Time to Flourish

All the hype out there right now around how Kraft messed up because of their focus on cost-cutting and lack of attention on investing in building their brands to keep them relevant is something that makes brand marketers like me breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, the power of brand is back in focus, and the efforts of building powerful brands is being recognized and acknowledged.

My Unilever experience taught me the value having a brand that offers Customers value and continually investing in keeping that brand relevant. I’ve been brought up to believe that a brand can elevate a product, driving resonance and relevance, driving an emotional benefit on top of the functional one. Simply put, if you don’t invest in your brand, you aren’t putting the Customer first and you run the risk of losing relevance.

Today I’m working at Avon and my values haven’t changed, and in fact every action I take now ladders up to a strong overarching brand that’s about celebrating the power of women, with 133 years of living that mantra. So when it came to developing my next new fragrance launch for Avon, I wanted to craft something that would hold meaning for the larger Avon brand. At the Avon Masterbrand level I am part of the team working to contemporize and strengthen the brand’s meaning, and on the product-front a strong Fragrance launch, a hugely emotional category, has a big role in driving that agenda.

So ladies and gents I introduce to you… Avon Flourish Honey Blossom.

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At Avon we celebrate the power of women encouraging the whole community to live beautifully.

This new scent captures all of that and bottles it.

As the start of a ‘Flourish’ sub-brand platform, the word ‘Flourish’ is no coincidence. I chose it specifically because it draws the parallel of how women in our community flourish in their lives everyday thanks to the positive encouragement and support they give each other, lifting each other up, helping each other bloom in life and with their own businesses. Indeed how we activate it with the community will build on this to engage our audience.

The scent itself also echoes key elements of the new brand vibe we are building – positive and uplifting. It is contemporary, drawing upon the solar fragrance olfactive trend, yet designed to have blockbuster commercial appeal. It has a warmth that feels like sunshine on the skin, it then sparkles with fresh floral notes at its heart and it finishes with a vanilla note that is soft, sensual and comforting. The talented perfumer I worked with on this, Gabriela Chelariu, from fragrance house Firmenich, is an absolute genius!

I believe the packaging is ‘next level’ for Avon. In briefing it I was inspired by key visual trends that champion the notes themselves drawing from the trend around transparency and authenticity. And our packaging team pushed the limits in design to bring a bright, modern color palette and intertwined the florals around a new way of visualizing the letters of our brand name. All of this with a bottle and cap choice that maximizes the sun light shining through, further conveying the concept and the message.

When it came to getting it out there, I also pushed the boundaries. For the first time at Avon we launched this as an online exclusive, getting our community excited about a new digital model and encouraging Representatives to drive sales through their online websites.

I also got my ‘QVC presenter’-hat on and presented the new product in detail with the perfumer and our community host on a facebook live to our community of Representatives. It’s clocked nearly 8k views already, and all the people who have already experienced the product so far in the community have nothing but amazingly positive things to say about it in our social channels.

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I’m super proud of this one. Not only because it is a great product in quality, and in how the mix has all come together, and in the way we have marketed it out there to the community, but importantly because it carries with it an important message. A brand message that will help us drive what the overarching Avon brand stands for as we launch it and activate it into the future. And in that sense, it also carries a message of how important it is to conceive of new products or any new brand activity and consider how it will fuel the brand overall with the audience right at the heart of it.

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