Yankee Candle Lures Men With Bacon and Popcorn

Yankee Candle got a whiff of the sweet smell of community with the addition of two new fragrances to its Man Candles collection: MMM, Bacon! and Movie Night (a candle with a buttered popcorn aroma). The two new fragrances join three other macho aromas released last year: First Down, Riding Mower, and Man Town.

“The truth is, men make up about 35% of the users of the candle category, and we thought it was an opportunity to give men their fair share at Yankee Candle,” says Hope Margala Klein, Yankee Candle’s EVP of brand marketing and innovation.

Klein says Yankee Candle received solicited and unsolicited customer suggestions for its candle fragrances via the company’s website, call center, Facebook page, and blog—including submissions such as steak, motor oil, and “some things that I won’t repeat.”  Brad Wolansky, Yankee Candle’s president of direct and CMO, says it also conducted a survey via its Facebook page, which now has more than one million likes.

To keep the omnichannel buzz aflame, the candle company is promoting its movie-themed campaign (inspired by the Movie Night scent) through catalogs, postcards, video, online, email, social media, and in its 557 stores. Yankee Candle is also teaming up with Regal Cinemas to offer customers free popcorn in theaters with the purchase of a Movie Night Candle. In addition, the brand launched the Man Candle collection matching game on Facebook, which Wolansky equates to the game Concentration, to give consumers the chance to have some fun with the brand and win coupons. He also notes that Yankee Candle links in-store and digital marketing by having its consumer direct group manage both areas.

This year’s Man Candles campaign, which targets men and women shopping for seasonal gifts for men (like for Father’s Day), piggybacks off of the success of last year’s launch of the original Man Candles collection. Yankee Candle saw a 167% increase in unique visitors to its site and a 222% increase in new visitors during the time the Man Candles launch floor set were in-store; the floor set ran for three weeks after Mother’s Day in 2012. In addition, Man Candles collection accounted for more than 10% of retail sales during this period.

While in-store customers have the luxury of smelling the sizzling bacon and the buttered popcorn aromas, Yankee Candle is faced with the challenge of delivering that same experience to its catalog and digital consumers. So, Yankee Candle includes scented pages in its catalogs and describes the fragrance on the candles’ product pages, but Wolansky says it’s the community that really provides the spark.

“In our case, the great thing about social and the great thing about the tools on the website, like ratings and reviews, is that it’s actually the community that helps sell it for us,” he says. “It’s the community that actually describes—sometimes for good, sometimes for worse—what these fragrances smell like.”

In fact, Wolansky says that multichannel marketing delivers some benefits that can’t be replicated in-store, particularly when it comes to the complementary nature between catalogs and social.

“[Catalogers] can take a product and really be more descriptive about it. You can talk about its attributes. You can romance it…It’s really more of a self-service environment in retail. In direct-to-consumer, you’re standing over the shoulder explaining it,” he says. “I think social has that impact, too. Social media is, ‘Here’s the product, and here’s what everyone has to say about it.’”

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