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.

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