Japan emerges as a key market for Hermès fragrance sales

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Japan emerges as a key market for Hermès fragrance sales

Related tags Marketing

Luxury fashion house, Hermès has revealed that its' fragrance arm in Japan is up 20% – a rise the brand attributes to a “selective distribution network”.

The news comes in the form of Hermès first half of 2015 results, where turnover totaled €2,299m.

Perfumes accounted for €120.3m, up 5% on the same period in 2014. 

The brand's portfolio of fragrances includes Jour d’ Hermès, Hermès Eau des Merveilles and Hermès Terre D’Hermes Eau.

Overall, growth in Asia is revealed to have performed well - up 7%, “despite the difficult context in Hong Kong and Macau​”, while America accounted for 10 per cent and Europe for 7 per cent.

“Despite economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties around the world, the medium term objective of increasing the turnover with constant rates is in the area of 8%,” ​the company said in a recent statement.

Luxury is not 'one size fits all'

With more consumers financially viable to afford luxury cosmetics purchases, brands must beware that each market has very distinct characteristics.

The main differences can be found by looking at cultural attitudes to luxury goods. For example, European heritage brands tend to share a common belief - that exclusivity is critical to maintaining the luxury brand's allure.

American consumers, on the other hand, don't put much stock in exclusivity for exclusivity's sake, rather they prize individuality above all else and are proudly democratic in their view of luxury.

"From the European perspective, luxury is a privilege of class and status and what makes luxury more luxurious is that it is unavailable to the masses. But Americans simply don't buy that, which accounts for why many American luxury marketers have a hard time exporting their 'new luxury' democratic luxury concepts overseas," ​says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing.

On Hermès website, there doesn't seem to be a distinction between marketing its goods towards different market. The site is simply split into French, English and Japanese - with a 'one marketing strategy fits all strategy' aimed at attracting global consumers.

Although it would be hard to deny that, in taking this attitude, Hermes is marketing its strengths towards its high-end appeal, this attitude is not always going to work everyone.

Other luxury cosmetics companies have realised this and have adapted their strategies accordingly. 

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