A scent of growth
Displaying a strong sense of responsibility to its customers, staff, and the environment, Wax Lyrical is looking to introduce the Asia-Pacific and American markets to its unrivalled fragranced products
Wax Lyrical is a company on a mission. The manufacturer of luxury fragranced products has recently rebranded to emphasise the key values embedded in its clearly-defined strategy. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020, the challenge ahead is to get Wax Lyrical products into every home. Ambitious as this may sound, the company is well on its way, it already being the largest of its kind in the country. According to Global Commercial Director, Warren Gell, Wax Lyrical will achieve its goal through bold communication with the public, an innovative approach to product development and marketing, as well as stressing the company’s environmental credentials.
“Innovation and care for the environment are two pillars of our strategy. The other two are our people and the desire we have to grow the brand into international markets, too,” Warren maintains. “Following the rebrand, there is now a totally different feel and look to the company, which allows us to communicate our strengths more clearly. The key points of our message are the British provenance of our products, their proven quality, our efforts to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, and the opportunities we present local people with, to advance their careers.”
Rigorous testing and constantly challenging its own methods have been at the heart of the success Wax Lyrical’s products have enjoyed in the marketplace for the last four decades. It has also helped that a significant number of the company’s employees have been around for more than 25 and in some cases 30 years.
Warren continues: “Our industry-leading laboratory enables us to test every aspect of a scented candle, be it its longevity, the impact it has on the environment, or its overall performance. The lab is also often used by industry bodies who ask us to test other people’s products and verify that they really are up to the quality they say they have achieved. Every product that leaves our own factory is guaranteed to burn for as many hours as it says on the packaging.
“Another USP for our products, is that they are 100 per cent fragranced. As regards their sustainable properties, we have recently changed our liquid products, i.e., our reed diffusers, so that they no longer use an alcohol base. Instead, we have developed a non-alcohol blend, which is non-flammable and, therefore, safer, and one that makes the fragrance last longer. It was an extremely complex process, because we hold 140 different fragrances and perfumes on-site at any time, so you can imagine the amount of testing we had to do, to ensure that a more natural base has the quality we are looking for. On top of all that, our products are vegetarian and vegan-friendly.”
It is the ability to combine all these elements – the stringent testing, the fragrance-throughout attribute, and the sustainability of its products – that sets Wax Lyrical apart in the market, according to Warren. And, to him, the driving force of the developments is the company’s workforce. “There is a wealth of talent and knowledge within the business, and we see it as our duty to nurture this talent by having a work environment and company culture that recognise people’s efforts and give them a chance to grow.
“First and foremost, as part of our Investors in People, gold status, we share with them updates to how our strategy is being implemented, so they know exactly where we are,” he remarks. “In addition, we hold one-to-one meetings with everybody in the business on a monthly basis where we evaluate individual and company objectives, and let our staff provide us with a feedback on how the management is doing and if there are any areas they would like to see improvements in. In fact, we have monthly awards for a team or an individual who may have spotted something we can do better, which is a good way of recognising our employees, making them feel a valuable part of the company, and keeping them motivated to seek constant refinement of our operations.”
The performance of Wax Lyrical’s green team makes a strong case for the positives the company’s internal initiatives can bring. Warren explains: “It is a group of people who live and breathe green values. For instance, it was them who initiated the recycling of all the wastewater from our manufacturing process. Moreover, as we are powered by a wind turbine, they would also look at how we can store the excess energy and use it to power the company cars or forklift trucks in the future.
“At the end of the day, we are based in the Lake District and the majority of our employees live within five miles of the factory, so they genuinely care about protecting the environment. As a responsible employer and manufacturer, we listen to them and introduce policies that have a beneficial effect on our immediate surroundings,” he points out.
In a veritable statement of intent, Wax Lyrical has grown its headcount by almost 30 new professionals in departments as varied as production, accounts, HR, and marketing over the last 12 months. Warren reveals that the strengthening of the workforce and its multi-skilling have been driven by the company’s desire to start working on products that will be launched in 2020, as well as by its keenness to target new international markets – more specifically, Asia-Pacific and the US.
He notes: “We have just opened the South Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese markets, and we will imminently be setting foot in America, as well. The potential for growth in these regions is immense and we have introduced new members to the team who have connections in these areas. What is more, as our new recruits grow their skillset in multiple disciplines, we will be able to approach the customers differently, source their opinion on the products that we are developing and if they are well-received, we can commence manufacturing, with a view to launching them in two years’ time.”
It is expected that the product ideas circling in the heads of Wax Lyrical’s R&D team are not solely for candles and diffusers. “Indeed, we are interested in going into complementary product channels,” Warren confirms. “We will be targeting the same customers, it will just be other fragranced products for the home. Ideally, we will have doubled our turnover in the next five years, which will have a knock-on effect on our future investments and the amount of people we recruit.
“As mentioned earlier, in order to attract more people to the brand, we have to be efficient in communicating our credentials and the unique elements of each of our ranges,” he goes on, sharing the company’s future plans. “For instance, we now have a collection that has an odour-eliminator in it. So, if you have pets at home or you are cooking and the smell is too strong, that range has a secret ingredient that takes away the unpleasant odours from the atmosphere and releases the aroma of a subtle perfume, instead. Similarly, we are soon to launch a liquidless diffuser made of recycled paper. It is the versatility of our products that we need to get across.”
Warren makes an important clarification, though: “When we talk about our retail presence, the marketing approach has to be considerably different. We intend on using augmented reality in store where, if you hover your phone over a product, you will be taken to our laboratory where our Head of Innovation, Dr Will is going to walk you through all of the testing. It is an extremely innovative proposition that will enable us to inform and reassure the client at the point of making a decision that the product they are about to purchase is of the highest quality, is made in a reputable factory in the UK, and adheres to all industry standards.
“We are not trying to fundamentally change a candle. All we are doing, is adding value to it and demonstrating to the customer that it has been produced ethically, with respect to the environment and to the people who have made it,” he adds, before concluding. “We know who our consumers are, we know what they want, and we know that they truly care about the origin of the brands they purchase. This is why we tailor our offering to their needs, all the while promoting British manufacturing, keeping jobs in Britain, and investing in people. Not many other businesses can say that and we are incredibly proud of who we are and how we grow.”
Products: Fragranced products