Fine Fragrances

Where it all started. During Don’s tenure, our Founder and CEO, at Procter and Gamble, he was provided a “great opportunity” to work in the fine fragrances business they had acquired. The upside? There were two strong brand names they were licensed to sell under – Hugo Boss and Laura Biagiotti.

Acquired management was convinced the success of the product relied on the ‘nose’ of the manufacturer. Success relying solely on serendipity and research was impossible – or so they thought.

Don was convinced otherwise and developed the beginnings of the methodology Baker St. uses today and has since been applied to over 175 different products and brands.


Don was tasked to grow a small business of $100MM within P&G consisting of 8 fine fragrance brands.

The Process

1-on-1 Interviews

Performed 300+ interviews to discover how women actually decide to make a fine fragrance purchase

On-Site Observation

3 months of focused retail observations to crack the code for the ‘Hit rate’


Intensive 5-country product benchmarking to uncover the truth about the market, behaviors and potential.

Quantitative Synthesis

Distill and develop the hedonics – the real causal factors of consumer behavior – and attributes that explain how to win


Don’s research and data determined a hit-rate of 1-in 10, or 10% top-box “loving” explains the Purchase Behavior – and no other measure defines the Right to Succeed™

Additionally, with over 80 variables that could influence consumer behavior, only 4 Hedonics correlate with the factors that drove purchase behavior:

  • Impression in first 30 seconds
  • Appreciation of quality after 8 hours
  • Confidence to Give as a Gift
  • The effect of compliments on the Wearer

Common factors, long-believed crucial, were all based on “consideration to Purchase” but did NOT cause Purchase.

  • The Packaging
  • The Name of the Fragrance
  • The Advertising
  • The Promotional offer
  • The Color
  • The Designer Name

This completely revolutionized P&G’s approach to this vertical and changed the marketing strategy of the entire industry:

  • Probability of success increased
  • Failures minimized
  • Magnitude of success maximized

With this discovery, P&G’s Fine Fragrance business grew over 5x, from $100MM and a 1.0% share to $510MM and a 4.3% share. Today this category is over $3,000MM and a 15% share.

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