Psychology of buying a perfume
Psychology of buying a perfume
You should buy a perfume the way it smells, but a whole lot of other factors end up affecting your purchase decisions. We hope our writeup will help you steer clear of the marketing tricks and find a perfume you love.
Perfume marketing is an art that appeals our deepest emotions and it is indeed hard to market a perfume. What would you do to sell a product that cannot be described with the existing media?
There are a methods that almost all fragrance brands use. They have been using it for a very long time and it still works. If you spot these tricks, you’ll be less likely to fall prey on the pretty bottle, but containing an average scent. Before we talk about the tricks, let’s see the principles they use:
Principle 1 - Marketing agents try to paint a picture of celebrities and lifestyle associated with the perfume and also to aspired image of a lifestyle we want to associate with. The setting usually has stunning scenery or a luxurious real-estate, seduction and a lot of expensive things. Sometimes very explicit use of sex and seduction, but often subtle.
Principle 2 – Use of subtle hint and lifestyle just slightly out of your reach. Why is it slightly high above our reach? That’s because, traditional products are boring and too novel things frighten us. To sell something you have to make it familiar. This is called MAYA principle, a theory by the Mr. Raymond Loewy and means “Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable”.
Principle 3 – Since the fragrance industry cannot efficiently tell the consumer how the scent smells like. They place both new and familiar elements in the visuals of the product. They often are filled with messages that this is a good old familiar perfume, but made different and exciting.
How to make it acceptable? You have seen perfume commercials millions of times. A beautiful woman, flowy dress, a mansion, a love story. Some kind of slogan…... Sometimes you can barely tell which brand is it! But this helps in creating familiar and recognizable experience. After all, when you see it, you know it is a perfume commercial.
How to make it different? By showing the bottle. The bottle is the secret weapon of the perfume industry and often costs 4-5 times more than the liquid inside. The industry uses this to communicate that the fragrance is something amazing and different. Have you noticed, how pretty and shiny those bottles are? The colours, shapes and accessories that will surely catch the attention of the novelty seeking consumer. Every time the new launch has a new conceptual bottle, but try smelling the scent. See if the scent actually is as much of a breakthrough as the bottle?
Why do people do that? Why not let customers try and buy the scent itself?
It is because of the perfume retailing industry, which is separate from the perfume manufacturing industry. Almost all perfumes are clubbed together in one section of a giant retailer, which can be cosmetic store or a departmental store. With so many choices, which we possibly cannot smell without overwhelming our nose, our eyes will catch the most unconventional bottle.
Now when you smell it, the perfume is familiar and not a breakthrough. Why? Because of MAYA!
You saw something unusual, but now its time for something familiar. This is how you make your final purchase decision - a nice, conventional, familiar scent. Nothing new, nothing exciting. Just good old perfume.
How do you avoid it? Blind test it and see if it appeals to you. Scents should appeal to your nose and evoke happy memories because they are processed by same part of the brain.
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