NEW YORK: Fragrance and body care company LAFCO has tapped Ruder Finn as PR AOR to help the brand develop its identity.
LAFCO, which stands for Luxury Articles and Fragrance Co., started working with Ruder Finn last month.
Jon Bresler, LAFCO founder and president, explained that he selected Ruder Finn because the firm hired Sarah Anderson as EVP and head of its US consumer practice in September.
"We have been with smaller agencies in the past and I was looking for a larger agency with bigger brand experience and a more global reach," said Bresler. "I also have a good relationship with [Anderson] and I learned she was building a new team at Ruder Finn and looking for some brands like ours."
Anderson and Bresler said they have known each other for a long time through mutual friends. Ruder Finn had not previously worked with LAFCO. LAFCO products include candles, diffusers, and an array of specialty bath and body products. The 20-year-old company is based in New York.
Bresler said he wants Ruder Finn to help LAFCO develop a more cohesive brand story.
"We have had some business changes in the last several years; we moved from being a distributor of famous European apothecary brands to focusing more solely on our own brand," he said. "We thought with that change in business strategy it was time to engage in a more strategic development of our brand identity."
Anderson added that the LAFCO brand and its attributes need more visibility. She explained that a lot of people "use and love the products" but don’t necessarily know everything that happens behind the scenes to create them.
"[Bresler] is an expert in fragrance and European homeopathic traditions, so there is a real opportunity to showcase all the things that LAFCO does when it creates products," she said. "His knowledge and research and understanding and relationships he has throughout Europe are mind-blowing and you can see that in all of LAFCO’s products."
Ruder Finn is also tasked with overall brand direction, strategic thinking, media relations, and content development, as well as thought leadership. Anderson added that the firm is working with LAFCO’s social media team, but will not manage the brand’s social media accounts.
In addition, Ruder Finn will oversee several product campaigns.
Account work is based out of Ruder Finn’s New York office, with five staffers working on it, Anderson said. Budget information was not disclosed.
Prior to Ruder Finn, LAFCO’s PR AOR was Bradbury Lewis. Bresler said his company’s relationship with the firm ended in August due to the departure of Lora Brand, its chief strategy officer.
"Bradbury Lewis is traditionally a fashion firm and not really a beauty firm," Bresler said. "They brought in beauty expert [Brand] to build a beauty department there, but she left."
Brand now works on PR and brand strategy for Falls Communications, according to her LinkedIn account.