The brand’s resilience to recessionary belt tightening provides an interesting case study into how consumer preferences can be harnessed in austere times.
Febreze recently became the 24th Procter and Gamble product to reach $1 billion in annual sales, a fact made more remarkable given that the economic slump has driven customers away from some of P&G’s other products in favor of cheaper detergent, shampoo and toilet paper.
One reason for Febreze’s resilience is that more people are spending greater amounts of time at home in the wake of recent austerity measures. However the Wall Street Journal notes that Febreze is growing faster than established air freshening heavyweights like Glade & Airwick and Johnson & Son.
Possible reasons for this success provide a fascinating insight into how our sense of smell can be linked to broader desires of buying into a lifestyle. Febreze broadens it’s target audience by appealing to
“consumers with different appetites—or tolerances—for scent: Some consumers just want to eliminate a problem, while another group is looking to create ambiance”
In order to better facilitate this audience expansion Febreze are looking to develop new scent delivery devices. Another interesting insight uncovered is how closely woven our life changes are with the olfactory atmosphere we like to create for ourselves:
“Certain life events prompt consumers to buy more air fresheners. Getting a pet, moving to a new home, getting married and having children all motivate shoppers to pick up more air-care products”