Content brand of the week: Penhaligon’s, the brand that blends hints of heritage with notes of content-nous

Penhaligons WITH bottom line LOW RES

Isn’t that what Jessica Ennis did at the Olympics?

That’s pentathlon. And no, Ennis won gold in the heptathlon. Penhaligon’s is a purveyor of fine fragrances and grooming products with an inimitable heritage and a very modern knack for marketing.

Progressive perfumes, eh?

Indeed, Penhaligon’s has capitalised on the renaissance of male facial topiary which has been spearheaded by Movember. The brand has announced it will be supporting the incredibly popular campaign once more this year by selling a specially created moustache wax. They’ll be donating 40% of all sales to Movember.

How very charitable of them, although I’m sure they’ll benefit from sharing the spotlight with such a high-profile current event.

Absolutely – and it’s a tie-up that makes perfect sense in terms of brand extension among the Movember and Penhaligon’s target demographics. Speaking of being ‘of the moment’, Penhaligon’s is also experimenting with new technologies to enhance the value of its products, most recently by using augmented reality app Blippar. The packaging for the brand’s latest fragrance, Iris Prima, comes to life when scanned with a Blippar-enabled smartphone and displays a short video of a ballerina silhouette.

Sounds fun, but isn’t augmented reality a bit of a gimmick?

Gimmicky it may be, but Penhaligon’s willingness to test it out shows a forward-thinking attitude that sometimes eludes similar heritage brands. There are also good signs that AR will become a bigger, more powerful part of brand communications in the future as smart technology becomes more attuned to its requirements – if this is the case, Penhaligon’s will be well ahead of the pack.

Ok, I’m getting hints of forward thinking… what else should I be nosing out in the brand’s heady content bouquet?

How about a soupcon of knowing humour? Each fragrance in the collection has its own postcard-style banner, used onsite and in email communications, using an arch, faux-Victorian tone of voice that plays on our impressions of 19th century morays. The postcards crack us up so much we featured them in our Monday Funday post a few weeks ago, but they’re also used as part of the brand’s very impressive product pages.

Ah ha, I thought I was detecting accents of savvy e-commerce in there!

Clearly you have a sophisticated palette. The Penhaligon’s product pages are a fantastic example of content that supports and enhances the online shopping experience. Not every fragrance has as rich a page as the example linked to here, but across the whole range of products there are blog posts, cocktail recipes, ‘scent-tasting videos’ and consumer reviews. A truly bumper mix of content to nudge a consumer towards that all-important ‘click, buy’.

Smells like a recipe for success!

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Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media.

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