Online Exclusive: The Fragrance Foundation Delivers Outlook on the State of the Industry

By Jamie Matusow, Editor

The fragrance industry witnessed another highly successful year in 2012, and stands to gain increased presence—and sales—from further developing its presence via social media.

At The Fragrance Foundation’s State of the Industry Luncheon: (L-R) Elizabeth Musmanno, Scott Galloway, Jill Belasco, Wade Gerten, Andrew Morse (Photo: Owen Hoffmann of Patrick McMullan)
These two takeaways were provided by a group of cosmetics and economic analysts and top players in digital media who addressed a crowd of about 200 industry executives at The Fragrance Foundation’s annual State of the Industry Luncheon at The Harvard Club in November. Elizabeth Musmanno, the new president of The Fragrance Foundation, introduced the speakers: Andrew Morse, managing director, senior partner and board member, HighTower, a financial services company; Carrie Mellage, director, consumer products, Kline & Company; Wade Gerten, chief executive officer
8thBridge, a company specializing in “social commerce;” and Scott Galloway, clinical professor of marketing at NYU Stern and founder of L2 Think Tank, known for digital innovation.

Morse talked about the economy, noting that amidst Europe’s struggle and China’s

(L-R): Elizabeth Musmanno, Westly Morris, Jill Belasco
slowdown, the consumer confidence level has been rising in the U.S. in the past two years, and sales of single-family homes have been increasing. “Things are getting better,” he quipped. “They just don’t feel like it.”

Fragrance continues to outsell the rest of the industry according to Kline’s Mellage, who predicted that the rest of 2012 would remain strong, through slightly below 2011’s impressive numbers. She cited contributors to this year’s success, including Lady Gaga Fame, Coco Noir, Britney Spears Fantasy Twist, Marc Jacobs Dot and Chloe’s solid perfume necklace. “Innovative packaging drives fragrance sales,” said Mellage. “Not just juice.”

Gerten offered advice on how to use social media apps to augment the shopping experience—and the importance of utilizing Facebook’s Like button.

According to research performed by Galloway’s group, consumers are showing a preference for purchases that forego a salesperson. He told the crowd that Lauder had reported that more people buy at counter after interacting with the iPad, rather than the counter person. “They just want to buy,” said Galloway. “They want everything out of the way.”