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BY Archana Khatri Das

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Kanwalpreet Walia, Marketing Head, Fragrance and Accessories Division, Titan shares how the pandemic has brought perfumes to the forefront as instant mood enhancers, and as the lifestyle sector grows in the country, Skinn as a masstige category will continue to see immense growth opportunities.

Q] You launched the ‘Feel Your Best’ campaign as the festive season kicked off and the campaign is still on. Has it been effective?
Perfumes are an instant mood enhancer. You feel good instantly, you feel dressed instantly. That’s really where ‘Feel Your Best’ came from. And also, if you look at the campaign, it’s very slice of life, very every day. Perfumes were indulgences for when you were stepping out for special occasions but it has changed now. We seeded the thought of Feel Your Best, now we are building conversation and content on what makes them feel good and where fragrances are in their grooming scheme through influencers, contests, etc. A lot of people have written back. But it’s still WIP.

Q] Don’t you feel that fragrance is a tough market to crack, in India, especially?
Certainly, especially with low single-digit penetrations, it is, but I think it’s a challenge and an opportunity. It allows you to create a new space, and new conversations for more and more customers to come and experiment with that product type. What has been very effective for us is sampling, where we send small vials to customers where they can experiment with the SKINN perfume, and come back and buy. We feel it’s an opportunity and given where our country and the lifestyle is moving, I think perfume is certainly going to be a good category to be in.

Q] Do you largely sell through large format stores or digitally?
We sell through large format stores, through Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Central, we also sell through the World of Titan and trade outlets. Online, we sell on partner sites like Flipkart and Myntra, we certainly sell from our own website, Skinn. E-commerce has certainly grown much more over the last two years, but large format stores and retail outlets continue to dominate our sales

Q] Have you been able to manage the metrics that you set out to achieve in FY 2022?
Yes, we have. As an organization and as a brand we believe in having conversations and reaching out to the consumers. So, we’ve spent a decent amount on marketing. We’ve had a good run of campaigns, we also did celebrity influencer campaigns for gifting. Then we’ve done the Tales of Happiness campaign. So, we’ve been in constant conversation with the consumer because we believe in it. FY 2022 was challenging. So, we endeavored to reach the 2019-20 mark which was a brilliant year for Skinn as a brand and after that COVID hit. I think closing this year, we should be where that marker was. But next year, we are looking at a healthy growth.

Q] Did you also exceed the total ad spend of 2019-20?
We had cut down on our spends for expansions and in-store visual merchandising, we would have saved a little bit there. But we’ve certainly invested the same amount of money when it comes to consumer-facing conversation. Our digital spending would be slightly higher, we’ve not done much ATL this year. In terms of spending this year, we would have spent roughly 70-75% on digital. We used Print as a medium during Diwali, otherwise, we’ve used digital activity for two reasons- it’s more engaging and we generated content that was conversation-first.

Q] And what is the target going to look like for 2022?
We are going to have multiple olfactive space launches, and hence, we are looking at a healthy growth for next year, also in investments because we want to establish those spaces for ourselves and let the consumer know that there’s that much more that they can buy from Skinn because the offerings are going to become larger.

Q] What has been the brand’s learning from the last two years now?
The sampling piece was very good learning for us. We are also enhancing this experience by putting a QR code on sampling so that customers can scan and read about the product, the brand and also at times we can leave them with instant gratification so if you like something, you can probably use it as a code and come back and buy from us instantly on skinn.in or you know wherever we can code it differently. So, I think our endeavor has been to reach the consumer with more innovative needs, and give instant ease of buying.

Q] Collecting consumer insights would be relatively easy for any other product except perfume. How do you manage to do that?
We meet Skinn consumers quite often, perhaps every six months or every quarter, depending on how it goes. From our World of Titan database, we also get their scores on how they are rating us or new products, we also reach out to them for advice on products. Besides that, we also have focus groups with consumers who consume fragrances in any format. Added to that the fragrance houses also release fragrancing trends for that year. And we work with the best fragrance houses across the globe. We spend a lot of time with them seeking what are going to be the olfactive trends, psychological trends etc. Packaging and color also play a role in what you pick. In the middle of COVID, a study said people are warming up to colours region-wise, and what are colours that you should be using along with what kind of olfactive space.

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