CEO of Penhaligon’s Ltd
Lance Patterson, CEO of Penhaligon’s Ltd has been leading the brand since mid-2014 spearheading the brand’s repositioning while embracing its incredibly rich heritage. Creativity is driven by the Creations team based in Paris, they are the genius behind Penhaligon’s incredibly fragrant products, working alongside the Brand team in London, together they are the true creative force behind the brand’s storytelling and customer experience. Lance is the leader that encourages each team members to translate the global brand vision into the dream of what the customers want. He leads the company through excellence, attention to detail, and embraces each team member as a unique individual that adds to the collective of the greater team. Lance’s personal mission is to bring out the best in each person which is directly linked to the company’s mission of creating meaningful human connections.
Penhaligon’s was founded in 1870 in London by a Cornish barber William Penhaligon, and as one of the first British heritage perfume brands it had an important part to play in defining the modern perfumery.
“When I took over as a CEO in 2014 the key point I wanted to address was to make sure the brand can translate into the coming decades and is not only a heritage brand but one with a modern twist, a brand that continues to be an authority in British perfumery by looking to the future and taking on new challenges as they arise, always referencing the past,” explains Lance Patterson. The company’s mission is to play on the brand’s values of their British Heritage, perfectly stated in the mission: Entertaining the World’s Nostrils with a dose of Britishness since 1870. “A perfect example is when we launched the highly acclaimed collection, Portraits, a story of a fictional aristocratic family that takes you on a journey of olfactive discovery,” adds Lance. “We have been adding new characters to this collection each year and weaving a web of interconnected relationships and sometimes even a scandal or two! We are awaiting 2021 as we will be introducing the Portraits family perfumer, which naturally will be William Penhaligon.”
The goal of Lance and his team is to deliver entertaining and engaging experiences to customers while educating them on fragrance which can be very complex, but at Penhaligon’s they make it simple to understand through storytelling while always ensuring they help the customer find what they like not what the brands newest product is or the best sellers. “We want you to become an expert on fragrance, and this is very empowering for the customer. We have many innovative tools to enable this learning such as Air Parfumtm… a device that allows you to browse our entire collection of fragrances and by pressing a button smell the fragrant air without the alcohol, so that your nose does not get tired of smelling multiple perfumes.” The most recent project launched in their stores is called Penhaligon’s Magic Monocletm… by using a smartphones camera, customers can scan fragrances in the store and get a list of notes they contain without even smelling them. “And we have our Digital Profiling which is incredibly accurate in the results marrying the incredible knowledge of our Fragrance Sommeliers (our team of retail specialist) with the olfactive notes of each fragrance and your likes and dislikes, all done virtually,” he adds.
The company always thinks of customer as being at the heart of everything they do and that means understanding them at present but also anticipating how they will behave in the future. This allows Penhaligon’s to remain relevant and grow the brand in new territories. “Honestly, everything we do we try to do based on what we think our customers will want. Data plays a role in our project planning, feedback from our teams in the stores every day and of course a dash of gut instinct all help us build the brand for the future.”
Talking about the Covid-19 pandemic has affected business, Lance says that the priority was the team’s safety hence they reacted quickly on working from home and of course closing stores until it was safe to reopen. Even after reopening Penhaligon’s have taken a very cautious approach ensuring the team and customers are safe. “Our customers visit Penhaligon’s because of the engaging and entertaining experiences, while we have to do this at a distance, we continue to strive to deliver exceptional moments with each of our customers,” explains Lance. “For us it is not whether you make a purchase or not, it is that when you leave the store you leave with a good felling, that you had a connection with the brand, the team, the product, the story or all of them.” He adds, “We are proud to have been so agile during this disruptive time and discovered new opportunities for the brand which comes down to a super team of people, thinking always of the customer first.”