Client: Global Fragrance Distributor
Location: U.S. Markets
Discovery & UX Research
Retail Experience Design (CX)
Product Design & Innovation
Challenge: In response to declining sales due to new brands, e-commerce price competition and a lackluster purchasing experience, a beauty industry giant sought to reimagine how their fragrance portfolio could be sold in 4 major FDM (food, drug, mass) retailers, including CVS and Target. Nothing—packaging, distribution model, merchandising approach—was off-limits.
Solution: First, to explore how to offer relevance and modern functionality, it was critical to understand the role of fragrance in consumers' lives.
We also needed to explore how fragrance is purchased—and which decisions consumers are faced with before and during the experience.
In lieu of traditional focus groups, qualitative workstreams to understand usage and assortment included online beauty journals for recruits. We then launched an "over-the-shoulder" mobile ethnographic platform to observe in-store decision-making and purchasing behaviors. We led the client team on an immersive in-market trend safari to explore sensorial decision-making and retail best practices. Finally, we hosting a beauty influencer panel and "store-experience builder" workshop for fans.
The insights generated in the Discovery phase translated into strategic platforms related to existing barriers to purchase, working with the commercial strategy team to identify business cases. Ultimately, we designed 12 concepts that explored new format, display, bundling and sampling opportunities. Four were tested with consumer groups, with two entering pilot store testing in early 2020.
My Role: Innovation Consultant (a leadership role designed to function as the "consumer advocate" on project teams), hired by Fahrenheit 212