When photographer Russell James and his business partner Joyce Lanigan first launched their socially conscious fragrance brand, Raw Spirit, they had plans to create another fragrance brand for the mass market down the line.
Their business plans however got sped up when last year Lanigan, who is the chief executive officer of the brand, met fragrance buyers from Wal-Mart at Cosmoprof in July. The buyers were engrossed in the brand’s messaging and mission, but knew it couldn’t work for the retailer because of the prestige price point. This encouraged Raw Spirit to speed up its ideation and formulation processes, which has now led to the launch of its mass-market brand, Wild Spirit, entering Wal-Mart exclusively on Wednesday.
“We were seeing a lot of people that loved the fragrances, but they would comment that they were too expensive,” she said. “It made me realize that fragrance is a luxury at any price point, so we were owning and servicing a small part of that market. Looking at the mass market, there was no evolution in fragrance for a long time and it’s been stagnant. I thought if we were going to take niche fragrance principles, but bring them into mass, we might be able to do something that was fresh and interesting.”
Wild Spirit stems from the same environmentally conscious ethos as Raw Spirit, however the mass market brand is meant to skew younger and be a bit more cheeky with four influencers as the face of each fragrance. With photography by James, the brand enlisted Ashley Moore, Victoria Germyn, Laura James and Eva Adams to represent each scent, which is meant to embody the persona of a season.
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The brand is launching with four fragrances: Spring Jasmine, a fresh scent infused with green apple, vanilla and jasmine, Driftwood, an ocean inspired scent with jasmine, wild freesia and cedarwood, Chill, a fragrance inspired by the transition of summer to fall that includes notes of green apple, vanilla and cinnamon and First Snow, which includes a blend of natural essential oils of black pepper, juniper berry and orange. Each 30-ml. fragrance retails for $24.98 and a discovery set with sample sizes of all four fragrances retails for $14.98.
“We wanted to launch with something that is clean and has lots of essential oils,” Lanigan continued. “We’re looking to the consumer to have a voice and a say in what’s important to them and what notes they’d like in the future.”
Wild Spirit is focusing its efforts on social media with an influencer program and to engage with its customers. In the future, the brand wants to crowdsource ideas via social media and find someone to be the face of an upcoming fragrance.
On Wednesday, the fragrances will be available for purchase on walmart.com and the brand’s own e-commerce site. Starting July 14, the fragrances will begin rolling out to 3,100 Walmart stores.
For Raw Spirit, the brand currently carries eight fragrances at retailers like Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s, Ulta Beauty and Neiman Marcus, among others, for $40 to $190. Up next the brand is launching its ninth scent, Midnight Pearl, the sister fragrance to Midnight Pearl, and has plans to expand distribution to China.