The Sweet Smell of Success

Posted by Steve Kleber on May 25, 2010

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Marketing home products through olfactories

What do you think of when you smell chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven? What about freshly cut roses?

We all link memories, places or people to certain scents, and they’re different for everyone. Not just in perfumes and colognes, smells occur everywhere. They’re in subways, schools, restaurants and stores. Although it’s no secret that marketers use the five senses to increase their bottom line, scent’s role has changed, showing up in many unexpected places including jewelry, hotels and even bubbles.

It used to be that fragrances had their place in beautiful glass bottles atop a striking vanity. Think about Chanel No. 5, which was initially introduced in 1921. Called “the world’s most legendary fragrance,” most women today wear it because their mothers and grandmothers chose it as their perfume of choice. Many don’t realize that the way you smell is very much another form of expression much like clothing or art. It has been said that you can tell a lot by what kind of music a person listens to or with whom they spend their time. This holds true for scent, too.

The idea that something as simple as perfume can contribute to an identity translates into more than just people. Smells are memorable. They create adventure, change experiences, and express creativity. With that said, many companies are incorporating smell into their products to create experiences that keep customers coming back for more.

Scent in places: Retail locations are increasingly promoting aromas just as much as the products or apparel they sell. Abercrombie & Fitch is an example: If you’ve been to any mall housing one of these teen clothing stores, you can smell it from a mile away. Not only does it promote the company’s signature fragrances, but customers leave with a familiar and tantalizing scent. Anthropologie and West Elm Votive Candles also advertise their collection of scents by burning candles that may be purchased in the store.

 

Hotels are also catching on, including W Hotel, Westin, and At Four Points by Sheraton, infusing their lobbies with scents intended to make guests feel more comfortable. For example, Sheraton’s Welcoming Warmth aroma was designed “to make guests feel like they belong the moment they enter the hotel.” And because olfactory senses are closely tied to memory, guests will likely recognize a signature scent and immediately recall said hotel.

W Hotel candle

It’s no wonder that scent has become an important role in creating a brand.

Scent in product: Scent is an essential factor when it comes to personal hygiene products.  Taking this success to the next level are some manufacturers who hide scents in unexpected places.

Erica Weiner is doing just that with her Vinaigrette Perfume Locket Necklace. The beautifully crafted locket necklace looks like an antique, but there’s a catch. Each locket is filled with one of two D.S. & Durga oils. Created to mimic 18th to 19th century solutions to unpleasant city smells, these necklaces are one of a kind.

In a similar way, Francis Kurkdjian took a childhood activity and transformed it into something more. With his 7-year-old niece as inspiration, Kurkdjian fused three different scents – cold mint, cut grass, and pear – into bubbles. His goal: to pique children’s interest in their sense of smell.

Research has shown that the right smell can definitely bring in the cash. Many are starting to catch on, and scents are being used as sales tools in many retail operations around the world, from magazines to coffee shops. Whether the goal is to set the mood or to drive customers to buy a specific product, scents will create memorable experiences while infusing businesses with the sweet smell of success.

Sources:
http://www.foodarts.com/Foodarts/FA_Feature/0,4041,129,00.html
http://www.trendcentral.com/WebApps/App/SnapShots/Article.aspx?ArticleId=7860

This entry was posted by Steve Kleber on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 9:32 am and is filed under Brand Management, Marketing, Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  1. […] not a new marketing concept (in fact, we wrote about it in 2009), the practice of using aromas to illicit an emotional connection remains an intriguing premise. […]