"Make good products, never compromise on quality," founder of the Guerlain empire, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, once said. "As for the rest, stick to simple ideas and apply them scrupulously." That was in the nineteenth century. In 2016, fragrance marketing directors know that sticking to simple ideas won't make you rich and famous in an overloaded market, where everything is available to everyone. Keeping up a prestigious image takes other methods today than those prescribed by Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain.
In the latest issue of CosmétiqueMag, a professional journal devoted to the beauty industry, Guerlain’s marketing director Margerie Barbès Petit (pictured to the right) explains why the brand has begun to focus on luxurious packaging, limited editions, exclusive collections, and spectacular boutique decor, rather than what perfumery was all about in the golden days, namely olfactive creativity and quality.
"Among our customers there are of course a small number of passionate and highly educated people, but many are just looking for a rare perfume. These are the same who buy limited editions in fashion or design, and it reflects the current taste for personalization," she says.
According to CosmétiqueMag, the focus on exclusive packaging and limited editions is a very wise business strategy, because exclusive collections sell like hotcakes, despite little creative effort put into them, the absence of expensive ad campaigns, and a high sales price.
Luckily, the "small number of passionate and highly educated people" can still find such solid olfactive works as Mitsouko, L’Heure Bleue and Habit Rouge in the Guerlain catalogue. But we might as well get used to the fact that the form-over-substance philosophy is here to stay. See CosmétiqueMag
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Some images courtesy of guerlain.com