You might think that marketing your business is a bit different to the tactics employed by Chanel, Bobbi Brown or any large perfume house, but you may, in fact, have something to learn from the ‘pretty’ side of business.

We read Sali Hughes’ marvellous book Pretty Iconic and have distilled some of the marketing tips and hacks employed to make brands, well, iconic.

  1. Share your product

If you launched a perfume now, you would be hard-pressed to compete with the giants of industry in a department store. This is what happened to the seller of Youth Dew who, feeling the pressure, is rumoured to have ‘accidentally’ spilt her perfume all over a shop floor. The smashed bottle brought in crowds of women wanting what they could smell. It’s the same reason you smell fast food before you eat it. How can you get your product out there? Samples? Taste tests? Freebies? In front of influencers?

2. Go against the grain

Sticking with perfume, you may not know that before the 1950’s, perfume was designed to attract the attention of a husband (who may or may not have been in the doghouse) and wanted to buy a lady a scent. The bottles were very feminine, with big puff dispensers and a floral scent. Perfume changed when brands started creating a range of ‘oils’ that could be used as a scent. Naturally, these were fine to be purchased by a lady, removing the need to have a husband wanting to make good.

3. Adapt!

You might know of Avon as the little business that sells toiletries door to door with its nifty catalogue – ‘Avon calling!’  but in fact, this company is a global giant and one of their best sellers is Skin So Soft Dry Oil. The reason? Everyone from Royal Marines to travellers uses a bottle as the very best mosquito repellent. Avon have adapted their own range to make specific bug repellents using the Skin So Soft branding, and a web page specifically for the many people searching ‘Avon Mosquito’

How can you package your business to appeal to someone who may have plenty of power in the decision to buy? Think about your wives, office managers, teenagers! How can you adapt your product if it starts to pick up in an unexpected market? These are all questions that will help lead you too to become iconic!