Fragrance Group Launches Robust Data-Gathering Effort

The Fragrance Creators Association’s Policy Insights Program centralizes industry data to better anticipate advocacy and member needs.

A trade association has introduced a new program for data gathering that’s designed to improve strategic and advocacy decision-making.

The Fragrance Creators Association launched its Policy Insights Program in late January as a way to centralize disparate information around regulations, legislation, consumer behavior, and supply-chain issues. “What we really wanted to do was optimize our ability to advance the development of regulatory pathways and public policy approaches that empower the fragrance industry to innovate and grow and thrive,” said FCA President and CEO Farah K. Ahmed. “We wanted to take our forecasting to the next level.”

FCA’s membership covers a wide range of companies—from designer perfume manufacturers to consumer brands to multinational chemical firms—which intensifies the need to better gather and organize data. Among the kinds of information the program will collect are media coverage, nongovernmental organization activity, scientific research, consumer trends, data shared confidentially from member companies, and more. 

We wanted to take our forecasting to the next level.

Farah K. Ahmed, Fragrance creators Association

“We realized that there was a lot more interconnectivity between all of these disparate, or seemingly disparate, audiences and activities,” Ahmed said. “Trade groups are perfectly positioned to gather and collate and analyze U.S. and global trends and also recommend appropriate action at an industry level.”

The program has been in the works at FCA since 2020, Ahmed said, and is designed to help the association better develop policy goals as much as it’s intended to support its members’ own research. That increased attention echoes increased regulatory activity around businesses related to FCA’s work. For instance, late last year Congress approved an expansion of the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory role around cosmetics. FCA applauded the move, but also expressed concern “that future individual state actions could negatively impact competition, limit innovation, and cause consumer confusion.”

“One of the first things we’re using this program and the data for is to inform our own understanding of what the policy states,” Ahmed said. “What are the kinds of activities that we see some directionality toward? Where are regulators tending to go? It’s really to advise our approaches to advocacy.”

But the program is also designed to support the association’s 60-plus members, and has initially been launched as a free benefit. “It’s meant to be used as a tool to help members and help drive consensus among membership at an earlier date so we can be more effective,” Ahmed said. But opportunities to use the data-gathering program to create more customizable and value-added products are a possibility. “As it grows, a nondues opportunity will remain very much on the table,” she said. 

In the early stages, though, Ahmed said it will track member satisfaction with FCA data as a measure of the program’s effectiveness. “That will be based on our ability to deliver actionable intelligence to the membership, individually or collectively, so they can act and and grow their business as well as help grow the industry in a responsible way,” she said. “I feel confident that we can do that. We’re taking a step-by-step approach.”

(a-image/iStock/Getty Images)

Mark Athitakis

By Mark Athitakis

Mark Athitakis, a contributing editor for Associations Now, has written on nonprofits, the arts, and leadership for a variety of publications. He is a coauthor of The Dumbest Moments in Business History and hopes you never qualify for the sequel. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!