making ofmarketing and branding

on printed cards and thinking IKEA while swimming

Today’s picture is a little glimpse on the table where I pack the discovery sets: green CN22 customs froms, preprinted with the customs informations for the discovery set, a document pouch as this particular discovery set will leave for Germany and German customs are fair, but though. And it shows you the cards going with the samples and other orders. I reprinted the No 14- sketch, on 300 gr/m2 paper, sending fragrant greetings with the orders. The print was done by and I was amazed how fast I got my 500 pieces back. Like, I sent the order off and wow!, they were almost delivered.

Of course there would be cheaper options to get a card printed: Thinner paper, larger editions, printing in Germany or China, ….But in the end, I think this card feels great and needs to feel great.

And this brings me right to the topic that I actually wanted to briefly mention. I read an interview the other day with Simona Scarpaleggia, the CEO of Ikea Switzerland, about Ikea and how things are done there. Not that I find everything to my liking there, but my factory, for instance, features a lot of IKEA, and there was on line in the interview that kind of struck me. It was about how Ikea gets a new product started and how they get it all done  (not literally) “We start with the price that the item must cost maximally and move from there on, making sure that we design it in a way that is compatible with our supplier’s expertise and their workflow”. When I create a fragrance, I never started with the price. An artist’s privilege not to worry about money, you might say.

Which of course makes sense, both, Ikea’s way and mine are fine. But as I have a lot of work these days, and as I do what I always do when I have a larger than normal workload, getting out and doing sports, like jogging and swimming on Sunday, I had a lot of time to actually think in circles about it. I never really considered it in detail: It is much easier to just design things and in the end define the price because the price in a particular market segment is super elastic. Elastic means: Everything goes. Sort of. Ikea’s world is different. And maybe this is why you could get super rich there and not here.

So you see, when swimming forth and back, I was trying to imagine what the consequences would be if I started a new line, fixing the price first. Like really ambitiously. Consequences on packaging are expected, for sure. On the scents? Maybe. Although, this might be a condition (see Ikea): No compromise when it comes to quality. But you might expect interesting consequences on retail and distribution channels, on  samples programs, on all aspects basically. Like trying to find a perfume flacon working without cap. I find this mind game interesting because by looking into such a scenario, you learn more about the scenario you’re in. Ah, and yes, another consequence would be: No printed greeting cards in 300 gr/m2.

But imagine: Doing it right, you might get a high quality scent for 50$. Maybe you would have to assemble it first, though.