The survey, which was conducted online from 28 to 29 April 2011, on a representative sample of 1,000 male Internet users aged 18 or over (average age 39) relying on selective networks for their fragrance purchases, seeks to highlight consumer trends on a highly competitive market and the perception that consumers have of men’s fragrances.
A strong presence of women
While this study by Promise Inc. seeks primarily to decrypt consumer’s perception of fragrance brands for men, it also highlights masculine consumption patterns.
Thus, male buyers in selective distribution networks (e.g., Sephora, Marionnaud, Nocibé ...) purchase 64% of perfumes they use. These however do not forget woman. Since, 41% of fragrances bought in selective network are offered to women. Finally, if male buyers buy on average one fragrance every 9 months, they are offered on average a bottle every 16 months.
The Top 10 of male’s fragrances in France
According to the authors of the survey, the results, in particular the highest scores of image allocation per brand, help highlight three types of perfumers: luxury, virile and intermediate.
“It is also interesting to note that most of the ten fragrances for men the most kept in mind by consumer have been deep-rooted in this market for many years,” they add.
Apparently, a product must reach some maturity before it can emerge in the collective unconscious. Indeed, 80% of perfumes named by respondents in the rankings, were launched at least 15 years ago. “Only Dior Homme and Allure by Chanel were created respectively 12 and 6 and years ago and benefited from the halo effect of these traditional luxury brands,” says the survey.
Three marketing positioning for three distinct brands typologies
The image of the ten brands with the highest equity to the eyes and noses of respondents stretches between “modern virility” and “expert luxury” and, between these two poles, an intermediate positioning occupied by Jean-Paul Gaultier.
- Luxury and prestige, the safe values of traditional perfume brands
This first group gathers the fragrances created by High Fashion brands that expanded their luxury image to these products. “Houses like Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel, traditional French luxury brands originally specialized in women’s fashion, actually very quickly diversified themselves by launching collections intended for men and by also setting foot in the perfume and cosmetic sector.”
Clearly perceived by respondents as “major luxury brands” (Chanel, respectively: 74%; Dior: 67%; YSL: 53%), they are also synonymous, in the subconscious of consumers, with very high quality and with a solid reputation in fragrances (Chanel: 69%; Dior: 63%; YSL: 40%).
- Virility, a reflection of masculine identity for men’s fragrance houses
In this second group are the fragrances perceived as “seduction weapons”, which are also the first beauty reflex that comes to men’s minds. “Some fragrances, more than others, characterized by manly notes, convey a virile and modern image and become attitude-fragrances,” say the authors of the report.
Thus, houses like Hugo Boss, Azzaro, and Diesel, who all started in men’s ready-to-wear, are clearly identified by the French people interviewed, as so called “virile” brands (Hugo Boss, respectively: 52% ; Diesel: 51%; Azzaro: 38%). To respondents, they are also part of today’s trends, they are modern and innovative.
- Design and creativity, the intermediary positioning of Jean-Paul Gaultier
Finally, considered totally new, in the context of this study, the respondents representation of the Jean-Paul Gaultier brand which stands out as a category of its own: that of an intermediate positioning.
According to 64% of the French respondents of this study, the Jean-Paul Gaultier house offers bottles created by designers. 58% of them point out that Jean-Paul Gaultier has a keen sense of aesthetics and of design and 48% have characterized the fragrance brand of the ambassador of the white and navy blue jersey, for its creativity.