One of the more interesting aspects of this symposium is that the general subject of environmental fragrances concerns a new and as yet untested market; a market which nonetheless has captivated the imagination of suppliers, marketers, retailers and the trade press before capturing the pocketbooks of consumers. The reason for both the degree of our enthusiasm and its shading of desperate optimism is obvious. The entire industry needs some focal point some issue for which we can recreate for the future the enthusiasm that has unfortunately become a hallmark of our past. Environmental fragrancing, like the deo-cologne market before it is just such a focal point, a focal point for our wishes to return to the halcyon days of ever expanding markets. A new marketing opportunity is in the making.
With every such opportunity comes risk. In both the deo-cologne and environmental markets, the risks are now greater than ever; in part because these markets must generate immediate success. There will be no allowance for “slow-growing” the market, even if that is the only efficient way to achieve success. There will be little time to learn from early mistakes. There will be little chance for quiet rearranging, shifts in positioning, midstream changes in strategy and the like. In our haste to bring life to the bottom line, what scant venturous capital and corporate bullishness remains in our industry may bolt and run at the first sign of disappointment.