Luxury Fragrance: A globally-famous Founder’s startup story – second-time around

Industry: Luxury and Fashion
Size: Start-up
Challenge: Shape a fresh start-up brand while retaining the identity of the famous founder.

vital elements of the brand identified.
weeks: time to complete the brand positioning and define the brand language.

What do you do when you’ve already launched and sold one world famous business with your name on it, and you want to start another?

The world-famous, highly-admired Founder of this luxury fragrance startup knew that to grow her business, she needed to draw customers to her new brand, using her distinctive view of the world. But how could she, when her voice was so strongly associated with the brand she no longer owned?

Creating the magic, all over again

Our market analysis identified at least 20 other well-respected luxury fragrance brands within a short walk of her launch boutique. Why would anyone in Mayfair walk into her shop? Let alone someone shopping online on the other side of the world with 10,000 websites to choose from?

We also noticed that her first company’s voice was so strong, most of those brands were orientated around that original view of the market.

Using linguistic analysis, we identified that in this market, there are two axes that the fragrance market is aligned along: Classical-Progressive and Functional-Emotional.

When it’s crowded on the ground, take flight

We then used those axes to plot the position of other modern brands, admired by the Founder but from outside the Fragrance Sector: award-winning airlines, fashion brands, a food delivery startup and even a challenger bank, to name a few. This highlighted how narrowly most fragrance brands were defining their positioning, and how wide open they were leaving the market for a brand that wanted to differentiate itself but still be relevant to the wider cues of luxury.

Quickly, a picture emerged of how to position the new brand…and perhaps de-position many of the other fragrance brands.

We crystallised this new positioning into a short brand guidelines document, which covered the Founder’s vision for the brand, the brand’s narrative, the 3 key ingredients in the brand’s voice, as well as plenty of practical writing tips. Most importantly, we also wrote hero copy for her which showed how to describe products, and how to flex the brand voice in different social media channels.

Better than we can say it

When we first shared our analysis with the client, she kindly said

That’s the most exciting meeting I have ever been in. You have helped me understand my brand.

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