A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Luxury - Scent for Babies

Picture a sweet, chubby, warm and freshly bathed newborn baby.

One can’t help but ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ and want to cuddle the precious little child. Imagine placing your nose close to the baby as

you hold the infant safely in your arms and place a gentle kiss on his or her forehead and breathe in the wonderful scent of the newborn – priceless and very special! Adults and children alike usually want to smell a newborn baby.

It is an innate response.

According to Dr Sears from his article ‘Bonding With Your Newborn’, “All babies are born with a group of special qualities called attachment-promoting behaviours -features and behaviours designed to alert the caregiver to the baby's presence and draw the caregiver, magnet-like, toward the baby. These features are the roundness of baby's eyes, cheeks, and body; the softness of the skin; the relative bigness of baby's eyes; the penetrating gaze; the incredible newborn scent; and, perhaps, most important of all, baby's early language -the cries and pre-crying noises”.

Notice the reference to the “incredible newborn scent”?  This scent doesn’t last long  - it dissipates within a matter of months. While there is not much written about the importance of the newborns scent in relation to attachment theory or biological survival, we suspect the newborn scent is probably pretty important (we are on a mission to learn more).
Imagine our response when we read about Dolce & Gabbana’s new product launch aimed at the newborn market: Baby Fragrance perfume!

Yes, perfume for your newborn. Who would ever imagine masking the scent of a newborn baby? As if babies aren’t perfect just the way they are!

Anyhow, enough of the shock, horror….

In fairness, D&G says the goal isn’t to cover up but to enhance that fresh baby smell. “We all know that children smell beautiful, and there’s no need to cover up their natural scent,” lifestyle editor Valentina Zannoni wrote on ‘Swide’, the label’s online
magazine. “In fact the Dolce & Gabbana Baby Fragrance has been designed to accentuate that natural baby smell.”  Zannoni went on to say, purchase and use of the product demonstrated “true family commitment”. Getting up 3 times a night for feeding and nappy changes is commitment enough, surely?

Stefano Gabbana reveals that this new fragrance has been inspired by “the softness of baby skin, the freshness of baby breath, a mother’s sweet hug, [and] the first smile.” Mmm. How does one bottle the essence of these intangible things?

On the up side, the product is alcohol free (which, we admit is um…thoughtful) and attempts to closely mimic the natural scent of a baby with the use of bergamot, musk and honey (Author’s note: A straw pole in the agency reveals that our babies never smelt like any of these things).

D&G are squarely targeting the indulgent parents who are engaged with the luxury market and who want to give their baby something special. Not surprisingly, most of the people we talk to with babies think a good night’s sleep special enough during infancy? They are obviously not the target market!

We have been heavily involved in researching the luxury market for many years now and observe that there is a massive market for luxury products and the children’s clothing and accessory category is a growth market. For those who want to buy only the best for baby, D&G is a premium brand with impeccable credentials. Yet, are they the real market for this product?  After all, new parents don’t have time to shop during the early stages of parenthood. They are too busy looking lovingly into baby’s eyes or trying to get some much needed rest.

So who is the target market?  We suspect the PANK (Professional Aunt with No Kids) is a key target market for this new product extension. The PANK is a demographic that luxury advertisers are increasingly trying to reach and D&G’s new launch seems to us to be squarely aimed at them. Why? It hits all the right notes:  a brand with great Italian design pedigree, luxury packaging cues (don’t you just love that cherub?), the bottle will look adorable in the baby’s room, as a concept, there is a hefty dose of whimsy (is light years away from the nappy bucket that practical parents have to buy) and it is truly beautifully indulgent and just that little bit rare and exclusive.

So, if you are a PANK with a gorgeous newborn niece of nephew and can’t resist this newest luxury offering from the leading Italian house of design, Baby Fragrance is available exclusively from D & G’s new specialist luxury family-based products store in Venice - Dolce & Gabbana Corso Venezia 7. Read more HERE


See Stefano Gabbana’s instagram post HERE

And yes, we are spoilt for choice… D&G aren’t the only brand to launch a fragrance for baby. The House of Burberry entered this market before them.

When putting the two together, don’t you think they look a little like ‘his’ and ‘hers?’


 

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