The Sweet Smell of Success

Just returned from  Elements Showcase, a niche fragrance show happening in New York right now.  Listening and talking to buyers and marketers, here are a few random things that we learned today –

  • The recession only really hurts the middle class/markets. Not the top/luxury and not the bottom/mass. Even in Oklahoma, where $45 candles are selling like crazy.
  • The Chinese consumer market is just learning about the concept of home fragrance (candles/aroma stickers/atomizers) and they tend to like “lighter” fragrances.
  • Small brands like to stay on Etsy, even as they grow, because it gives them the chance to still experiment with their target audience.
  • At-home gadgets and ingestible beauty pills are the future of cosmetics. Skin care just feels good, but doesn’t do much.
  • Just because you have a cool concept/packaging/product doesn’t mean you are going to build a brand.
  • Fewer and fewer buyers are going to trade shows, preferring to shop brands for their own stores online.
  • It doesn’t matter who you know, if you are difficult to work with, you aren’t going to make it.
  • Just like buyers and sellers in the real estate market, most companies are taking a wait and see approach to making a commitment.
  • The typical 90 day payout terms of prestige stores are turning into 120 as they take longer to pay, even after your products are moving on the sales floor.
  • Minimum orders and commitment to an entire collection is an incredibly old school way of thinking. A luxury department store will edit your collection and you must be adaptable and flexible to their terms.
  • Things are booming in Romania. Especially luxury items, like niche perfume.

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