Vivek Bhatia, artistic director at London-based ico Design, discusses how a confused perfume model grew to become a contemporary American perfumery.
Over the previous decade, we’ve seen established manufacturers in virtually each sector face competitors from new, agile, goal-pushed challengers. In the banking and finance sector, Monzo and Revolut made the larger banks scramble to enhance their cell banking experiences. In well being and wellness, manufacturers like Burst have pushed Colgate and Oral B to rethink their method to product growth. And in perfume, area of interest digital manufacturers like Commodity have made artisanal perfume extra accessible, inflicting their extra established rivals to rethink their communication methods.
Yet, the fast development of any new model comes with its personal set of distinctive issues.
Commodity, for instance, began as a Kickstarter marketing campaign in 2014. They quickly developed a cult on-line following with their anti-model method, focusing purely on making their fragrances as accessible as doable. And as customers turned away from the cliched storytelling of the established manufacturers, Commodity grew rapidly.
This success meant the model was purchased and bought a number of occasions from 2016 to 2019. Yet it was on this course of that the essence of the model grew to become muddled and confused because of the competing visions of totally different homeowners. Growth started to stagnate, and, earlier than lengthy, Commodity’s future was hanging within the steadiness.
In 2019, Commodity was acquired by Vicken Arslanian – an entrepreneur and proprietor of Europerfumes. For Vicken, it was a possibility to develop a model that could possibly be a conduit for his personal concepts about perfume.
Before this might occur, he recognised that Commodity’s model lacked readability and persona. He approached us to assist refocus and reposition the model; to relaunch Commodity by amplifying a brand new core product philosophy to enchantment to a world viewers.
There have been many artistic challenges. How to increase the visible language with out introducing superfluous parts? How to explain fragrances in a approach that was simply understood? How to attach with a brand new viewers with out alienating an present one? All of these grew to become half of an ongoing artistic technique.
The first port of name was to deal with what Commodity stood for. As a nod to the previous however firmly heading into the long run, we refocused the model round three core pillars: moral, elemental, and atypical. This new strategic basis gave the model a powerful focus and proposition. Under the banner of making the ‘distinctive accessible’ and eradicating the smoke and mirrors surrounding perfume, the model may re-interact its present viewers while interesting to a totally new one.
Vicken noticed how totally different markets had totally different tastes. In the Middle East, folks typically wore bolder, heavier fragrances in comparison with these in Europe or Asia, additionally how customers would adapt their perfume relying on the event. He noticed a possibility not solely to create totally different concentrations of the identical perfume, however to redefine how these have been described, eliminating outdated and misunderstood trade phrases resembling ‘Eau de toilette’, ‘Absolute’ and ‘Extract’.
This led to the creation of ‘Scent Space’ – a brand new, less complicated approach of classifying perfume concentrations as both Personal, Expressive or Bold, with Personal being the least potent, and Bold the strongest.
Another perception that gave the model a degree of distinction was its positioning. The world of perfume is dominated by European firms, however Commodity was very a lot an American-based model. Being framed as ‘A Modern American Perfumery’ allowed Commodity to be genuine about its roots and storytelling, which manifests itself as ‘Commodity TV’, an ongoing docu-sequence the place followers of the model get to see behind the scenes.What the rebrand of Commodity demonstrates is that the problem of the sector is to align with new shopper behaviour, whereby folks can be more and more much less inclined to go to a division retailer to search out their favorite perfume. While deciding on on-line has its challenges, eradicating esoteric storytelling and changing it with genuine ones yields new alternatives – one which Commodity is taking full benefit of.