Analysis of problems inherent in the prevailing fragrance research

Date of publication: June 15, 1993

Author: Barbara Busch


The present fragrance research situation can be defined by just two words: need and dis-satisfaction The need for fragrance research is based on the fragrance's perceived importance as the "invisible brand personality", due to which it is constantly growing. The dissatisfaction is also growing, because generally normal market research methods are used instead of specific fragrance research oriented methods. Product tests and sniff tests, for example, do not deliver any precise data regarding a fragrance's more qualitative aspects. This unsatisfactory situation is due to the fact that responsibility for fragrance research within the manufacturing companies is not clearly defined. As long as the total system does not change radically, dissatisfaction with fragrance research cannot be prevented. Demands: 1. Fragrance and fragrance research should be given a different weight within the manufacturers' organisatorial company structure. 2. Fragrance research costs within the companies themselves must be seen as part of the total company effort and should be part of the general cost accounting. 3. Brand related fragrance research should only be carried out by the brand owning company. 4. A two stage approach, qualitative research with "the competent consumer", followed by quantitative confirmation with the appropriate target group, is the optimum research method for most product sectors, when looked at from the standpoint of a cost-benefit analysis.

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