Luxury candlemaker Diptyque wants to remind customers that it makes perfumes and personal fragrances, like lotions, soaps and body mists, too.
Founded in 1961 with printed fabrics, Diptyque has spent the past year celebrating the 50-year anniversary of its first perfume, L’eau, by hosting a series of personal fragrance-only pop-ups around the world in an effort to boost the profile of its fragrances and their North American sales. North American sales are currently 70 percent candles and 30 percent fragrances, and the brand has a goal of bridging the gap by 5 percent each year until the sales are 50-50, according to Julien Gommichon, president of Diptyque North America. The brand has 70 standalone stores globally, in addition to partnerships with North American retailers like Nordstrom, Barneys New York and SpaceNK.
In the coming year, the brand will expand those efforts to the digital side through a new website redesign that gives emphasis to personal fragrances. A customer relationship management tool will provide the company with insights around how to communicate to customers about these fragrances.
“Niche perfume is really becoming important in the beauty market in the United States, and we think it is the right time for us to communicate our perfume heritage and to make customers aware of our product and quality,” he said.
Considering the brand is famous for its candles — it often sells out of its collections — and the luxury candle market has been growing for years, it is an unusual time for Diptyque to be shifting its attention. Most recently, market research firm NPD Group reported that sales of prestige candles totaled nearly $102 million in the U.S. in the past year and is fastest-growing category in the prestige fragrance market. But the artisanal perfume category is growing quickly, as well, with the segment experiencing six years of double-digit gains, including a 14 percent increase in 2017, according to Women’s Wear Daily. That’s despite the premium fragrance category (which includes designer and celebrity-endorsed fragrances) experiencing a slowdown.
For Diptyque, the brand is hoping to leverage its new CRM tool in order to reach current customers and get to know them better. The new CRM was implemented this month and will allow the company to track its interactions with current and potential customers, including storing contact information, identifying sales opportunities and recording service issues. Additionally, it will allow the brand to see what is resonating with customers.
“It’s not just communication, but also understanding consumers better and talking to them in a unique and personal way,” Gommichon said. “We have a large variety of products, and we want to understand customer behavior and what they would be interested in seeing in the future.” According to Diptyque that includes product innovations, special offerings and events, in addition to communication preferences.
On the website and through social media, the brand is focusing on refreshed educational content that delves deeper into the brand’s archives and showcases fragrance more frequently. Diptyque rolled out a redesigned website in Europe in the fall, and its new North American website will debut in March 2019, followed by new China and Japan websites at the end of 2019. Changes include a more visually arresting “Behind the Scenes” section of the website that goes through the history of the brand and the formulation of fragrances. Additionally, for the shopping section, both personal and home fragrances will be combined into one fragrance menu option, instead of being two separate sections.
“When you enter a store, you get into our sensual world [of fragrance], and we want our digital flagship [website] to reflect that,” said Fabienne Mauny, CEO of Dyptique. “We want to use digital to drive more traffic and attention to fragrance in our own stores.”