Daily Insights

Selling Fragrance in a Social Era

By: Liz Flora | May 29, 2019

As fragrance starts to take off as a popular gifting category in the China market, sight is just as important as smell for brands’ social media promotions.

Gartner L2’s Beauty China: Fragrance Insight Report finds that bottle attractiveness is the most popular fragrance-related hashtag on RED, China’s top social platform by new downloads that is known for its shopping and lifestyle advice. Photogenic fragrance bottles encourage social sharing among both shoppers and influencers excited to show off their newest status symbols on the platform. This has been especially beneficial to Anna Sui thanks to the brand’s signature golden unicorn fragrance bottle, which has made it one of the most popular brands associated with the hashtag.

RED users are also turning to product reviews on the app to find the right fragrance to spark romance, with hashtags about “sexy” (性感) fragrances to wear on a date among the most popular. One of the most buzzworthy keywords associated with fragrance posts is the term “man-slaying” (斩男), which is also frequently used with lipstick to describe a product that is supposed to be effective at attracting men.

Tom Ford has invested heavily in fragrance marketing on RED by sponsoring full-screen ads and celebrity and influencer promotional posts. In one RED video promotion for its Lost Cherry fragrance, actress Jing Tian demonstrates application while using key RED topics as selling points, describing the attractiveness of the bottle and the “sexy” scent.

While the fragrance market in China is dominated by luxury names, consumers are also seeking out affordable alternatives. Trending RED topics like affordable fragrances for students show that inexpensive brands are especially of interest for young consumers who may be in the market to trade up to a high-end signature scent in the future.