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Scent Marketing for Brands and Businesses
The next time you are in a department store, hotel or dentist’s office, take a moment to pull yourself away from the barrage of visual advertisements and background music to take a whiff of the air around you.
Chances are, you will notice the lingering of a faint scent – perhaps the delicate and sophisticated smell of yuzu and black tea if you are wandering the halls of department store Tangs or the rejuvenating scent of lime and eucalyptus if you are sitting at the reception area of One Farrer Hotel & Spa.
The subtle ambient fragrances are not a random occurrence – these brands are part of the growing number of businesses in Singapore that are using scent marketing to improve their customer experience.
Using ambient scents to make a space seem more inviting has become a trend in an advertising landscape which has, in recent years, nearly exhausted all means of visual and auditory marketing.
For the retailers, hotels and events that are jumping on board, it is a refreshing way to increase consumer spending, customer satisfaction and brand recognition.
According to freelance essential oils expert Laves Goh, the growth of scent marketing in Singapore in the past five years is in part thanks to the entry and influence of international brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie and Fitch.
“Even though these brands have a more aggressive approach to scenting their physical space compared with the subtle scents in hotels or hospitals, their entry definitely helped local businesses see the benefits of creating a multi- sensory experience for customers,” says the 32-year-old, who has been helping commercial groups with scent branding for four years.
It does not hurt that there is also a scent for almost every emotion, allowing retailers to mix and match fragrances to create the perfect mood.
“Vanilla and amber induce warmth, comfort and nostalgia,” says Ms Goh, who also gives talks on scent branding and holds classes on essential oils.
“In the same way, citrus notes tend to improve appetite and peppermint gives the sense of fresh, clean spaces. There’s a scent for any place or occasion.”
It is a sentiment Mr Terry Jacobson, chief experience officer at Allsense Group, which provides aroma marketing solutions for brands and retailers, shares.
“Because our sense of smell is the only sense directly connected to the brain’s limbic system, which houses emotions and memories, it’s more strongly associated with memory than visual or auditory cues,” he says.
“A subtle and inviting scent can therefore increase dwell time, enhance the recollection of brands and elevate moods – making it a great tool for marketers and retailers alike.”
Another reason scent technologies have taken off in a big way is their relatively low cost and fuss-free implementation.
Mr Jacobson says creating a customised scent at Allsense takes about three months and ranges between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the complexity.
But for brands without the time or budget to create a signature aroma, there is also the option of choosing cheaper ones from the company’s library of more than 2,000 scents.
And given that the scent can be dispersed through a building’s ventilation system, it is easy to implement.
Present technology also allows the scent to be regulated based on time or foot traffic, resulting in a consistent and subtle smell throughout the space, even in large department stores or hospitals.
For malls such as Ion Orchard, which opened in 2009, having a signature scent has gone beyond creating a relaxing atmosphere to becoming part of its brand identity. Created by international scent marketing agency ScentAir using 20 notes from herbs, fruits and flowers such as white tea and peony, Ion Orchard’s scent has become so well recognised that the mall decided to infuse it into votive candles and a cocktail as part of its fifth anniversary celebrations last year.
Customers were able to redeem the candles with a minimum $300 spending at the mall.
Similarly, at One Farrer Hotel & Spa, guests have begun asking to buy its signature scent Urban Oasis so that they can duplicate their hotel experience at home.
And the list goes on. Hotels The Westin Singapore and The Patina, Capitol Singapore, shopping centre Palais Renaissance, fashion label Zara, automobile brand Nissan and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital all have distinctive fragrances wafting through the lobbies and aisles.
Events marketers are also embarking on the customised scent route.
Experia Events, which is behind last year’s Singapore Airshow, had a signature scent created for the show. Made up of notes of dewy juicy fruits and rich dark chocolate, the scent aimed to appeal to the event’s distinctly masculine target audience.
An equally unique and chic scent evoking the Asian identity was also commissioned by organisers Mercury Marketing and Communications for last year’s Singapore fashion week – known as the Audi Fashion Festival – helping to set the mood for the glitzy event.
In both cases, the scents were diffused through the air-conditioning ducts in the enclosed lounge and exhibition areas.
The avant-garde scent for the fashion week was so popular – attendees were inquiring about it – that Mercury is creating another scent for this year’s edition of Singapore Fashion Week, which takes place next month.
Limited numbers of the bottled scent will be available for purchase.
It seems then that the science on the matter is clear: Scent has incredible potential.
And as far as Mr Jacobson is concerned, it will linger for a long while.
“Just like how we see or hear, how we smell is another way for us to connect to the world around us,” he says.
“Not only does it make our experience more pleasant as customers, but it can also bring character and personality to brick-and-mortar businesses.”
Yes really they did it.
A US meat firm sent its customers diffusers for their iPhones which make a sizzling sound and give out the whiff of bacon when it is time to wake up.
The gadgets were delivered in padded boxes along with bacon-scented liquid and a charger. They are plugged into the audio jack of the phone and work with an official app.
“At 6:30am I was awoken by a sizzling sound from the app and a sizable puff of bacon fragrance which dominated the room and led my wife to ask me what the hell was going on. ‘It’s my bacon phone,’ I said in a pre-coffee haze, and hit the snooze.”
According to Viora, the nose delivers 75 percent of a drinker’s taste experience of coffee and even more of the taste experience of tea. With the new lid, the actual drink opening sits beneath the nose, while the recessed well leaves some of the drink outside of the cup to release even more aroma. The lid even improves retronasal smelling, which occurs when aroma travels through the pharynx in the back of the mouth to the olfactory membrane. When drinkers purse their lips to suck through the small opening of a conventional lid, it closes the soft pallet and blocks the pharynx. With the Viora Lid, lips stay relaxed, and this problem is removed.
That’s the prediction from top fragrance forecasters who insist 2015 will be all about fresh ingredients and modern interpretations of popular notes.
“The spring-summer season always marks a move towards lighter, fruitier fragrances and rhubarb – which is fresh, green and lightly tart – blends with fruity and floral aromas to create a subtle sharpness,” explains perfume guru Miri Scott from Seven Scent.
“Mint is another scent to think about and adding a cool, green note and a hint of spice, the addition of mint gives scents a natural lift.
“Meanwhile, there will be a big focus on tea which delivers a fresh and aromatic character,” she adds.
[Cover Media Group 2014. http://www.tv3.ie/]
The research, commissioned by Disneyland Paris also found more than half of Brits said the aromas of holiday destinations trigger lasting memories.
Additionally the results showed eight in ten of those polled said a whiff of a certain aroma instantly transports them back to a specific memory – more than 70 per cent said those memories were happy ones.
Professor Barry Smith, a sensory expert who worked with Disneyland Paris said: ‘More than any other sense, smell can evoke powerful, emotional memories. Whole scenes of people, places and things can be brought back to life by the mere hint of a long forgotten scent.
‘The rooms in a friend’s house, a boat trip, the sound of a voice, can all be conjured up by smell’s power to reproduce the scenes for us.
‘The top 40 scents show a wide array of things that awaken our senses and stay with us for the rest of our lives.
‘They show the pleasure we take in experiencing smells and the powerful emotions they evoke.
‘Happy memories from childhood are bound up with particular smells, and it is the sense of smell that will preserve our link to them.
‘Whether it’s a seaside holiday, a visit to a fairground or a sunny walk through a forest, suddenly smelling a particular scent can suddenly take us right back there, re-creating the whole sensory experience.’
The influence of childhood memories on us as adults was clear with six in ten saying our early memories affect us powerfully as adults.
Certain smells really do stick – the over 55s were just as likely to associate the scent of candyfloss with fun childhood attractions as were the under 25s.
The power of the senses remains strong despite age – over 55s were just as able to recall memories as the 18-24s.
1. Freshly mown grass (summer days/school sports day)
2. Pencil shavings/case/stationery (school days)
3. Baby powder (having babies/when the children were babies)
4. Vicks vapour rub (colds/illness)
5. Plasticine (school days)
6. Candyfloss (childhood, fairground)
7. Bonfires (winter nights)
8. Sun cream (family holidays)
9. Fish and chips (early holidays)
10. Old perfume (grandmother/mother)
11. Bubble gum (sweet shops)
12. Chalk (classrooms)
13. Talcum powder (baths as a child)
14. Pipe smoke (Grandfather/older male relatives)
15. Garden shed (Granddad)
16. Chicken soup (being ill as a child)
17. Hairspray (mother/grandmother getting ready)
18. Rain on tarmac (summer holidays and school playground)
19. Doughnuts (fairs/attractions)
20. Savlon/Germolene (colds/illness)
21. Old Spice (grandfather/older male relatives)
22. Coal Tar soap (grandparents)
23. Log fire (winter nights)
24. Roses (grandma)
25. Petrol/engines (father/ grandfather)
26. Marker pens (school lessons)
27. Leather/shoes (new school shoes)
28. Lavender (grandparents)
29. Muscle rub cream (playing sports)
30. Popcorn (summer)
31. Musty shed (grandfather)
32. Hair gel/brill cream/lynx etc (boys as teenagers)
33. Bovril (bonfire nights/cold winter nights)
34. Peppermint (grandmother)
35. Cinnamon (early Christmases)
36. Chanel perfume (mother)
37. Cocoa butter (holidays/mothers)
38. Shower gel (sports team showers)
39. Tea tree oil (childhood injuries)
40. Jasmine (grandmother)
People expect Amsterdam to smell primarily of cannabis. Cannabis has a strong smell, equal to asparagus, cleaning products, bacon and the dentists’ surgery in perceived intensity. But it only featured in a couple of neighbourhoods and missed inclusion here.
Instead spring 2013 in Amsterdam revealed an abundance of the warm, sugary, powdery sweetness of waffles. Oriental spices emanated from Asian and Surinamese restaurants and supermarkets, pickled herring from the herring stands and markets – a link to one of the city’s key historical industries. Old books were detected in basement doorways and laundry aromas drifted up into the streets from Amsterdam’s many house hotels.
The smell of sun, flowers and new leaves indicated the welcome arrival of a late spring and chocolate power drifted in in small clouds.
Over 650 smells were detected by 44 people undertaking 10 smellwalks over a period of 4 days in April 2013. Based on written descriptions from the smellwalkers, 50 broad categories were identified. Both frequently-mentioned and curious smells feature on the map.
Concept and Map Design by Kate McLean
Here are some thoughts to ponder this Easter as you chomp into eggs, bunnies and other chocolaty treats
AROMA. As with wine, some of the first clues to flavour are in the nose. Before even tasting, rub the piece of chocolate with your thumb to warm and release its aroma. Hold the chocolate to your nose in cupped hands, like a brandy snifter, to capture and hold the aroma close. Sniff or draw slow breaths. At first chocolate may simply smell “chocolaty.” But as you compare one piece with another you will notice general differences in richness, intensity, sweetness and earthiness. You’ll pick up on lower notes and higher notes. The aroma of some chocolates is faint, while that of others is intense. You may then detect even more specific differences.
Milk chocolates often give off aromas of milk or cream, or caramel or malt. Dark chocolate aromas may be characterized by toasted nuts, roasted coffee, dried fruit or wine. Some chocolates have floral or fruity qualities; others smell more roasted or nutty. As with flavor, each chocolate brand has a signature aroma. This comes from the blend or selection of beans and their quality, as well as the manufacturer’s roasting and conching methods. There is no end to the specific notes that you can pick up with practice and no limit to the words that you may use to describe them
Ten restaurants and bars in Finland conducted an interesting test of the effect of scent on product sales. As reported by Reuters, five locations used only visual ads for a specific liquor brands while the other five used the same ads but added scent diffusers. The aroma being broadcast were that of the advertised liquor.
The results were convincing, bars with scent-visual ad resulted in 79% growth in sales, while places with only the visual ad, sold 11% more than during normal periods.
Read the full piece here – http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/scent-nearly-doubles-sales.htm#sthash.WEpzZMNE.dpuf
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