An international study of unisex and “same‐name” fragrance brands

Publication Date01 October 1999
Date01 October 1999
AuthorScott Markham,Joe Cangelosi
An international study of unisex
and ``same-name'' fragrance
Scott Markham
Associate Professor of Marketing, Department of Marketing &
Management, The University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas,
Joe Cangelosi
Associate Professor of Marketing, Department of Marketing &
Management, The University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas,
Keywords Brands, Consumer behaviour, International marketing, Perfume, Image
Abstract Examines the perceptions and preferences of fragrances by females. The sample
was taken from nine cities across three continents. Of the two major fragrance concepts
examined, unisex fragrances have been introduced, with only about half the respondents
in the nine cities (six countries) surveyed in this study being familiar with the concept.
Respondents assessed the effects of ten factors on the fragrance decisions. The joint
effects of ten surveyed factors show major differences between samples as stratified by
area, with some consistency among the top factors, as supported by ANOVA and
MANOVA analysis. Chi-Square analysis of unisex and ``same-name'' fragrances
indicated significant differences in four of six variables. The ten surveyed factors were
``scent, European fragrance, price, brand (purchased for self), brand (purchased as gift),
mood, season, free items with purchase, container, and color.'' ``Scent, price, brand and
mood'' were the dominant variables. Significant differences existed between the
respondents in the three major geographic areas, USA, Europe and Asia for seven of the
ten factors, i.e. European fragrance, price, brand purchased as a gift, mood, season,
container, and color.
Markets' perceptions are shaped, in many instances, by physical senses ±
smell, sight, sound, taste and touch (Soloman, 1996). Fragrances, employing
the sense of smell, and to a lesser degree sight (bottle/color of fragrance/
package) are chosen by many women to match their mood, or to enhance or
change the image they have, or, are trying to create for themselves. In other
words, to enhance and support their self-concept; to become the woman they
perceive themselves to be.
Research objectives were to determine respondent familiarity with the unisex
fragrance concept, to investigate women's preferences for this concept, and
to determine their inclination toward purchase. Similar objectives
(familiarity, preference, and purchase inclination) were applied to ``same-
name'' fragrances. Additionally, this paper analyzes ten factors, seeking to
determine their motivational value in causing purchase intent or behavior
among women from various cultures.
Medina and Duffy (1998) believe that a new definition of ``globalization'' is
called for in relation to a highly uniform product, sold internationally. The
term ``globalization'' is used in connection with ``standardization,''
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Markets' perceptions are
shaped by physical senses
An executive summary for
managers and executive
readers can be found at the
end of this article

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