Sunday, July 27, 2014

#786 the nose knows

It's not enough that retailers are tracking us in the aisles and our phones are tracking our buying habits.  Now it's the nose that is being targeted.

In an attempt to appeal to all the senses, retailers are now installing diffusers to make an impression on consumers.  Scents vary from colognes in clothing stores, "clean cotton" in appliance stores, caramel popcorn in stadiums, spring rain in airports and even customized scents for special events like the Olympics.

Scents are becoming big business.  The global scent market grossed $200 million in revenue last year and it can cost up to $25,000 to develop a specialized scent or "olfactory logo".  But companies are investing as it not only drives sales, but the customer perceives that it shortens waiting time (thus its use in banks, airports and places with lines).  

We have long targeted what the eye sees; we have paid attention to the tactile nature of fabrics we touch, often played music as part of the sensory experience in our environment, and provided food or drink for clients to taste.  Scent seems to be the last domain.

What scent would represent your organization?  Is there a message you can create through smell, whether overtly or subtly in the background?  Think about what your nose knows and how to manage the environment for all your client's senses.

-- beth triplett

Source:  New type of branding makes 'scents' to retailers by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz for the Chicago Tribune in the Telegraph Herald, May 4, 2014, p. 9B.

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