Monday, December 9, 2019

The effort it takes to advertise a new fragrance

    Months ago I wrote about how I was working on a new fragrance. Then, months later, I told how I was almost ready to introduce it to the world. Over the summer (2019) I said I would introduce it in the fall. I didn't want to announce the name for fear that someone would grab it and use it before me, thus taking away my trademark rights to the name. Now the ad is posted and the name is out, "Rough Day," a fragrance for men.

    Why did it take so long? It can be worth taking a look at the whole procedure. It all starts with an idea, for the scent of the fragrance or for a story that inspires the fragrance. Then you've got to make the fragrance. This means developing a formula.

    "Getting it right" almost always involves many trial batches, adding a little this, deleting a little that, then balancing the ingredients you've finally selected so that the emphasis is right. Then testing some more and then finally making a production batch. Oh, by the way, to make that production batch you will probably have to order larger supplies of the aroma materials you have chosen. This involves shipping time and money. If you haven't got the money to lay out, you can't order the materials you need so you can't make your fragrance.

    Once you've gotten your materials and made your production batch, you've got to let the juice sit and blend. Give it a full month. Then you're ready to add the alcohol and water and begin bottling.

    So you bottle and label and "package" it, if you've got a box. In this case my run was too small for a box to make economic sense. Now the fragrance is ready to sell, but how?

    In my case distribution is on a website I've set up to sell my fragrances. Orders come directly to me and all the packing and shipping is done under my supervision. Due to current shipping restrictions I can only ship by USPS surface. That means no Priority or Express mail and no international orders. USPS ground is not bad time-wise but it can be a bit unpredictable.

    Now that I’m ready to advertise my "Rough Day fragrance for men" I have to write something about it; I have to photograph it; and I have to assemble the web page that will sell it. Here is where some unexpected delays arose.

    It has been nine years since I first developed the website and in that time the digital world has evolved in a wealth of screen sizes, leaving my site a bit dated. Rather than plop a new fragrance into an outdated site, I decided to bit the bullet and "upgrade" to the current web "responsive design" standards. This involved buying and learning new software. I "learned" just enough to create the new pages. They are not yet beautiful but they are functional. Now all is ready and "Rough Day" is online, taking orders

    The reason I am sharing all this with you is that I want you to appreciate that ideas, if they are to amount to anything, usually require a good deal of effort to carry them out. Think of the skills that were involved here, all of which could have been handed over to subcontractors but in this case all was done "in house." There was the conceptualization of the fragrance, the development of the formula from which the fragrance could be produced, the purchasing of aroma materials, and the production of the fragrance. And then writing words, taking photos (more than the ones I'm currently using), creating the web page, maintaining the website, carrying inventory, booking and shipping orders.

    I've been doing it for so long it's become natural but, if you are starting out, it can seem like a lot. My advice here is to take one step at a time and not become overwhelmed. Don't set unrealistic deadlines for a launch because you don't know what obstacles might delay you. But, if you do it one step at a time, you will get your fragrance made and launched and, hopefully, it will sell.