Today's picture shows you a screenshot of my Tauer Perfumes Facebook page, the way I see it. I see different things there than you. Let me share some insights about the facebook mechanics, and why you might have seen "promoted" content there coming from tauer, and why there are no free samples.

If you look closely, you may see that at the bottom of the picture there's a bar with two numbers: 2288 and 6161.  These are the numbers of how many people have seen this post about the perfume in a soap in their feed. They see it because they liked Tauer Perfumes' page.

2288 were organic views, meaning: I would have gotten these views anyhow.
6161 were paid for views, meaning: Without me paying these views would not have happened.

As a page owner, you have to pay to get out there. It is like paying by providing free samples to make draws with blogs, something that I have stopped completely. Why no free sample draws on blog? Because, and many of my colleagues could tell you the same, it has zero effect on sales. No return. Zero. Nada. Nothing.  Furthermore, there, on the blogs, you talk to a closed circle. I could go into details but won't. Just take my word for it. Zero effect. Totally useless. Except for the fact that you might make some folks happy because they get a free sample.

Thus, as a facebook page owner, you have to pay for exposure. This why you might see promoted content. Now, of course, the next question is: Is it money well spent?. The answer: Yes, it is.

My five cents: It is an example of the shifts happening; 10 years ago, it was a different world and the (few) blogs had some importance as intermediary to an interested and focused public that bought. These days, well, there are many more blogs and they talk to circles that are overlapping to a large extent and they are talking to a public that does not buy selective (artisanal limited distribution perfumery) niche, at least not in the extend they did in 2007; for many reasons that go beyond this post. And some of the blogs out there talk often in a confusing way, comparing artisanal with LVMH, expecting mass market esthetics in artisanal perfumery, pricing like in a drugstore, or in the contrary applauding 400$ fragrances, not understanding any of the market's mechanics, without questioning what is happening, mixing opinions and facts, in a fake news way. Very unprofessional many of them. Hurting more than helping.  Sorry.

Tauer Perfumes is a one show,  mostly, with a creative director (me), a producer (me) and nose (me) and a marketing responsible (me). The marketing guy says: Hey! The world has changed: Let's talk on facebook and pay to get noticed.

Of course, I can never pay and promote like all the Esthee Lauder brands: Malle, Ford, Le Labo, or other brands owned by big international groups, Byredo, Dyptique, and all the others.

But at least I can try to get noticed and make a statement: I am one of the few remaining truly independent and am still moving.

17 thoughts on “mechanics”

  • This is brilliant. As I think about it, your argument about blogs not having much effect makes sense. The facebook posts and discussions in the forum usually influence more people to try something than a blog review. Some may pay close attention to a blogger they really like but then again the overall impact will still lag behind the FB marketing.

    • Good morning to you, Fazal. Thanks. Maybe I should have classified the bloggers....there are sort of different kinds of these.

  • As a blogger, I agree with you. Many of my Facerbook promotions create more views than my content. We all have our own goals to chase. Still, this blogger will always love your work. All I ask is that you keep doing it. You have my undying loyalty and it is not bought with samples, but an appreciation of your passion, skill and individuality.

    • Dear Samantha Thank you! I will try to keep on doing what I am doing. I love doing what I am doing most of the time :-) And thanks for sharing the fact that facebook creates more views for you, too. Interesting!

  • Can only speak for myself, on Indieperfumes, about 11 years, taking a break now but back early next year. Never meant to be a promotional or marketing or sales vehicle, rather a creative outlet for myself and to connect with like minded others. Those blogs that are heavily commercial or reportage in nature have their audience but don't interest me. There are still bloggers and some new ones that are using perfume as a vehicle to write about beauty and history and nature, and those are for me the interesting ones that I love to read. I think the perfume blogs did create an audience and community of shared interest and even obsession about perfume, but as with everything time changes matters and I do doubt blogs are of much use anymore in sales if they ever were in the first place. The thing is when I notice and it's easy to do so, that a blog or FB or social media post is a commercial placement I just ignore it, it's another ad and we get so many. I think the appreciation of perfume as an expressive form for the maker and wearer has gained a lot by the writers that have devoted time and attention to it.

    • Fragrant greetings, Lucy and thank you for commenting!
      And I took extra note of your comment about ads, commercial placements. I am careful when posting "promotional content" (which is not really content but just a shout out telling the world that I have products): Too much can indeed look too commercial and will not lead to any interest by potential clients but to the contrary. It is a fine line indeed. And finally: I appreciate writers who devote time and energy to sharing their thoughts about perfumes, too.

  • Very interesting stuff. I am not surprised that blogs don't drive sales. As for the article on 400€ perfumes, that one was curious to me. The author praised the marketing strategy, but that strategy doesn't work at all for me and I didn't find anything praiseworthy about it.

    One of the things I love about you is your commitment to making great perfumes without feeling the need to gouge your customers. Bravo et merci!

  • Hi Tara! Yes, this article exactly triggered my post. It was a strange post, but I did not want to focus on this particular blogger post, but come up with a more general remark. In the mean time, I figured that there is also a confusion about the role a blogger plays. Maybe I will do a post about this later, too. Is the blogger a journalist (providing information about what happens in the world), a columnist (explaining the world and putting it into a context) or a critic (commenting on a personal level about a product) . Often, all three aspects are mixed into one post and this is not ok and leads to confusion....

    • Fragrant greetings, Andy
      In the beginning, I googled notes of a scent I only imagined. That is how I discovered Lonestar Memories.
      Bought it based on descriptions in blogs, and of course your description.
      Thought I was done, since I had the perfect fragrance.
      Then I won a sample of Phi from a blog when first released. Amazing. Bought that too.
      I see opinions and reviews on Facebook, but still look at other sites too.
      Long story short, I have 5 full bottles of your fragrances now.
      Your Facebook posts led me to 2 of them, so I guess blogs and reviews led me to the rest.
      Except for that luscious gardenia soap you sent me during an advent calendar draw.
      Xiney in Phoenix

      • Greeetings to Phoenix, Xiney! And thank you for sharing your tauer journey. Bottomline, it is not binary . Yes, and maybe my post was touch too binary ;-) Have a great day!

  • Well, done Andy! I very much agree with you.

    There are too many 'career bloggers' out there, who think that as soon as they gain a bit of popularity (usually as a result of saying what most of their readers want to hear) they're suddenly industry experts.

    I read the blog post that your comments are based on, and found it both misguided and highly presumptuous (especially seeing as the writer hardly has any perfume industry experience). It didn't help matters that the writer also sounded like they were a publicity agent, unashamedly kissing the posterior of the featured house several times over. But, as you already know, Andy, the passage of time will separate the wheat from the chaff.

    There are a few great bloggers out there, but most of them are both phoney and narcissistic - with aspirations other than just a humble passion for fragrances.

    Merry Christmas and a happy 2017! :-)

    • Thank you, Rob. I appreciate. I am looking forward to thrilling discussions in 2017. By discussing we all can learn, provided we are open to listen. If I don't listen: Remind me please to do so!

  • Hi, Andy,

    I'm glad to see this discussion on the role of perfume writing. As perfumes and the perfume market have changed over the past 10 years so has writing.

    I have a different understanding of the article at the center of this discussion. It hasn't been cited directly, but I believe people have been referring to an article about the marketing approach of Parfums Dusita that Claire Vukcevic posted at her site

    The article is a discussion of how a new perfume line's public reception is related to its marketing approach, social network presence and artistic direction. While Vukcevic has positive comments about the perfumes, she maintains a critical eye. She breaks down the successful commercial launch of the Dusita line, neither endorsing nor disparaging the brand. She offers a clear, insightful analysis and a context for the reader to consider the brand. I'm not sure how this would be considered strange or presumptuous. Nor how it would be mistaken for a promotion of the Dusita brand. I'm not weighing in here to defend Vukcevic's position--it needs no defense. I'd just like to see more of the sort of informed reading Vukcevic's article offers.

    • Hi Connor
      Fragrant greetings and merry Christmas to you. Thank you for your comment.
      Let me respond. The article that you mentioned: When writing the blog post I had not read it thoroughly, but only diagonnally. My post is not about this article by Claire who I appreciate. It was, if at all, triggered by Claire's article, standing as an example for other articles and what I think is sometimes wrong there in the bloggosphere. My post is an explanation of why I promote on Facebook and why I do not promote through free samples through blogs. That's why I did not mention Claire's post.
      I know Dusita personally and like her and wish her and her venture only success. Having said all that, and as the article by Claire showed up and was referred to in the comments section: Let's have a quick look at it and why I consider it troublesome: The article is mixing factoid statements with opinion. As an example:
      The writer, Claire, says: the most astonishing succcess story of 2016. Question: Based on what? Success story for what?
      It is easy to get talked about in online groups if providing free samples, or get shop ratings on Facebook of 5 stars if coupling the rating with free samples, a practice that is not discussed in the article and that in some countries is considered a semi-legal action. In business, success is measured, and if you sell products: sales is success. I do not measure my success for a product by the number of views and likes and discussions that I get in an closed online bubble such as Facebook groups or page likes and Blogger posts, but I measure my success by sales figures. My post was trying to explain this fact that I found true for my brand and that I know is true for other niche brands from low to higher priced level: Free samples do not pay off. Facebook promotion does.
      That's the core of my post.

      • Hi, Andy and Merry Christmas from Yucca (where it's snowing!) Thanks so much for responding and for discussing this topic. How success is measured in business---perfume or any other---is an interesting topic at a time when social media popularity and sales may have no relationship at all. I take your point that sales and revenues are the objective measures of a business's success.

        My reading of Claire's article is that the successful launch of a new brand has many facets, including product and packaging design, sales and social recognition by the target audience. Her highlighting of Parfums Dusita's extensive supplying of samples is pertinent to the quick rise in visibility of the brand. I agree with Claire's reading that the spike in notoriety is an indication of the success of the brand's launch strategy. Whether sales follow is another issue, though in the comments following the article Claire notes that the brand has sold out at a number of its distributors.

        The article analyzes the launch strategy of the brand, as read by its social presence/PR, product design, samples strategy, market targeting and distribution. The success the article refers to is the brand's accomplishment of its own goals, not in comparison to other brands or businesses. The mention that the line 'gets away' with charging such high prices tells me that Claire maintains a distance from praising the line outright and focuses specifically on how the brand has pursued its goals.

        I think this discussion is a good entrée into the complications of how we can understand both perfume and the perfume business. Thanks for lending your perspective and being willing to host the discussion.

  • Thank you, Xiney
    for sharing your perfume story. I highly appreciate and will consider ... :-) Have a merry Christmas!


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