Fragrance firm Gemini Cosmetics Inc. has an Icon on its hands.
The company, which holds the licenses for Tommy Bahama, Izod and Kiss fragrances, has established a sales and marketing unit called Icon and recently appointed Dana Kline as its president.
The rejiggering of the firm now means that the parent entity, called Zinger International Group, will have under it Gemini, Icon and a mass market fragrance branch called Grace Beauty. The idea is that Gemini will handle licensing and product development for Zinger, while Icon integrates sales and marketing.
“Gemini will become a client of Icon,” Kline said during a recent interview at the firm’s West 57th Street headquarters in Manhattan. “Icon will work with [vendors and brands] to build distribution strategies and set mixes and space allocations for those brands.”
Gemini, which was formed four years ago, also oversees Coty’s Nautica, Kate Moss, Fabulosity by Baby Phat and David and Victoria Beckham fragrance brands in U.S. department stores, and is sales agent for L’Occitane’s Le Couvent des Minimes brand.
While Kline would not discuss sales projections, market sources project that Zinger could reach $200 million in total retail sales for full-year 2008. Profitability under the new business structure could be achieved within 18 months, according to industry sources.
“There are several deals on the horizon for licensing and distribution,” said a mum-on-details Frank A. Fazzinga Jr., who is chairman and chief executive officer of Zinger International Group. He did hint at the fact that he’s looking for a high-end women’s, possibly designer, project — as well as skin care — perhaps as early as the first half of 2009.
“What we realized is sales and service are our biggest assets,” Fazzinga said. “The question was how do we utilize the sales force to our advantage but be technical so [brands] can make sound merchandising decisions?”
Kline spoke of “the three pillars” meant to optimize the corporate structure of Zinger. Aside from Gemini and Icon, which uses the queen chess piece as its logo, Grace Beauty handles distribution of fragrances like Kiss to the supermarket, drugstore and mass merchant channels of distribution.
“As we sign new licenses and distribution agreements,” said Kline, “these are the three pillars.”
The integration of sales and marketing the executives spoke of means that point-of-sale, event and training programs will be constructed collaboratively between the sales and marketing workforces.
“Sales and marketing together is much more productive,” Fazzinga remarked.
The executives noted that this year there’s a particularly hard push toward promotional spending during the fourth quarter. While normally 48 percent of Gemini’s annual in-store promotional spending takes place during the fourth calendar quarter, during the current fourth quarter, executives expect that number will go up nine basis points to 57 percent.
Advertising and promotional efforts include print ads for the Izod brand and a new ad campaign for Tommy Bahama scents, where there will be a “strong drive” for December, said Kline.
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