How To Think About
Selling Your Own Perfume

The most important point to think of when you think
about selling your own perfume is ... "How am I going to sell it?"

  • You can't sell a perfume simply on its quality.
  • You can't sell a perfume simply on its originality.
  • You can't sell a perfume simply because you love it.

You can only sell a perfume if you have customers who will buy it.

Launching a quest for potential buyers before you invest in a perfume is a sign you are thinking like a professional or a seasoned entrepreneur.

What you must look for is clusters of buyers who can be reached, conveniently, by media you can afford. These clusters may be arranged geographically, in which case you'll look for some soft of local media to reach them, or they may be located globally in which case, although you may be able to define them by demographics, it may not be so convenient to reach them with your marketing communications unless the bulk of them follow certain websites to which you have access.

Local clusters may be defined by some common local interest, such as supporting a fundraiser event or a tourist's desire for a fragrance reminder of a pleasant vacation spot.

Global clusters can be fans of a celebrity who, though widely scattered geographically, cluster around their interest in a single performer. Reaching this soft of market generally requires the resources of a larger company. An example would be Avon's Jon Bon Jovi fragrance, Unplugged, which can can be promoted and distributed by Avon's many thousands of sales representatives.

If you can't identify a cluster of buyers who will have a special interest in your fragrance — and a good potential to become your customers — it is wise to cool it a bit on developing your fragrance and put more effort into establishing a market.

You can ONLY succeed with a fragrance if you sell it into as market that is interested in buying it. If you try to sell your perfume to people who are indifferent, it will fail.

If you find yourself getting stuck trying to find a useful cluster of people to sell to, you can find some help here.

Once you have identified a cluster of people who are good candidates for your fragrance, you can start to think about the next important detail — determining the size of your market. This number is vital to your planning.

Market Size

Marketing professionals examine market size before embarking on a project. If I have 5,000 faithful customers for my business and I estimate that 20 percent of them (1,000 customers) are likely to buy my new perfume, then my market size — my prime market — is 1,000 individuals. My planning from this point forward will be directed at developing a fragrance I can sell profitably to these 1,000 potential buyers.

Sometimes we find that the size of the market is too small for the project we have envisioned. If, for example, I want to create an original fragrance, develop an original bottle to hold it, and surround my bottle with elaborate packaging, a market of only 1,000 customers would be far too small to support such a project.

The cost to me of each bottle I produced might run around $250 to $300. To make a profit (after marketing expenses), I would have to sell each bottle for around $750 to $1,000. Unless I was doing a fund raiser for oil sheiks (and, personally, I don't know any!) my project would be hopeless.

But two alternatives could make my project successful. One the one hand with my market of 1,000 potential buyers, I could re-think my product. I could use a existing perfume compound, stock, off-the-shelf bottles, a simple label and, perhaps, no box at all. By doing this I might drive my cost per bottle down to around $1.50 to $3.50 per bottle. Now, if I can sell a bottle of perfume to each of those 1,000 prospects at, say, $25 to $35 per bottle, and, say, my marketing expense is small, I stand to make a nice profit.

The other approach would be to expand the size of the market. If I want to do my fancy perfume in elaborate packaging, I might have to find 100,000 to 250,000 or more customers for my perfume. To accomplish this, generally you will need good marketing skills.

Then the questions must be asked, if these additional prospects can be found, can you reach them with your sales message? Do you have enough money to finance this promotion? Do you have the knowledge and experience you will need to pull this project together? Are you in a position to take the financial risk?

These are questions you must answer truthfully.

Making Sales

We've already touched on who you are going to sell to. Now you've got to ask yourself how are you going to make these sales? How do you plan to sell your perfume?

You must be able to reach your prospects with your sales presentation and convert them into buyers without spending more than you have budgeted for marketing.

For some ideas, read How To Market Your Own Perfume or join our Perfume Makers & Marketers Club in order to receive our marketing heavy Club Newsletter.

Having the money you need

Before you launch your project, give serious thought to your cash requirements. First, you'll need cash to produce your fragrance. Then, in most cases, you'll need at least some cash to sell it. Your financing should be in place before you start to develop your fragrance. Why? Because, if you don't have enough money to complete the program, you'll end up with lots of unsold bottles of perfume or, even worse, unfinished materials — fragrance in a barrel rather than in bottles ... empty bottles and no way to fill them ... bottles without labels or labels without bottles. In short, you'll have a "situation" on your hands and whatever money you have already invested in your project will probably be lost.

Bottle, Fragrance, Fragrance Name

Sadly, unless you are planning to bottle a large number of bottles, you will be limited in the sizes and styles of bottles that will be available to you. You will be further limited by the styles of caps and spray pumps available for your bottles.

For your fragrance and name, consider your customers. What do they want? What fragrance — and name — will resonate with them? Spend some time thinking about this, all the while remembering that your bottle and packaging may not be as elegant as what you first desired.

Summary

Before you embark on a perfume project, be sure that you will have buyers for your perfume, that you can afford to reach them with your sales message, that each individual sale will be profitable, and that you have enough cash on hand to see your project through, from start to finish.

Good luck with it!


Making Perfume By The Quart
Making Perfume By The Quart: A do-it-yourself project book

Many who love perfume dream of having their own -- but it can seem too complicated, too "from another world." Making Perfume By The Quart brings it down to earth for you in ten remarkably easy to understand chapters of instructions that guide you through the complete production process, from concept to finished perfume. But you make just one quart.


Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup! (3rd edition)

Perfume is famous for the markup it can achieve, even for a middle market fragrance. While "everybody knows" that perfume costs next to nothing to make (not completely true) the making of it is often considered an esoteric secret. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" details how a 3-person company with no experience created their own fragrance in response to a marketing opportunity that was too good to pass up. The book explains exactly what was done to create a fragrance for that opportunity but it is far more than a history of the author's project. "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" lays out every step in the process of creating your own perfume, either as a do-it-yourself project – and without the benefit of automated equipment some compromises and workarounds are required – or full bore professional production under your supervision. Either way you will be producing a quality fragrance at a remarkably low cost. Do you have a marketing opportunity that would be wildly profitable if only you could obtain your fragrance at a ridiculously low cost? "Creating Your Own Perfume With A 1700 Percent Markup!" is the guide you need to do it.


Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name

A really great name, a special name that is just right for a particular perfume or perfume marketer (or entrepreneur with money to invest!) can be worth a ton of money. But few individuals with great ideas ever manage to cash in on those brilliant ideas. Instead they wait while others "discover" their idea, acquire legal rights to it and make all the money while they are left out in the cold without a penny having been earned for what was once THEIR idea.

If you are struggling to name your perfume and are looking for a name that will have real value, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" will help you weed out low value names and point you to names that have better marketing value plus the potential to become valuable assets in themselves.

If you have a great name you want to protect but no fragrance, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" will guide you through the simple steps you must take to acquire a legal right to that name before someone else grabs it! Best of all, "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" shows you how to gain strong legal protection for your name without a lawyer and without spending more than pocket change.

Never had an idea for a product name? Never thought much about perfume? "Naming Your Perfume And Protecting Your Name" may stimulate your interest in a whole new game that, when played well, can make you lots of money without your having to leave the comfort of your home office.


How To Launch Your Own Perfume Company: A Simple Business Plan

You can build a perfume business of your own using this business plan as a guide. By following its detailed strategy you learn to identify motivated groups of potential perfume buyers. Members of these groups are near the tipping point of desire for a new perfume. You don't know these people and they don't know you but you know a marketer they trust, one who does not currently sell perfume and might never think of selling perfume were it not for your approach. Here is where you step in with a professional plan, promotion, and perfume to take advantage of this ripe opportunity for mutual profit. Before your first promotion has peaked, you will already be developing a relationship with your next marketing partner. Following this plan, you will gain more and more profit with each new marketing partnership.


Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics

Now when you make your own perfume you can make it fully "commercial" meaning you will be creating a product ready for regular, continuous sales to friends, relatives, and the public! If the fragrance you've made has already won praise, why not share it with others? Some might pay you for it and want it for their web stores or retail boutiques! Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics guides you through steps that can turn your hobby project into a perfume business. Discover how close you are now and how little more you must do to take what you made with essential oils and dropper bottles into a business of your own! For an introduction to this book, watch this video.


How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume

When you name a perfume you create a valuable asset – the name itself. To sell your perfume you want the most effective name possible. But a good name can have value beyond the edge it gives your sales. In naming your fragrance you are creating a trademark and a trademark can have value independent of the product. The value of that trademark can vary. Much depends on how well, in naming your perfume, you follow the trademark "rules." How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume first helps you develop a name that will be effective in selling your perfume. It then prods you to make use of certain techniques that can turn a good name into a great trademark, strong and valuable. If you have questions about how to protect a name, How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume will answer many such as:

  • Can you protect your name yourself or do you need a lawyer?
  • Can you register a trademark without a lawyer?
  • What does it cost to register a trademark?
  • How do I enforce the rights I have established?

How To Create A More Valuable Name For Your Perfume covers both state, federal, and international protection.


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Philip Goutell
Lightyears, Inc.