Promoting attire on-line was as soon as farfetched. Who would purchase a swimsuit with out making an attempt it on? Tens of millions do, because it seems. However fragrances? Who would buy a perfume with out first smelling it?
I requested that to Kamil Banc. He’s an engineer turned entrepreneur and the co-founder of Perfume One, a direct-to-consumer vendor of colognes and perfumes — all on-line.
“We don’t promote fragrances,” he advised me. “We promote compliments. That’s why individuals purchase.”
Our total audio dialog is embedded under. The transcript is edited for readability and size.
Eric Bandholz: Inform us about your enterprise.
Kamil Banc: Perfume One began on Kickstarter in 2018. We presold about $1 million price of perfume with out anyone smelling it, together with me.
Bandholz: Your brother Jeremy has an enormous perfume viewers.
Banc: Sure, he’s by far the most important perfume influencer on-line — over 3 million followers on TikTok. He posts 5 movies a day. It’s loopy.
Bandholz: How did you two determine to enter enterprise collectively? He’s flamboyant; you’re cerebral.
Banc: We’re 4 years aside. I’m the older one.
He had a sizeable breakdancing channel on YouTube in 2007, when that web site got here out. Many individuals adopted him, after which it was taken down for copyright infringement.
He migrated to different tasks. He began a mineral water model and an vitality drink, for instance. Then, round 2017, I advised him, “Why don’t you return to YouTube and do one thing enjoyable?”
He took it to coronary heart. Six months later, he was into perfume. He by no means advised our household. Immediately he had 60,000 followers listening to him discuss concerning the subject. He asks people, “What does this perfume remind you of?” Or, “What does it include?”
YouTube viewers needed to see ladies react to a perfume and charge it from 1 to 10. Jeremy centered on driving compliments.
In 2018, he and I made a decision to show the idea right into a model. We don’t promote fragrances. We promote compliments. That’s why individuals purchase it. That’s why we have been in a position to launch with out anybody smelling it. We might say, “You don’t should odor the perfume if you wish to get compliments.”
Our first perfume was referred to as Workplace for Males. In the event you’re a man in an workplace and also you need to get compliments, that is what you put on. That was the million-dollar product on Kickstarter.
The launch wasn’t with out hiccups. Jeremy needed to supply worldwide delivery. We had no provide chain or delivery companions. I’m shocked we didn’t lose cash. We barely lined our prices.
Delivery alcohol, which our fragrances comprise, is difficult with the entire authorized restrictions. We now have two warehouses — within the E.U. and the U.S.
We’re now making an attempt to promote into the Center East and India. We’ve many requests in each places.
Bandholz: I’ve seen many manufacturers change into reliant on Kickstarter. They’ve an enormous launch after which nothing till the subsequent spherical. Has that occurred together with your firm?
Banc: No. We’ve had only one marketing campaign. I believe 80% of our Kickstarter backers have been new to that platform. Additionally, our electronic mail listing was roughly 20,000. So we didn’t should do the Kickstarter.
We did it for a few causes. One was for publicity. Kickstarter could be very public. The opposite was to obtain suggestions — good and dangerous — to check our product-market match.
I don’t see us doing one other Kickstarter. A lot of our authentic backers are repeat consumers. Roughly 35% of our clients are repeat.
Bandholz: Your fragrances are comparatively costly. Beardbrand producers fragrances, too. Setting costs is so subjective. How did you choose a pricing technique?
Banc: Our costs typically anger people. Jeremy and I argue over costs.
I’m not a perfume man. I give attention to the enterprise. However Jeremy is immersed in fragrances and the way to worth them, market-wise. I used to be initially taking a look at our demographic. However his level is that every one fragrances value the identical to make; the one distinction is advertising. Packaging varies. However the juice prices the identical.
Over time we discovered a mannequin the place he and I agree.
We make sure that our fragrances are of the highest quality to generate compliments. And we have now bundled offers to decrease the associated fee. Since we promote on-line, we don’t have wholesale charges or pay in-store distributor charges.
Our excessive worth makes us a straightforward goal. Our model is carefully related to Jeremy, the influencer. He’s very polarizing. Watching his movies, individuals love him or hate him. That interprets into our model.
Bandholz: The lesson there may be having confidence in your pricing. Let’s transition. In 2021, plenty of ecommerce firms struggled as a result of Fb algorithm shifts. Did it have an effect on your organization?
Banc: No, it didn’t impression us. We as soon as used Fb adverts. We labored with a studio out of New York. However we discovered we might attain the viewers ourselves organically. So by 2021 we weren’t promoting on Fb or Instagram.
Bandholz: Is Perfume One solely you and Jeremy?
Banc: It’s simply the 2 of us. We’ve plenty of assist from our logistics firm. And we use good instruments, similar to for buyer assist, that save time. We usually spend solely quarter-hour per day on buyer points.
Bandholz: One of the best buyer assist is well-run operations the place customers have few wants. How do you and Jeremy divide duties?
Banc: He handles advertising, assist, and product growth. I’m extra on the back-end with the web site and operations.
Bandholz: Let’s swap gears. You’re experimenting with non-fungible tokens — NFTs — and the metaverse.
Banc: Sure. The metaverse might be a manner for our model to the touch extra prospects. Our worth, once more, isn’t essentially the odor — it’s the power to generate compliments. So we’re contemplating merchandise within the metaverse to try this.
As for NFTs, I joined a Discord neighborhood referred to as CryptoDads. It’s principally a networking car to attach with people shopping for and promoting NFTs and have an interest within the expertise. The members are primarily techies and ahead thinkers. It’s been enjoyable.
Bandholz: How can individuals attain assist you and attain out?