Promoting Artisan Fragrance in a Digital World, Part 2, Creating a Great Web Experience and Key Takeaways

2020 . 11 . 13 | written by Karen Marin

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Earlier this month, Essencional partnered with Esxence on a series of virtual workshops to bring you content that is relevant for the here and now. The two-part session entitled Promoting Artisan Fragrance in a Digital World consists of one video dedicated to Online Events and Brand Observations and a second one (see below) which takes a deep dive into Creating a Great Web Experience. Both videos are rich in information providing business strategies and solutions to help brands navigate through digital opportunities. As the moderator of this program, I want to share with you a summary of my key takeways from both videos.

This video began with an interview of Yosh Han who founded the Digital Scent Festival in Spring 2020, a 7-week event that brought together perfumers, brands, and industry professionals in various discussion about fragrance. What we learned was:

• The online events and discussion can bring people together to learn, build the community, and to share with like-minded people,
• Intimate, one-on-one conversations lend themselves to a “fireside chat” thematic best hosted on Instagram TV,
• Group or panel discussion are better suited to a Zoom format,
• The events are great occasions to talk about perfumery in general and not just about a specific brand,
• Think about what would drive consumer interest, what would intrigue a consumer, what would drive them to watch, and ultimately to you,
• Be sure it is entertaining: making it fun is better than dry, informative content,
• Viewers are hungry to learn; what kind of content could you use to create for a masterclass, what about a livestreaming event?
• People love to meet perfumers, hear their stories, learn about ingredients, and see the people behind the creative process.

The second half of the video features interviews with two brand founders, Geraldine Archambault of Essential Parfums and Etienne de Swardt of Etat Libre d’Orange. Geraldine’s brand can be considered a digital native while Etienne pioneered the concept of being a disruptor brand. Some of the most important points to remember include the following:

• Think about creating a clean feed on social media. Be sure it is easy to read and inviting. Think about how images look next to each other, of the colors used, be sure the brand image is respected and consistent,
Be sure to post frequently so you stay top of mind. People will forget about you if you don’t,
• Authenticity has a huge value both in what you do and what you say,
• Share honest reviews, and post everything, regardless of what is said because people can tell if something written is not genuine,
• Build your community through consistent messaging and regular contact,
• Be fun and entertaining,
• Work with Influencers who love your brand and who will give you unpaid content. Let them say what they want to say,
• Host events with your perfumers and tap into their special knowledge. Consumers are curious to know more about them and their field,
• With new launches, send samples to your database. Nothing is as effective as getting the scent into the hands of the users,
• Partner with other organizations and companies. If you don’t have talent in house, find it elsewhere, such as a communication agency who can create campaigns for launches,
Discovery Kits are great tools to allow the consumer to discover the brand in the comfort of their own home, without being rushed or pressured. These can be sold online as a standard item and also used in conjunction with a livestreamed event so consumer can experience the scents at the same time. Be sure to include a voucher: it gives an incentive to buy and redemption rates are as high as 90%. It’s a win-win for everyone!

In the second video, Dana Sandu, tech expert and fragrance lover, gives valuable insight on how brands can meet and exceed the changing needs and expectations of consumers by giving them the best possible online journey. Here are the key takeaways:

• Realize people are now getting visual cues in digital venues – not smell based, not olfactory. Think about the image you are putting forward,
• Recognize new needs are emerging. Diversify your portfolio to answer them if it makes sense for your brand. Current trends point to holistic medicine, hand sanitizer, home fragrance, and well-being,
Brands need to align with a purpose or value and it must be the key driver. Whether the brand is eco-friendly, eco-conscious, heritage based or other, they must be authentic and consistent with this message,
• Be everywhere online with consistent messaging. The repetition of the message keeps the message clear and makes it more memorable,
The website is the ultimate point: the consumer has to have heard of the brand, discovered it, researched it, found it or heard about it through bloggers, influencers, etc. The journey leading up to the point they visit the site is crucial,
Create and deliver good strong content in line with who you are and make it entertaining. Consider IGTV, interviews with people involved in the development of the brand, masterclasses, storytelling -> then take the content and reuse it in different guises for specific digital touchpoints voice, quotes, film, images, text. In this way you can stretch the content to make it go further,
The Online shop is the showcase. It has to attract the consumer and entertain them. Think of how you can make it more compelling,
• Clean up your online store and make it easy to shop, easy to navigate and easy to check out,
• Try to make it possible to have consumer generated content: add a review or comment section so people can express their opinion,
People need to be excited. Think about the unboxing ritual, the moment when the consumer receives an order. When they open the box and unwrap it, there has to be a wow,
• Get a wider reach by building partnerships. Collaborate with like-minded influencers, perfumeries, companies, and other groups who could bring you a new consumer,
Monitor your KPI’s(Key Performance Indicators): how many people are coming to the site, where are they being directed from, , how long do they stay on the site, how quickly do they leave, how many pages do they look at, do they answer a pop-up quiz, do they make a purchase/repeat purchases? What words from your messages are being repeated by the consumer? This data is available through most site analytics (WordPress, Wix, etc) and must be measured as a comparison over time,
• If you change campaigns, measure the efficiency by taking reads before – at the time of the change – and a specific time after. What happened? Did performance improve? Did the brand grow? You must make comparisons to see growth, change and efficacy,
• Look at numbers for the industry, see how people behave, read reports, understand what’s happening and why. Determine what you can use to help in honing your business strategy,
• Don’t get stuck in how things used to be done because the old ways may not be right anymore. Change your strategy if things aren’t working,

The discussion closed by looking at the future and how digital is evolving in the next 6 – 12 months. Dana made two predictions:

1. Expect a polarisation: some people want to learn, become informed and then they make their own choices, confident in their own opinion. Some people like to be told what to do, what to buy. They may rely on an Influencer or a brand to give them direction,
2. Two distinct trends are emerging:
a. Pretty, pastel, ethereal images that are comforting and reassuring and give hope,
b. Fantasy and Hero images, epic stories that take us away to a different world and let us dream.

All of us at Essencional and Esxence hope you enjoyed the videos, and maybe learned something new. Although some of this may be basic to many experienced brands, much of the material covered will help small, young brands to put together a pro-active strategy to lead them to success.