We conducted exploratory market research through the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School. This went beyond the often-cited prediction of wearable technology as a high growth area – Wearables Market to grow to $27 Billion by 2022 (CCS Insight) – and delved into the specific links between fashion, fragrance and technology, with a focus on the idea of eScent itself.
We surveyed primarily consumers in their 20s and 30s: over 350 completed an online survey. We found there was a cluster of over ¼ who were highly interested in eScent and would pay a premium for a product which included it. This group was interested primarily in fashion, then perfume, then wearable technology supporting our concept of eScent as a luxury item, not as a “gadget”. They recognised that this was an interesting use of technology and that it should be sold as a service and not a product, valuing that it would deliver fragrances from established fashion and fragrance brands.
Consumers particularly emphasised the “personalisation and customisation” aspects and fusing fashion with fragrance and not the tech-gimmick-wearable elements. They also valued that eScent was discreet, overcoming the fear of smelling either unpleasant or unsubtle to others, the fact it offered a choice of fragrances, longevity of odour performance ("pulsed" peak intervals), consistency, a wide range of aromas for mood enhancement and that it would save time.
We also observed a strong link observed between those who were interested in eScent and those who used their favourite brands e.g. Chanel, YSL, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein (Chanel was the most highly prized)
Fashion and fragrance experts were also consulted as part of this research. Survey respondents from The British Society of Perfumers stressed the importance of EU regulations surrounding perfume, and experts saw the potential of eScent’s patented ‘scent bubble’ to overcome this challenge to the industry. IFRA’s press office responded very positively on these grounds.
Survey respondents from The Perfume Society aligned eScent with the continued desire for trends in innovation, labelling it as the "Apple Watch of perfume". They particularly liked the powerful link eScent has between "fashion and fragrance", the key feature of "multiple fragrance cartridges" and the fact eScent is a "wearable product". They could also appreciate eScent’s unique ability to "promote individuality" and being able to“switch between fragrances” and its ability to "tap into fragrance’s mood‐shifting potential’.
The former VP of IFF (Joanna Norman) further identified that eScent might boost eau de parfum sales. Along with others from the industry, she was enthusiastic about the idea that eScent’s trigger from a smartphone might be used to capture customer data around perfume use.
Finally, the CEO of a luxury department store (with a background in a major fashion brand) was interviewed and saw eScent as ‘the way of the future for retail’.
With thanks to:
British Society of Perfumers
Pandora (John Ayres, Joanna Norman)
The Perfume Society