Zero-Party Data Highlight: Beautiful Fragrances

Hello again!

This week’s zero-party data focus is on Estee Lauder. They pose an interesting question for their customers. Fill in the blank: Love is … A. Unconventional; B. Adventurous; C. Exhilarating. That’s the first of five questions the cosmetics brand has for people visiting their website.

It’s interesting because their goal isn’t to set you up on a date or to find a romantic book; Estee Lauder is simply going to provide a fragrance recommendation based on your preferences. The quiz asks questions about your type, about your preferences and, fittingly, what smells you like. It is a fun way for customers to share information. In return, Estee Lauder learns valuable information about customers – and provides a fragrance recommendation.

Fragrances are 100% preferential

Fragrances are ephemeral and completely tied to the unique spirit of a person, so it’s no surprise that a zero-party data experience around fragrance is really unique.

Estee Lauder has a line of Beautiful fragrances that includes four different flavors. The unrealized goal of smelling through the internet seems like a terrible underinvestment by humanity, but until that problem is solved Estee Lauder has a solution: The company’s personality quiz is a fun way to get to a recommended fragrance.

How it works

The quiz is found on the category page for Estee Lauder fragrances. It starts by asking what users think love is.

Estee Lauder Beautiful Fragrances: Zero-Party Data Collection

Then we get a provocative question about how we’d like to meet “the one.”Estee Lauder Beautiful Fragrances: Zero-Party Data Collection


Where are we going with this?

Estee Lauder Beautiful Fragrances: Zero-Party Data Collection


I am intrigued now.

Estee Lauder Beautiful Fragrances: Zero-Party Data Collection


Wait, now we are asking about lipstick?

Estee Lauder Beautiful Fragrances: Zero-Party Data Collection

Finally the last question is about fragrances!  I am feeling real anticipation!

Estee Lauder Beautiful Fragrances: Zero-Party Data Collection

Whoa that’s a beautiful bottle and some really great information.  The art of fragrance-making and matching is incredibly interesting.


What I like

It’s pretty obvious that this is designed with the same philosophy that surrounds fragrances — to intrigue you with some level of mystery and seduction and then wow you with sensory overload.  It’s such a cool, beautiful and well-designed quiz. A sense of romance oozes from the questions.


But let’s not overlook the information! There are so many new words that I think I know. I dare you to try to use the word “olfactive” in a conversation.


While looking at our quiz results, Estee Lauder even provides tips on how to use the fragrance – Do people really spray behind the knees? – and some encouragement: “Your body’s warmth will make the fragrance radiate around you,” we’re told. At the right of our results, Estee Lauder suggests some products that would pair nicely with our fragrance recommendation. It’s a helpful guide for people who are demonstrably already interested in the product.


Estee Lauder Beautiful Fragrances: Zero-Party Data Collection

Estee Lauder isn’t just maximizing the results of the quiz. There’s also a very nice user-generated content campaign at the bottom of the screen, which offers users a chance to see what a community of peers thinks. That’s a great value-creation moment – and one you can’t get in a store! This is a great digital win for Estee Lauder.

Next Steps/Improvements

Obviously, I’m pretty happy with this campaign and wouldn’t recommend a major overhaul. They even prominently mention their loyalty program!


What I didn’t see was a way to get these results in my inbox, in case I liked their fragrance suggestion but am not sure I want to buy now. The lack of connection to an email account creates another issue: I also may want to sign up for sales or new announcements in the future. This would also allow the brand to learn about me in a more permanent way by associating these fragrance preferences with my customer profile.


The quiz is a fantastic experience. The brand is playing to a sense of romance, of possibilities that the user might imagine the fragrance leading to. The quiz pulled me in and kept me engaged. And Estee Lauder’s tips and suggestions were both interesting and pertinent. With a few tweaks, Estee Lauder could connect the quiz to its repeat users, creating an even better customer experience.

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