As I was scanning the radio in the car today, I heard some clip from 99x talking about Yankee Candle’s new Nineties Candle. Something about Eddie Vedder on the label, with the smell of patchouli and sweat when you burn it. Of course, it was a joke, though I checked out Yankee Candle just to make sure. For the first few seconds of that clip, though, I was excited and thought -wow- Yankee Candle is getting brave and creative – a nineties candle! What a way to reach a new market!
Well, Yankee Candle still could act on this and break out of the “mom” market, but I don’t see that happening. Ben & Jerry’s they are not. They could, however, produce these things under a different label, if they want their sales to continue once the baby boomers are all retired to nursing homes that don’t permit candles or open flames.
Really, it seems like this perfectly useless candle could be a success. It could really smell like sweat or even nothing at all, and people would still buy it. My mom has a cabinet full of Yankee Candles that she hasn’t burned…but there’s something about just having a cabinet full of Ocean Breeze or Fresh Baked Cookies that satisfies her…she can take new ones out for each season and set them on the counter, aflame or not.
So, what we have are novelty gifts…and I think people my age love cool novelty gifts with cool packaging (it’s all about YOU anyway). I read Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind, and he gives the stats on how much money people spend on candles each year. It’s amazing. He should have followed up to see how many are actually used. What an incredibly profitable useless market.
So Yankee Candle, make a Nineties Candle. And then go further, cuz you can and it will make you money. Make a Grunge Candle – cover it in flannel and whatever else you identify with that. Remember when Swing Night was at the Masquerade on Sundays? (98, 99?) Make a gin or whatever booze smelling candle with a classy touch. Not your scene? There’s plenty of music genres, movie cults, fashion mishaps, etc to exploit.
When I was enjoying my youth in the 90s, everything 80s was cool for a while – and thus everyone bought 80s t shirts, old vinyls, and whatever else they could get their hands on. Enough time has passed where the 90s can be cool again…market it dammit, or I’m gonna make those candles after I finish my 100 logos.