Stevens & Tate Marketing Retained by Genieco to Widen Brand Appeal of Gonesh Incense

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Stevens & Tate Marketing has been retained by Genieco, Inc. to broaden the appeal of the company’s Gonesh fragrance line in the North American market.

Stevens & Tate Marketing

Stevens & Tate Marketing

“Examining consumers’ attitudes toward a product category—in this case incense—is the starting point for creating a marketing and brand strategy,” said Dan Gartlan, Stevens & Tate president.

Stevens & Tate Marketing has been named the agency of record for Genieco, Inc., a privately held company specializing in home fragrances. With its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, Genieco sells incense and related products in North America under the Gonesh brand.

Genieco, the oldest and one of the largest domestic manufactures of incense, has been part of the Nippon Kodo group since 1999. Based in Hong Kong, Nippon Kodo distributes incense products internationally with operations in Japan, France, Vietnam, Korea, and Brazil as well as the United States.

The first order of business for Stevens & Tate when entering into its agreement with Genieco was to provide quantifiable data on consumer behavior to the company so that it could better target its marketing efforts.

“Our goal is to change the image of incense in America,” said Dana Morrison, Genieco president. “To do so, we needed to understand the current perceptions about incense in the marketplace. We also needed to know who our U.S. customers are, why they purchase our products, and where they shop.”

Genieco turned to Stevens & Tate because of the firm’s strong retail marketing experience and strategic direction.

“Examining consumers’ attitudes toward a product category—in this case incense—is the starting point for creating a marketing and brand strategy,” said Dan Gartlan, Stevens & Tate president. “For Gonesh, we needed to learn how people engage with incense today.”

The reasons consumers purchased or did not purchase was key to recognizing how to position Gonesh in the marketplace, he continued. So Stevens & Tate recommended a survey to gain insight into the behavior and shopping habits of incense users in the U.S.

“Surveys provide an objective view of the marketplace and highlight a brand’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competitive set,” said Gartlan.

Stevens & Tate conducted an online survey to determine the level of awareness of Gonesh products as well as its competitors. It was distributed to current and past incense users to determine their usage habits, identify barriers to usage, learn where and how often incense is purchased, understand how incense is perceived overall, and ascertain how incense compares with other home fragrance items.

“Our goal was to profile Gonesh’s target audiences and reveal untapped markets to reach out to,” said Gartlan. “Then, armed with that knowledge, establish strategies for pull through at retail.”

After analysis, Stevens & Tate launched a social media campaign to build a community and encourage engagement. The agency used the survey results to create messages and imagery that resonated with specific core audiences. In the campaign’s first three months, Facebook “likes” have nearly doubled.

“This is the first step to bringing the Gonesh brand into mainstream America,” said Gartlan. “Long term, the goal is for Gonesh to become the ambassador for widening the use of incense so that the category competes with other household fragrance products.”

According to Morrison, the survey results not only are being used to guide marketing efforts, but also new product development. Today, Gonesh sells a variety of home fragrance items including candles, oil diffusers, warmers, spray and hanging fresheners, and potpourri along with its popular incense. The company strives to elevate the level of fragrance delivery by working with creative and skilled perfumers, using the highest quality raw materials, and using the exclusive HighCharcoal™ in its incense line.

Stevens & Tate Marketing is a full-service advertising agency offering award-winning, on-strategy creative; integrated message development; internet and digital advertising; and cost-effective media planning and execution. Stevens & Tate creates focused, targeted solutions for its clients in the food/grocery, business-to-business, retail, travel/tourism, real estate, healthcare, senior living, and non-profit industries. To learn more about Stevens & Tate’s services or work, visit the company’s website at http://www.stevens-tate.com or call (630) 627-5200.

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Debbie Szwast
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