or not. Your right is achieved by using your unique "mark" in "trade" (hence, "trademark"). Dreaming up a good name can't confer this right. You must produce your fragrance and put it on the market. This doesn't mean you must obtain mega sales before you gain trademark rights to your name but it does mean you must have a product and you must be offering it for sale to people "out there."
    One warning about naming a perfume. Increasingly we live in an online world. You, your business, and your perfume want to be found. The implications for your perfume's name are that it must be memorable enough and spellable enough so that seekers can enter it in searches -- and yet it must not be so common that online searches pull up hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of incorrect links with your link, if it exists at all, many, many pages down.

     As always, I read all feedback and welcome your suggestions, corrections, and input.
     -- Phil