REVLON SELLS COSMETICS, TOILETRIES AMD fragrances to consumers around the world. Revlon is the no. 1 firm in the popular-price segment of the fragrance market. In one sense. Revlon's perfumes are no more than careful mixtures of oils and chemicals that have nice scents. Rut Revlon knows that when it sells perfume, it sells much more than fragrant fluids - it sells what the fragrances can do for the women who use them.

Perfume is actually shipped from the fragrance houses in big, ugly drums. Although a £100-an-ounce perfume may cost no more than £7 to produce, to perfume consumers the product is much more than a few pounds' worth of ingredients and a pleasing smell.

Many things beyond the ingredients and scent add to a perfume's allure. In fact, the scent may be the last element developed. Revlon first researches women's feelings about themselves and their relationships with others. It then develops and tests new perfume concepts that match women's changing values, desires and lifestyles. When Revlon finds a promising new concept, it creates and names a scent to fit the idea, Revlon's research in the early 1970s showed that women were feeling more competitive with men and that they were strivi7ig to find individual identities. For this woman of the 1970s, Revlon created Charlie, the first of the 'lifestyle' perfumes. Thousands of women adopted Charlie as a bold statement of independence, and it quickly became the world's best-selling perfume.

In the late 1970s, Revlon research showed a shift in women's attitudes: 'women had made the equality point, which Charlie addressed. Now women were hungering for an expression of femininity.' They now wanted perfumes that were subtle rather than shocking. Thus Revlon subtly shifted Charlie's position. The perfume still made its 'independent lifestyle' statement, but with an added tinge of 'femininity and romance', Revlon also launched a perfume for the woman of the 1980s, Jontue, which was positioned on a theme of romance,

Revlon continues to refine Charlie's position, now targeting the woman of the 1990s who is 'able to do it all, but smart enough to know what she wants to do'. After almost 20 years, aided by continuous but subtle repositioning, Charlie remains the best-selling mass-market perfume.

A perfume's name is an important product attribute. Revlon uses such brand names as Charlie, Fleurs de Jontue, Ciara, Scoundrel, Guess and Unforgettable to create images that support each perfume's positioning. Competitors offer perfumes with such names as Obsession, Passion, Uninhibited, Opium, Joy, White Linen and Eternity. These names suggest that the perfumes will do something more than just make you smell better. Oscar de la Renta's Ruffles perfume began as a name, one chosen because it created images of whimsy, youth, glamour and femininity - all well suited to the target market of young, stylish women. Only later was a scent selected to go with the product's name and positioning.

Revlon must also carefully package its perfumes. To consumers, the bottle and package are the most tangible symbols of the perfume and its image. Bottles must feel comfortable, be easy to handle and look impressive when displayed in stores. Most important, they must support the perfume's concept and image.

So when a woman buys perfume, she buys much, much more than simply fragrant fluids. The perfume's image, its promises, its scent, its name and package, the company that makes it and the stores that sell it all become a part of the total perfume product. When Revlon sells perfume, it sells more than the tangible product. It sells lifestyle, self-expression and exclusivity; achievement, success and status; femininity, romance, passion and fantasy; memories, hopes and dreams.1


1. What is the core product that Revlou sells?

2. What is the tangible product that the company yells?

3. What is the augmented product?

4. A perfume's name is a central product attrihute. How should Revlon go about deciding and selecting an appropriate brand name for its perfumes?

5. What are the key branding decisions that Revlon marketing managers have to make?

6. Revlon markets its perfumes worldwide. What major considerations does the firm face in determining global product decisions?

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