BrandTrack: Sweet sell of success

This month, BrandTrack looks at the purchase of fragrances. It is by far the most fragmented market we have examined, reflected in both the ad awareness and purchase figures. December, in particular, saw a significant rise in sales.

SBHD: This month, BrandTrack looks at the purchase of fragrances. It is by far the most fragmented market we have examined, reflected in both the ad awareness and purchase figures. December, in particular, saw a significant rise in sales.

SBHD: Fragrances bought

One hundred and thirty-one fragrances were named as being bought or requested and received. Some 25 per cent of sales were attributed to a house name.

About 90 per cent of the fragrances mentioned sell for more than £15 for 30ml. Of less expensive perfume, Yardley, Revlon’s Charlie and Max Factor sell well, but the Body Shop leads the sector. It achieved 12 per cent purchase penetration. Nearly half was attributable to White Musk, its top fragrance.

More than 80 per cent of Body Shop purchasers are from the South. Cacharel is also slanted towards the South, but Calvin Klein and Givenchy purchasers tend to be northern

Combined purchases for fragrance houses show Cacharel with 14 per cent overall penetration. In the premium sector, Dior (ten per cent) and Este Lauder (nine per cent) overtake Calvin Klein and Chanel (seven per cent). Este Lauder penetration is composed of several small brands, whereas Dior is mainly attributable to Poison and Dune.

Anais Anais leads, with nearly twice as many buyers as any other fragrance. Obsession, Eternity and Poison hold strong, but White Musk, Charlie, Amarige and Giorgio of Beverly Hills, although low in terms of recall, score high on purchase.

ABC1s are no more likely to buy or receive “premium” fragrances than anyone else; the Body Shop has a flat class profile. Calvin Klein and Charlie draw more than two-thirds of buyers from 16-25s, Cacherel is concentrated among 16-35s, while Chanel and Este Lauder lean towards the older market.

SBHD: Reasons for purchase

Fifty-five per cent were influenced by trying the fragrance in the shop; 11 per cent tried “scratch and sniff” ads, and cited the importance of “smelling it on someone else”.

Habitual use was given as a reason by more than half. Since many had bought more than one fragrance this does not exclude experimentation. Over-35s are less likely to experiment.

Magazine advertising holds the most sway among under-25s. It was particularly high for Amarige, Eternity and Poison.

Price does not seem to be of importance, except for Body Shop buyers. Of these, 34 per cent gave “cheapness” as a reason for purchase, nearly three times the average.

SBHD: Advertising recall

Respondents named 75 fragrances advertised that month, reflecting a high interest in the product field. This entails individual recall levels lower than for less crowded markets.

Only five fragrances achieve recall levels of more than ten per cent. Of these, both Eden and Sun Moon Stars were launched in 1994, and their high recall levels probably reflect the impact of point of sale and promotional activity as well as above-the-line advertising.

Younger buyers tend to remember fragrance ads; only 15 per cent of 16-24s could not recall any advertised brands, compared with 34 per cent of 35 to 55-year-olds. The AB purchasers have the highest recall level for the product field.

There is a significant consumer recall of fragrance houses. Cacherel achieves 31 per cent recall, followed by Calvin Klein (27 per cent), Chanel (22 per cent), Dior (15 per cent) and Yves St Laurent and Este Lauder (12 per cent). Este Lauder and Chanel were more likely to have recall attributed to the house name.

SBHD: Advertising expenditure

More than 100 brands advertised last year, most of them spending less than £200,000. Only 17 brands spent more than £500,000, and only four more than £1m. Yet the vast number of brands brings the annual spend to nearly £30m.

Magazine advertising takes 70 per cent of spend annually, with 29 per cent going to TV. All the brands recorded by Register-MEAL used magazine or press advertising last year, but only 22 had appeared on TV. The other media are relatively insignificant.

Thirty-two per cent of annual spend was booked for December. The media pattern shifted to a slight bias (53 per cent total) towards TV. Seventeen of the 20 television brands appeared in December, and for many this appears to be their only scheduling.

Research asked a sample 272 women aged 16-55, who were buyers or choosers of fragrances in December 1994.

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