Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why Scents Make Sense for Marketing

Time magazine recently looked at "why smell is the next frontier for gadgets." It listed initiatives aimed at bringing the delivery of aromas into everyday experiences. Two examples:
  • ChatPerf makes a mobile phone device called the Scentee that emits scents based on what the sender of a message wants the recipient holding the phone to smell. "ChatPerf" combines the idea of chatting (via cell phone) and perfume. Will be available in Japan starting this summer.
  • ScentAir is a company that will put specific scents into the air in targeted places for marketing purposes. In March, ScentAir put cotton candy aroma into the air during a St. Louis Rams game, to “create a positive first impression for fans when they first walk into the stadium and we trigger their senses,” according to the Rams' VP-marketing. It has also created scents for "guess that spice" displays to market McCormick spices.
Academic research shows that ambient scents can enhance customer experiences in various situations, such as in dance clubs. Ambient scents can also heighten brand differentiation in a retail situation. This is why Abercrombie & Fitch pumps its signature Fierce aroma into the air around its stores.

Hotels are making sense of scents: The Darling hotel in Sydney (at left) uses citrus tea scent to enhance its luxury positioning. According to an expert, "Most hotels are spending about $250 to $500 a month to scent their lobby."

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