What’s happening in the independent fragrance market today?
Dynamic Blending, a Utah contract manufacturer, is well positioned to work with smaller fragrance brands, with low minimum order quantities and in-house R&D and design departments. CosmeticsDesign spoke with the company’s co-founders, Jordan Erskine and Gavin Collier, about what they see happening in the independent fragrance market and what trends to watch.
What do you think are the things fragrance brands need to know to be successful in the independent fragrance space right now?
Jordan Erskine:It has a lot to do with who are they actually marketed to. Depending on who they are actually targeting really dictates the types of scents they are going to use or the methods of providing scents to the different fragrance formulations they are going to develop.
It also dictates the type of packaging, where it comes from and whether it is environmentally friendly. All of these things come into play, depending on who the target audience or the target customer is. This is something they really need to think about before developing a formula.
On the branding and marketing side of the business, have you noticed any trends in what these fragrance brands are looking for?
Gavin Collier:Companies really want to commit to a sustainable development approach. From ingredients to packaging, they look for what is most respectful of the environment.
We find that many young consumers are looking for simply cleaner products. They want to know what’s really inside the product they’re buying. They want transparency from brands to achieve this.
Jordan Erskine:Another trend goes hand in hand, the look of social media when starting a cologne fragrance brand is very different these days. We know of a few different brands that have had very successful Kickstarter campaigns without even sending out a single bottle of perfume.
Some of these companies are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars or even billions of dollars on Kickstarter-like platforms, just based on the flavor of their marketing. The power of social media and Kickstarter and things like that are opening their arms to cologne, perfume, skincare and beauty products in general, which is pretty unheard of.
Some of these brands have extremely successful campaigns, and their branding obviously also helps with very minimal expenses, which is very unique.
Gavin Collier:Different ingredients and fragrances are used to tell a marketing story or a brand story. We see citrus and other floral tones to stir up moods and other feelings. We are seeing this layering in the essential oil market.
There is a huge market for essential oils Essential oils are now being used in perfumes and cosmetics and people really like it and want to use certain perfumes in a way that tells a story and supports their eco branding.
Jordan Erskine:We have seen an increase in different delivery methods for cologne and perfume. Solid stick colognes are quite popular, with consumers rubbing their hands on them and then rubbing them on their necks.
It’s not as strong or potent, but it’s definitely an easy-to-carry fragrance option in your pocket.
In fragrances, we’ve seen scented body gels where someone would smear it all over like a lotion, but it’s more scented to be used as an overall body scent. There have been a few big companies that have released body gel type fragrances that are more geared towards women.
What else is important for beauty professionals or future brand owners to know about the fragrance space right now?
Jordan Erskine:One of the most important things is that this industry and other industries have a lot of volatility in supply chains. Some ingredients are everywhere, even before COVID-19. Post-COVID, over the past two years, they’ve been even more volatile.
What we do when onboarding clients is more of a training session. “Here’s what we can do, here’s what we recommend and here’s what we don’t recommend.”Especially if they start to take this natural route, our limitations are many.
It’s almost like a moving goal post when companies come to us and they want something natural, made with essential oils, because then we have to explain to them all the repercussions of using an essential oil. , instead of a traditional perfume.
Gavin Necklace: One of the characteristics of essential oil is that there will be variability in the color of the materials you get from the supplier. You may want to create your brand from a particular color tone. But if you understand that natural products have natural variability, you can expect to see it.
It’s just part of the process of determining who you’re also going to market this to and what you need to put in your formula.
What’s it like as a contractor to serve as the frontline of industry education for these very small independent brands that have a concept, but may not be so familiar with the finer details of care personal?
Jordan Erskine:It is extremely difficult because we have been doing this for 20 years. There are so many little nuances and things you need to be aware of that it’s almost tribal knowledge.
When we get new clients that are startups or indie brands, who have never really done this or done this process before, we have found that some clients will try to catch you on something or hold us accountable for something which is within the knowledge of the industry.
This education element is something that we always talk about that needs to be improved and that we will improve with our marketing team. We even found top brands already selling at some of these retailers where our quality team found quality gaps. There’s just a lot in this industry and education is a tough part when we have customers who don’t really know what they’re doing.
Gavin Collier:We literally educate all the time. We do a lot of work with independent brands, but like Jordan said, there are a lot of people who have faked it and ended up in positions they probably shouldn’t be in.
They do things and they don’t fully understand the process. No matter the size of the business, we need to educate them on how things are actually done. It’s a good position for us at the end of the day, because of the service we provide.
These brands, very big and small, come to us because they don’t quite understand how everything has to be done and why it has to be done the way it is, and we’re happy to do it the right way and show them , train them and help them become a better brand while we make their product, but it’s a team effort.