DSN caught up with Stephen Mormoris, CEO of Scent Beauty, at NACDS TSE 2023 to discuss Stetson’s partnership with actor Luke Grimes. The Yellowstone star is the new face of the brand, and Mormoris shares how the collaboration is revitalizing the heritage brand and reaching a younger generation of consumers.
Drug Store News: How did you start the process of modernizing the Stetson brand?
Stephen Mormoris: When we took over the Stetson brand from Coty four years ago, we saw an American legendary brand, but in decline. And we asked ourselves, ‘How do we revitalize the brand?’ So the first thing we did, of course, is we looked at the core packaging, the core fragrance, and asked ourselves, ‘how do we make it more modern?’ So we redesigned the packaging. We created better sizes and price points for the distribution. We also then decided, ‘how do we create a campaign to support the message of Stetson as an authentic American brand’
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DSN: How did this partnership with Luke Grimes come together to tell Stetson’s brand story?
SM: Luke Grimes was a natural choice because he incarnates the American Western lifestyle. He lives in Montana. He rides horses. He is a sportsman. He is at one with nature. Interestingly, his dad used Stetson, and he grew up with it so there’s that generational tie.
If you look at his character on Yellowstone, I think it reflects very much who he is as a person. He’s been a great partner—he’s been very involved in the creatives of the campaign and has actually given us a lot of insight on fragrances that will appeal to a younger consumer.
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DSN: What types of Stetson fragrances can consumers expect to see on retailer’s shelves?
SM: In that vein, we decided to launch two new Stetson fragrances. One called Stetson Spirit, which is reaching consumers [age] 20 to 30. We will be launching a new luxury Stetson fragrance this fall called Stetson Legend, which is a higher concentration fragrance, and is inspired by luxury fragrances using sandalwood leather notes mixed with green notes. It's a new addition to the Stetson family that Luke Grimes has particularly embraced. He calls it a “luxury fragrance that even a cowboy will get dressed up to wear” for a hot date day or to go to dinner.
DSN: What fragrance trends are you seeing in the mass market?
SM: So one clear trend is that during COVID, people started using more forms of scenting, whether it was eau de toilette or eau de parfum or even home scenting candles. There was also increased consumption of grooming products, which is a way men are scenting themselves. So we see that fragrance has become an alive and well category in the beauty industry. Pre-COVID, less so, but during COVID there was a spike and it's continued.
Another big trend we've seen is that men's fragrances—or fragrances that were developed at the time with so-called "masculine" notes—are doing extremely well and are being purchased more and more by women. So we've seen a trend where women are looking for more gender neutral scents.
And we're also seeing that men are feeling very comfortable buying fragrance online without going to stores on.com marketplaces. It’s a big trend that really tells us that male brands have a very bright future.