Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Perfume marketing headache

The problem with throwing all your money into marketing a perfume

    Before my first success with a fragrance I was involved in marketing vitamins. They typically cost us about $1.10 a bottle and sold for $21.95 -- a good markup. Our first successful fragrance cost us less than $1.50 a bottle and sold for $26.95 -- also a nice markup. But there was a difference between the two products that went beyond the markup. The difference was repeat orders.

    A mentor once told me never to launch a product until I had a second product ready. The point is, even when your product, by itself, is a success -- maybe even a large success -- the real payoff is in the next order, the second product or a reorder for the first product. Why? Because there are almost no marketing costs involved in making that second sale.

    The issue is lifetime customer value. Your best -- most valuable -- customers are the ones who buy from you again and again. Without repeat sales it is difficult to sustain any business.

    When I sold vitamins, customers placed reorders monthly, for years. This was a good business. But look at perfume. Think how long a bottle of perfume can last. Think of how, even when someone loves your fragrance, they might reorder one or two times a year -- and that would be a really good customer. Most perfume users can make a single bottle hold out for years. Thus, while your first order may be quite profitable, the followup business -- the repeat orders -- the lifetime customer value -- isn't there. That's why you need that second product.

    Few companies -- perhaps no company -- whether they be marketing giants or indies, try to make their money on perfume alone. There is always something else that the happy customer can buy from them -- room scents, candles, cosmetics, soap -- anything to increase the value of the first sale.

    Today I sell books, books on fragrance development and marketing. The problem is the same. Someone buys a book and that's nice, but it's nicer if that someone buys two books, or three.

    Look what major book publishers do to squeeze money out of a book. First there's the book, then the movie, then the soundtrack and DVD, then maybe some toys. The book is just a starting point for the marketer.

    So, for your perfume or cologne, by all means go forward with it. Keep your costs down and your quality up. Make money. But think about what else your customers might buy from you. Plan your second promotion. Have your second product available when people order your perfume.

    Sound out your market. See what they want and see if you can find ways to give it to them. Then your perfume becomes the bait that pulls customers in -- and those other products make your first sale far more profitable.
Off Topic
    The greatly revised, updated, and improved version of Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! is now available at a greatly reduced price over what was once charged. If you are producing -- manufacturing -- a perfume either on your own or with professional help, you will find it useful.

Again, thanks for following these messages.

-- Phil


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