Why Do We Buy Fragrance?

February 22, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

I recently bought a bottle of perfume for my wife for Valentines Day. I had no idea what brand to buy her but I was dazzled by the merchandising of one particular brand that had everything beautifully gift wrapped.

I asked the shop assistant to gift wrap the perfume I had chosen for my wife. She quickly produced a stunning wrapping paper and carefully wrapped the present far better than I could have. Then she brought out a roll of printed ribbon which I’ve seen in all of the brands advertising campaigns. I was enamored.

She carefully tied a neat little bow around the present and when it was finished she stuck a small gift card onto the present and handed it to me with a “I know I’ve done well here” smile.

She had done well. Because what she had done, is turn an ordinary product into a loving gift; something much more symbolic than just a printed box with a perfume bottle in it.

Later that day, when I got home, I sat down with my wife and we exchanged gifts. You could see she was excited. Her eyes lit up when she saw this gorgeous little wrapped present. As she untied the ribbon and ripped open the wrapping paper she was quite vocal about her excitement. There was lots of “oooohing” and “aaaahing” and when she saw her present she gave me a hug and a kiss then neatly folded up the paper and the printed ribbon to use again.

My present could be regarded as a success.

In contrast, she then produced my gift. A little box wrapped in a dull, frankly horrible, blue paper. Why does my present look so cheap? Seriously? The paper was all crinkled and there were finger marks and white lines over it. And where was my printed ribbon?

Why did I not get a nice printed ribbon which I could keep and use again.

I probably wouldn’t, But still my experience was no where near as good as hers visually. I politely opened my present and tried to show the same level of enthusiasm my wife had shown when she opened her gift but it was hard.

This was after all a men’s fragrance. I knew my present cost the same amount as her present and I knew it came from the store and my wife hadn’t wrapped it.

This got me thinking, why did the female fragrance get such a beautiful treatment and the mens fragrance was so neglected. Do men not appreciate this kind of service?

Puzzled, I wrote to the store and complained. They wrote back and explained that the fragrances are sold by different concessions within the store and that we had used different concessions to buy our fragrances.

So perhaps, this wasn’t actually a case of “gift wrapping sexism” but a company neglecting a large proportion of its market.

Because one of the main reasons buy a fragrance is as a gift. In fact 42% of all sales are bought as gifts.

42% is almost half of the all the customers.

Did that concession really neglect 42% of its market by offering such a pathetic gift wrapping service?

I’m a big believer in companies adding value whenever they can. Gift-wrapping doesn’t cost much but it adds lots to the customer experience and caters to that 42%.

Around a week after receiving my letter from the store, I went back to visit all the different perfume concession. There were some examples of amazing gift-wrapping. The products were wrapped in scented wrapping papers with scented printed ribbons, beautiful gift boxes and printed tissue papers lined the shelves.

However, other concessions had made no effort with gifting for one reason or another.

It’s a shame because during these times and especially with indulgent products like fragrance every detail counts. Perhaps not if you are a “stack em high, sell him cheap” retailer but for the more luxurious end of the market, brands and re-sellers have to think of the service they are offering and the deliverables.

Beautiful wrapping paper, printed ribbons and gift boxes are part of the gift giving process and shouldn’t be neglected. It is an opportunity to create value and leave an amazing impression in the consumers mind.

Wrapology specialises in designing and producing printed ribbons and wrapping paper. Manufacturing in the U.K, Europe and China, Wrapology produce printed ribbon and packaging for some of the finest brands in the world. Contact them on how to achieve a beautiful gift wrapping service.

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