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INTERVIEW SCENT REPUBLIK: THE GIRL-CENTRIC BRAND INSPIRING CONFIDENCE AND POSITIVITY

January 25, 2018
January 25, 2018
Scent Republik

Inspired by daughters and founded by fathers, UK-based company Scent Republik is taking the girl’s fragrance category by storm with their three (soon to be six) quirky Scents in a Stik. As you peruse the website, fun immediately comes to mind—tasteful pops of color, a graffiti typography treatment, and silly photographs of smiling girls doodling with the scent stiks fill the page. And while the brand image is purposefully youthful, the fragrances are sophisticated and all mood related. Chill stik has notes of citrus, apple blossom, and marine aqua to elicit free and relaxed sentiments; Whoosh stik is intended to evoke feelings of fantastical magic via cassis, strawberry, and raspberry aromas; Fab! is all about channeling inner girl power through vanilla, mandarin, and rich praline scents.

BeautyMatter had the opportunity to speak with the new company that is charming consumers one expressive Scent Stik at a time. Read on for our Q&A:

The founders of Scent Republik are two dads. What are their backgrounds? Did the tow men have an affinity for scent? Or did this love of fragrance emerge from watching their tween daughters navigate the fragrance category?

We both have a strong entrepreneurial and creative background—together we founded Craft & Narrative, a branding and design agency based in London. As a collective we have worked on a wealth of creative projects from branding, packaging, and web, across a range of varying sectors.

After creating and implementing so many brands for our clients we really wanted to build something of our own, a brand that was close to our hearts and that would have a positive impact for the people around us. We are still actively running the design agency today, but our main focus has shifted to Scent Republik.

Regarding our personal affinities with fragrance? Alex worked on a creative packaging project for a boutique brand, which fortified his soft spot for fragrance. For me, well, I was born in France, fragrance is very much part of the culture over there. I have always loved scent, I feel that it’s a really effective way to stimulate creative thinking and an opportunity to arouse one of our perhaps more underused senses.

How involved are your daughters in the brand's creative process?

They were, and still are very much involved in the process, they even ran some of the early creative meetings, which was really fun and interesting for us to see, it really helped us to connect with their demographic.

Currently there are three scent stiks available-Whoosh, Fab!, and Chill-that come in bright and fun hues of blue, yellow, and pink. Did your daughters have a say in the naming process and typography treatment of the product?

Very much so, we wanted to keep the names short and clear, straight to the point, no blah, blah—just to keep it authentic. We also wanted to have a bit of a rebellious side to the brand, hence the “graffiti” & “tag” inspired typography which conveys that.

How did the idea of replacing the ink in pens with scent come to you? What inspired the packaging?

It’s actually hard to tell, we really wanted to come up with something different, we didn’t want to have the usual atomizer. The unusual application method ties into the overall brand as we see the application as a scented “tag” to the skin. We would also say that we are still very much “rebellious” and the fact that the kids can sneak our Scent Stiks into school, under the radar, was definitely something we really liked!

Do you think fragrance has the power to instill positivity and confidence?

Many studies have been conducted that demonstrate how scent can elevate your mood and confidence. If you like a scent you will instantly connect with it, the beauty of a fragrance is that it is abstract, an international language with which there are so many ways to relate. Our idea and focus with Scent Republik is to use scent as a way to connect to, and accept an emotion—this is actually quite important for tweens and teens.

Given the fragrance trend toward unisex positioning and the fluidity of gender in younger generations, do you plan on eventually marketing toward all genders? Or keeping this a girl-only brand?

Scent Republik is a girl “only” brand (although we never discourage boys from adopting) and will remain so for the near future, the next stage is still very much open and we could easily see ourselves breaking the gender barrier.

Post-development, did you have a panel of young sniffers provide you with feedback?

We did have a large panel of “young sniffers,” Scent Republik has been created for tweens and teens and it was important for us to have their feedback. We didn’t want to assume, we really wanted to create scents that are genuinely liked. We were very pleased, some of the fragrances are quite complex, it really shows how sophisticated tweens & teens are now!

What is your current distribution tactic?

At the moment, we are still finding out what is best for us, we have been approached by several retailers and distributors but we haven’t finalised anything yet. So far we are available online.

How are you reaching your young target demographic? What is your marketing strategy?

Most of our current strategy is based on social media platforms, we are reaching out to a number of influencers, we are also connecting with both traditional print and online magazines.

Your Scent Stiks are affordable ($5.95 for one, or three for $16.95). How important was pricing to Scent Republik?

We wanted to create a high-quality, fun, and smart product whilst keeping it as affordable as possible. For us, being pocket-money affordable was important, it took a lot of thinking and development to bring a product that has quality, innovation and affordability to market.

What has the response been like from consumers?

We’ve had amazing consumer feedback, it’s so pleasing to see a true connection with the product. The best feedback so far was when I heard a girl around our booth say “OMG, I need this in my life!” it was so sweet…

And finally, what is next for Scent Republik? Will it stay true to its name and remain in the fragrance realm, or potentially venture into other categories?

We hope a lot! We will certainly stay true to our core values, I don’t think we will remain exclusively in fragrance but I believe that all of our products will have something to do with fragrance. We do have quite a few product concepts that we really want to try, so watch this space …

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