Selling fragrance products online comes with a few challenges. One of them is communicating how the products smell without having an “e-tester” available for your potential customers. Sydney Noble is the founder and CEO of the Noble Brand, a black, disability, female-owned company that offers luxury home fragrance products. She and her team, operating from Los Angeles, CA, have “sniffed out” a few ways to handle this.
Sydney Noble, founder of The Noble Brand
The Science of Smell
How something smells can be pretty subjective. Smells can flood your brain with memories and evoke distinct emotions. What smells pleasant to one person may be undesirable to someone else. Describing how a fragrance smells can be further complicated when it comprises multiple layers of scents, called scent notes. Sydney and her team work hard to create imagery that captures not only the scents but also the emotion of the fragrance. For example, her website describes the Magic Hour candle as “Beautiful like the colorful skies before dusk and dawn, you’ll notice crisp ozonic notes of sea salt with calming notes of jasmine, lily of the valley, and tonka bean. This scent will bring immediate tranquility to any space.” Just reading the description makes one feel more relaxed.
The Universe Speaks
Sydney’s success with The Noble Brand also has multiple layers. From a family of entrepreneurs, Sydney is not afraid to try new things. She asks herself, “How do I know it won’t work if I don’t try?” Her efforts are visible all over the internet. She is active on social media platforms, sells on wholesale platforms, and has her own website, where she sells directly to the public. Until 2020, she was a one-woman show handling product development, marketing, customer support, sales, and everything else. But when she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, it completely changed her day-to-day life. The disease attacked her body, making it physically impossible for her to continue on her own. Growing her business was always a part of her vision, but up to that point, she didn’t feel ready. She says the disease was the universe telling her, “you may not be ready, but it is time to take that leap of faith.” She turned to her family and friends for help, and they jumped in to support her and push the Noble Brand forward. “Asking for help has been the biggest blessing for the brand because it has grown in ways I could not have done myself.”
Connecting with Her Community
Her customers are also part of her community. Before 2020, the Noble Brand held candle-making parties and self-care-centered sound baths. After lockdown, they pivoted to hosting virtual events so that people could connect online. The company uses SMS to engage in 2-way conversations with their customers. Sydney makes it a priority for herself and her team to be accessible in this way. She recently set up a private Facebook group where her customers can give input on her production process and have ongoing conversations with each other and her team.
Sydney enjoys these direct connections because it keeps her on her toes. She sees that consumers generally want more value from brands. It is not enough to have an excellent product. People also want great packaging, access to bundles and online features, and to know more about the company and its values. “Most consumers will give you an unbiased, unattached opinion,” she says. She has had to make some hard calls, including cutting products she loved when she learned that her customers didn’t feel the same way. Her advice to business owners is to not be afraid to ask for input and then put personal preferences aside to make the right decisions for the business. “At the end of the day, it isn’t about me. It’s about my customers, the community we’ve built, and everybody who loves the brand. If I’m not serving them, then what am I doing?”
Find Out More
Visit The Noble Brand website to learn more about their collections and products.