Ensuring Celebrity and Designer Fragrance Sales

John Deputato, of SymphonyIRI Group, looks at what needs to change in order to drive celebrity and designer fragrance growth for the future.

WRITTEN BY: John Deputato

AUTHOR BIO: John Deputato is a senior vice president and leader of the Beauty and Personal Care, Client Team Vertical, at SymphonyIRI Group. With more than 25 years of experience in the health and beauty care industry, he has held a number of CPG marketing positions, including senior marketing executive for the Stetson brand at Coty and product manager for Old Spice at The Shulton Company.

Attractive, provocative, and sexy… style setting, creative and powerful…these are just some of the images that come to mind when you think of a celebrity or a designer. Today’s personal fragrance marketplace is dominated by brands influenced by celebrities and designers.

In mass outlets, celebrity or designer brands represented 64 percent market share of women’s fragrances and 72 percent market share of men’s fragrances for the latest 52-week period, ending June, 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group, Inc. In mass outlets for both men’s and women’s fragrances, the top 10 fragrance portfolios include eight designers or celebrities, with Calvin Klein the leader for both men’s and women’s fragrances. Charlie, BOD Man, and Jovan are the only fragrances that do not have designer or celebrity equity.

From a celebrity or designer’s perspective, a signal of success is having a fragrance in their name. A designer uses a fragrance as the finishing touch to their portfolio, which usually begins with clothing, expands to jewelry and finishes off with a scent. Celebrities capitalize on their popular image to entice the public to wear a fragrance in their name.

For manufacturers, fragrances by celebrities and designers are an expensive endeavor due to royalty charges and the cost of developing that very special package to reflect the celebrity or designer’s image. Oftentimes, advertising is not utilized, since the image provides an element of instant awareness and credibility.

In today’s marketplace, there are tons of gift options. Shoppers today need constant reminders that fragrances are an important gift consideration. And, while manufacturers are committed to the profit and loss statement, the category needs advertising and awareness to break through the clutter in today’s environment.

Acqua Di Gio is the leading men’s brand in department stores and is the third best-selling men’s brand in mass outlets for the latest 52-week period, ending June, 2010. In addition to its designer name, attractive packaging and fabulous scent, its success has been realized by consistent advertising during seasonal peaks.

Two brands that have withstood the test of time in mass outlets are Stetson and White Diamonds, which continue to be ranked No.1 in men’s and women’s fragrances, respectively. Stetson, from Coty, is licensed by the Stetson hat company; White Diamonds, from Elizabeth Taylor, is manufactured and distributed by Elizabeth Arden. Both are perennial winners and were built on the foundation of heavy advertising campaigns.

With fragrance sales declining over the last decade in the mass market and department stores, manufacturers must change the model of diminishing advertising support and restore it as a critical component of the marketing mix. The category needs leaders to step up for the category’s sake.

EDITOR’S NOTE: John Deputato will be a key speaker at Beauty Packaging’s special panel at HBA Global Expo, at Jacob Javits Convention Center, in Manhattan, on September 28, from 3:00 PM-4:00 PM. To register: www.hbaexpo.com

The session will also feature Nirav Mehta, director of Packaging Concept Development (PCD) and Innovation, Coty Beauty. The two highly accomplished speakers will delve into the history of Celebrity Fragrances and its recent trends.