The Fragrance Foundation hosted the inaugural Executive Roundtable Discussion: “The Fall and the Rise of the Fragrance Industry,” at the French Institute / Alliance Française on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.
The Fragrance Foundation President, Elizabeth Musmanno, led panelists Robin Burns-McNeill, Chairman and Co-Founder of Batallure Beauty; Michael Gould, former Chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale’s and Frederic Jacques, VP of Fine Fragrance NA at Takasago in a discussion that ranged from the challenges of growing the business in today’s economy, to the role of mobile and online retailing, to how best to reach millenials.
“The key to doing it right is to build desire and awareness. You have to understand who your consumers are and what media they use, and you have to build an imaginative plan to reach them,” said Robin Burns-McNeill, “There is a lot of sameness out there. Without imagination and courage, you tend to stay in one place. You have to be very agile. You need ‘fast feet.’”
“The challenge is not in the launch,” said Michael Gould. “The issue is what we do after. We need to build transactions into relationships. It’s about what creates excitement. People want an emotional connection. There is not a lack of traffic, there is a lack of conversion and a lack of follow-up.”
“We need innovation from the bottle to the packaging,” said Frederic Jacques. “Are we focusing enough on giving the consumer a reason to buy a second time?”
The Fragrance Foundation President, Elizabeth Musmanno ended the evening saying, “Clearly there is an opportunity for an innovative product to stand out.”
The Executive Roundtable series was conceived by The Fragrance Foundation to bring together industry veterans twice a year for a no-holds-barred look at the state of the fragrance industry.