Mary J. Blige's new fragrance is part of HSN's courting of African-American consumers
Of all the major home shopping networks, HSN has been the most aggressive in courting African-American consumers.
And it took another big step in that strategy with its announcement last week that singer Mary J. Blige was launching a fragrance, My Life, on the channel July 31.
Grammy-winner Blige is partnering with one of HSN’s vendors, Carol’s Daughter, with this marking the beauty brand’s first foray into a celebrity perfume. HSN described Carol’s Daughter as “a polyethnic beauty brand,” but fact of the matter is the hair and beauty products on Carol’s line are mainly aimed at black women and their unique beauty needs.
Carol’s Daughter was created by a black entrepreneur, Lisa Price. She would mix essential oils and natural moisturizers and give these skin and hair products as gifts to her friends. She launched it as a business in 1993.
We were introduced to the Carol’s Daughter line long before its HSN debut. It is sold in one of our favorite shops in Montclair, N.J., Dem Two Hands. The store, which has artisan-crafted jewelry to die for, is owned by African-American women and caters to larger women in terms of clothing.
HSN vendor Serena Williams
It’s no wonder that HSN did the Blige deal, after the success of its show last year with rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. He did one hour, and his award-winning men’s fragrances — Sean John I Am King and Unforgiven — blew out the door and sold out. The music and style entrepreneur fielded endless calls from his devoted fans during the show. And they were all eager to buy his fragrances.
We’re sure HSN is looking for that kind of success with Blige. The network said its marketing for My Life will aim at the singer’s fans, as well as Carol’s Daughter’s HSN fans.
HSN host Marlo Smith
The No. 2 home shopping channel didn’t just start targeting women of color. HSN also has several African-American fashion designers that have been on the air for years, including Antthony Design Originals.
The model-businesswoman Iman and tennis pro Serena Williams also have jewelry and clothing lines on HSN, as does former HSN host Terry Lewis.
We’re not saying that Iman and Williams’ clothes and accessories aren’t popular with Caucasian women. But those two women get many on-air calls from a large number of their African-American fans.
HSN’s host roster, as well as its vendor list, has several women of color. That includes Marlo Smith and Tamara Hooks.
In its announcement last week, HSN said that the debut of Blige’s My Life is the first exclusive launch of a fragrance on a home shopping channel. And it’s a complex, “multi-platform” effort, as they say in the biz.
As part of HNS’s marketing campaing, video segments called “Life Chapters” will “capture various facets of Mary J. Blige’s compelling life story, including her philanthropic, music, and beauty projects. The segments will be seeded online, on HSN and through social media such as Facebook and Twitter,” according to HSN.
This Life Chapters campaign will also flow over into the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans July Fourth, with HSN a sponsor of that event. HSN will set up an interactive My Life booth where fans can learn about the fragrance and meet Blige. They will also be able to post pictures from the Festival on http://www.hsn.com/maryjblige.
Iman's HSN line is called Global Chic
Part of the proceeds of My Life’s sales will benefit the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, which was founded by Blige “to help women gain the confidence and skills they need to pursue and realize their goals and dreams.”
The risk with Blige is that her often rocky relationships with men may resurface. In December, the New York tabloids reported that Blige had punched her husband Kendu Isaacs at a record-launch party.
She later said she was just trying to break up a fight between Issacs and her brother, according to the New York Daily News.