Preparation and presentation are critical for a good market. Some people can just get it right the first time.
Meet Mair Emenogu, Founder of Mair Fragrance. We had the joy of meeting Mair at a recent Pop Shop America show here in Houston, Texas. Her dream of being a perfumer didn’t start with a dream; it started with a suggestion. During her career, she signed documents with her initials “ME”. A coworker at the time mentioned that her signature looked like it belonged on a perfume bottle. Well that little suggestion took off and Mair asked herself “Why not?”
Over the next several years she researched perfumes and eventually studied under a well-known perfumer. Leveraging her career in Marketing Communication, her brains and a good dash of sensibility, Mair began designing her unique scent to put into a bottle.
However, it didn’t stop there. Knowing that she could have the most amazing perfume in the world, it needed to be presentable and look like it belonged on the dressing table of Michelle Obama in the White House. Before her product was even developed, Mair began to explore packaging. This is an area that most us (yes, you!) don’t even consider until well after we have a product to sell. I’m definitely guilty of that too.
Another place that Mair excelled early in her product development stage is that she realized that her product was not about her. She learned this through market research and asking people what they wanted in a fragrance. While Mair likes bold scents, her research showed that people wanted something far more subtle. She learned early that the product that she develops, while it may have her personality and styling, it not ultimately about her, but must be about her customers if she wants to be successful. That is something that Monica and I learned late. It doesn’t matter what we like. We need to create things that our customers like.
Before the product even hit the market, it was fully completed with a story, a web site, marketing material, samples, packaging and even a press kit.
At shows, Mair is prepared like you wouldn’t believe. While her booth display is very sparse compared to others who have multiple products to sell, she fills her display with her personality and her ability to engage with customers and have them try her scent. When a potential customer turns into a buyer, she completes the sale with a selfie in front of her custom background. This “red carpet treatment” makes every buyer feel special and they are part of an elite group of people. Customers will remember this long after the sale and tell their friends.
I learned a lot with my short interactions with Mair. I saw how she engaged with each and every potential customer. I saw how her demeanor radiated through her display. I also saw how she had visualized how her fragrance would be on retail counters before she even started product development. I’ve only looked as far as online sales and maybe a few local retailers. I saw how focused and driven she is. Remember that post I did on how I need to do less? I also saw how she is fearless or at least appears to me. That is something we can all learn.
Mair is a great example of how to dream big and then act on those dreams.