BOSS IS BACK IN TOWN
Byline: Jennifer Weil, Paris, with contributions from Melissa Drier, Berlin
PARIS — Hugo Boss is gearing up to launch a men’s fragrance that’s linked to its Boss line of clothes.
“It’s Boss bottled,” said Sophie Blanco, marketing manager for Procter & Gamble France, quoting the tag line on the fragrance’s print advertisement.
Boss Hugo Boss — P&G’s fifth men’s scent — is slated to hit German counters in July, and to enter the rest of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region between August and September. The fragrance will then roll out to the U.S. market in 1999. According to Rita Schweighofer, central sales marketing manager at Eurocos, Procter & Gamble’s Germany-based prestige fragrance division, sell-in for Boss Hugo Boss is almost finished and far ahead of expectations.
Although P&G would not divulge sales projections for Boss Hugo Boss, industry sources estimate that it could rake in at least $30 million internationally in its first year.
Behind the launch there will be “giant promotions” in key trade outlets, Schweighofer said. There will also be TV, print ads — posters and single pages in magazines — in-store materials and a sizable sampling campaign.
In France, for instance, about one million samples will be given out.
Also, to bolster the synergies between Boss fashion and the new fragrance, starting in September, Hugo Boss suits with fragrance samples attached will be delivered to European retailers. Their customers are “the ideal target group” for Boss Hugo Boss, Schweighofer said.
Boss Hugo Boss has top notes of citrus, apple and cinnamon; its heart has geranium, clove and mossy accents, and at the base are sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver and olive wood.
The fragrance was created by Annick Mendaro of Firmenich.
Does P&G fear that Boss Hugo Boss will cannibalize sales of its other fragrances — especially Boss and Hugo, which was launched in 1995 (and ranks number seven in the men’s market, according to French tracking firm Secodip)? “Boss Hugo Boss is not a replacement for Boss; it’s an entirely different and new fragrance,” said a company spokeswoman.
She said that Boss has a younger target — men 15 to 30 years old. However, to avoid any confusion, Hugo Boss is rebaptizing that fragrance. As of Sept. 1, it will be called Boss Number One.
Boss Hugo Boss will be sold as 50-ml. and 100-ml. eau de toilettes, which will retail for about $44 and $55, at current exchange rates.
There are also six ancillary items for the line, including aftershave, shower gel and deodorant.