Goldfield & Banks is less than two years old. Founded by Belgian Frenchman, Dimitri Weber – a veteran of the fine fragrance world, working across Europe – the brand is inspired by the natural wonders of the Australian landscape – Australian made fine fragrance highlighting scents unique to Australia’s scenery.
WHAT IS YOUR POINT OF DIFFERENCE WITH GOLDFIELD & BANKS?
As a Belgian Frenchman I came to Aus in 2015 taking up a role with Cosmax Prestige Brands. I was very excited to see the department store landscape here and to discover fragrances and brands that were unique to Australia. I was shocked that Australian prestige fragrances did not seem to exist in department stores, rather, they are full of international brands. This got my thought process in play and planted the seed to create scents as a tribute to the extraordinary beauty of Australia.
IT TOOK COURAGE, SELF-BELIEF AND PERSONAL INVESTMENT TO SET UP YOUR OWN PERFUME BUSINESS – WHY WERE YOU SO SURE GOLDFIELD & BANKS WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL?
With 25 years’ experience in the fragrance industry based in France, building, and developing brands I brought with me a great wealth of knowledge and a curiosity to do things differently. With my experience living and working in Europe I knew that the overseas market would embrace what we were offering.
Australian Made and bottled in Melbourne: a luxe and prestige fragrance using the French art form with the amazing scents and botanicals that are unique to Australia. We would create combinations the world had never smelt before. Globally perfume suppliers and perfumers were already sourcing our sandalwood from Western Australia to use in French fragrance. Why wouldn’t we use what we have in our own playground?
We are now in 11 countries in just under two years of trading – that’s across department stores in the UK, USA and UAE.
WHAT HAS BEEN AN UNEXPECTED CHALLENGE SO FAR?
To be honest the retail landscape in Australia has been tough compared to the overseas market. We did our market research with our consumers all over Australia. We discovered they are wanting:
- An Australian fragrance they can be proud of, not clichés of Australiana.
- Luxe and prestige were of interest like Jurlique and AESOP.
- They want to be patriotic and our online sales in Australia have proved this for us.
So it has been a process of learning, growing and hitting goals overseas.
TIPS TO GAINING SHELF SPACE IN OVERSEAS MARKET?
- Pilot programs – we have had success with Fortnum & Mason in the UK – their pilot program gave us visibility, support and guidance. Goldfield & Banks was given back wall and prime locations with activations whereas another well-known store offered us just 40cms space and room for four SKUs.
- Work with fewer stores that are a good fit for your brand and invest in the right merchandise, samples and be supportive. Physically being available and instore, if allowed, is a great opportunity.
- Create as much Buzz and Noise. You have to spread the news, use your network and point of difference, and don’t be shy!
- International tradeshows. These are great for brand awareness. Store owners and retailers are more my focus. However pick and choose. If you are prestige you need to create the mystery and also make your brand not too accessible.
AS A FIRST TIME BUSINESS OWNER – WHAT TIPS CAN YOU SHARE?
Be across your entire business when you’re starting out.
Learn that time is money – Goldfield & Banks now has an Australian distributor for the retail landscape as traction is slower than the overseas market.
Be responsive to enquiries and emails – being on top of your business allows you to make better and clearer decisions and not be reactive.
Know when to grow and expand – big orders are not great if supply can’t be met. Under promise and over deliver.
Surround yourself with people that inspire you and you can learn from.