As every new Scentsy catalog comes out, we have the pleasure of releasing new fragrances in a variety of mediums. However, when it comes to Scentsy Bars, these new fragrances come at a cost, as some existing fragrance is discontinued to make room for the new one in the line—a process we call discontinuance. So how do I still manage to sleep at night, knowing someone is going to be saddened by the loss of their favorite fragrance?
I have mentioned in previous blog posts that as far as fragrance goes, we start working on new fragrances about 14 months before they end up in the catalog. With discontinued fragrances, we have a little more time, and we rely on sales data to help in our decision making process. Let’s use the upcoming Fall/Winter 2012 catalog as an example. We have been working on the top fragrances for this launch for almost a year now, but it was only about one month ago that we determined which fragrances would be “sent packing.”
We start by looking at how every fragrance performs as a whole from a sales perspective. Then, we narrow our focus to individual categories within the Scentsy line. The lowest performing fragrances (by category) are then put under a microscope, primarily to determine the month-to-month and sometimes, year-over-year performance (if the fragrance has been around for long enough). What we’re looking for is a sales trend—something that would indicate the choice we’re about to make isn’t based on some short-term anomaly.
We rarely cut deeper than the bottom two fragrances in any particular Scentsy category, and sometimes we only cut the bottom performing fragrance. On average, this results in roughly 25 fragrances changing out with each new catalog, as the entire Fall/Winter (or Spring/Summer) seasonal line is replaced, followed by two fragrances from each of the five non-seasonal Scentsy categories. The “Favorites” category is rarely changed unless something earns a position in that line—like Luna recently did.
However, as Scentsy continues to grow, particularly into new geographic areas like Europe, our strategy will have to evolve to consider the preferences of customers in different markets. To some extent, we already consider the impact of discontinuing any given fragrance on a particular geographic area. Imagine how Texans would react to the loss of Weathered Leather…? That would keep me up at night.
So in the end, Consultants and consumers drive the Scentsy discontinuance process. If you love a particular fragrance, and you buy/sell a lot of it, the fragrance may never disappear. If it does, there’s always Bring Back My Bar—everyone’s favorite democratic means of reuniting with lost—but still loved—fragrances, every January and July. Speaking of Bring Back My Bar, what changes would you like to see to that program going forward? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.