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Brand Education

The Power Of Scent - The Untapped Potential Of Scent Marketing For Your Brand

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June 25, 2024

Imagine walking into a store and being greeted by a delightful aroma that instantly lifts your spirits and makes you want to linger longer. That’s the magic of scent marketing, also known as olfactive branding. It's the artful use of fragrance to enhance a brand's image, create unforgettable experiences, and sway consumer behaviour. By weaving specific scents into physical spaces or products, businesses can evoke emotions, trigger memories, and craft a distinctive brand identity that stands out in a crowded marketplace. Many companies and brands are looking to stand out and using scent for businesses is the way to go in this modern age. 

Why is aroma branding such a game-changer? Our sense of smell is a powerful tool—it’s directly linked to the brain’s limbic system, the hub of emotions and memory. A strategically chosen scent can elevate the customer experience, increase the amount of time people spend in a space, and ultimately boost sales. It’s an emotional connector, helping brands forge deeper relationships with customers beyond just what they see or hear.

Benefits of Scent Marketing

Scent marketing works by designing a fragrance that iconically represents a brand and that scent can either be diffused throughout a business environment or transformed to scented objects to hit key objectives:

  • Enhancing Customer Experience: Creating a pleasant atmosphere that makes customers want to stay longer and explore more. Scented gifting that helps enhance your business and linger longer in the customer’s mind.
  • Brand Differentiation: Crafting a unique scent that becomes synonymous with your brand.
  • Emotional Engagement: Stirring positive emotions and memories tied to your brand.

The impact can be substantial: increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales. Research shows that scent marketing can lead to higher foot traffic, longer shopping durations, and improved perceptions of product quality. The Journal of Consumer Psychology reveals that ambient scent can significantly enhance a customer's overall experience and brand perception. For instance, a study showed that 84% of customers were more likely to purchase from a store with a pleasant smell, associating the scent with better product quality and superior service. 

A variety of businesses use scent marketing to stand out and create emotional connections with their customers, leveraging the power of fragrance to enhance their brand identity and customer experience. This sensory strategy is not limited to one industry; it's embraced by many, each for unique benefits tailored to their specific needs:

  • Retail Stores: To create an inviting atmosphere that encourages browsing and purchases, retail stores like Abercrombie & Fitch use signature scents to make the shopping experience more memorable and enjoyable. The right fragrance can transform a retail space into an immersive environment that entices customers to linger longer, potentially increasing sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Hotels: Hotels utilize scent marketing to enhance the guest experience and establish a lasting impression. Brands like Marina Bay Sands Singapore infuse their VIP rooms with the soothing “Limitless” scent created with Maison 21G, which evokes a sense of tranquility and luxury. This signature fragrance becomes part of the hotel's identity, helping to create a comforting and recognizable environment that guests associate with relaxation and high-quality service.
  • Spas and Wellness Centers: In these environments, scent is used to promote relaxation and well-being. Fragrances such as lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile are diffused to create a serene atmosphere that enhances the therapeutic experience. By aligning specific scents with their wellness offerings, spas can elevate their service and create a deeply relaxing experience that clients will want to return to.
  • Real Estate: Realtors use scent marketing to create a welcoming and appealing environment during open houses and property showings. The smell of freshly baked cookies or a subtle floral fragrance can make a house feel like a home, helping potential buyers to emotionally connect with the space and envision themselves living there.
  • Airlines: Airlines like Singapore Airlines use signature scents, such as "Stefan Floridian Waters," in their cabins and hot towels to improve the travel experience and reinforce their brand identity. A pleasant fragrance can reduce travel stress, making the flight more enjoyable and helping the airline to stand out in a competitive market.
  • Cinemas and Theaters: Some entertainment venues use scent marketing to enhance the viewing experience. For example, the smell of popcorn can be strategically diffused to evoke excitement and anticipation, heightening the overall enjoyment of the experience.
  • Restaurants and Cafes: Culinary businesses use scents to complement their offerings and create a more immersive dining experience. The aroma of fresh coffee or baked bread can enhance the ambiance and stimulate appetites, encouraging patrons to savor their meals and stay longer.

By integrating scent marketing, these businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors, create strong emotional connections with customers, and enhance their overall brand experience, ultimately leading to increased loyalty and revenue.

Creating a Branded Scent 

Creating a signature scent for your brand is a journey that involves partnering with a professional scent maker. There are a few scent marketing companies around the world but in recent times, Maison 21G has been a trailblazer partnering with multiple prestigious companies. Known for their expertise and innovative approach, Maison 21G can guide you through the process of fragrance creation that perfectly embodies your brand's identity and values. 

5 Simple Steps To Design Your Own Scent 

  1. Define Your Brand Identity: Start by understanding your brand's personality, core values, and target audience. What emotions and messages do you want your brand to convey?
  2. Consult with a Scent Designer: Collaborate with a fragrance expert from Maison 21G to translate your brand identity into scent elements. Their expertise in blending scents will help capture the essence of your brand in a fragrance.
  3. Develop and Test Fragrances in real life: Maison 21G will create several fragrance samples based on your consultation. These samples should be tested in real-world settings to see how they perform and resonate with your target audience.
  4. Select and Finalize: Choose the fragrance that best represents your brand and connects with your audience. Maison 21G will help you refine the final scent to ensure it aligns perfectly with your brand vision.
  5. Implementation: Integrate your chosen scent into your business environment or products. Whether it's diffusing the fragrance in your store, incorporating it into your product packaging, or using it in promotional materials, Maison 21G will assist in seamlessly implementing your new signature scent and provide multiple scent marketing solutions. 

By creating a signature scent with Maison 21G, you can expect to:

  • Enhance Brand Recognition and Differentiation: A unique fragrance will make your brand more memorable and distinct in the minds of customers.
  • Foster Stronger Emotional Connections with Customers: Scent has a powerful emotional impact, helping you build deeper connections with your audience.
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: A pleasant and consistent scent experience can enhance customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.
  • Potentially Increase Sales and Dwell Time: A well-chosen scent can make your business environment more inviting, encouraging customers to stay longer and make more purchases.

Partnering with Maison 21G to create your brand's signature scent is a strategic move that can significantly enhance your brand's appeal and customer engagement.

Scent Marketing for Hotels

A branded scent for a hotel aims to create a memorable and welcoming atmosphere that enhances the guest experience. It helps establish a unique identity and evokes a sense of comfort and luxury. Hotels typically use scent marketing diffusers in lobbies, guest rooms, and public areas to create a cohesive and pleasant environment. The scent can evoke feelings of relaxation, cleanliness, and comfort, making guests' stays more enjoyable and memorable. They can also transform their fragrance to scented objects for guests and also turn-down amenities such as pillow mists and candles.

  • Mandarin Oriental Singapore: Maison 21G created a 360-scent design from diffusion of the scent in the lobby and rooms, scented objects as VIP gifts to turn down amenities. 
  • Resorts World Singapore: Maison 21G transformed the scent they created in each of their hotel collection into scented objects for guests enhancing their experience in each hotel.
  • Marina Bay Sand Hotel: Maison 21G created a series of scented objects on wellness for their rooms and suites with their bespoke scents like relaxing Reed diffusers, sleep enhancer pillow mist, renewing bath oil, and Awakening EDP.

Scent Marketing for Companies or Showrooms 

For companies, a branded scent can enhance the workplace environment, improve employee morale, and reinforce corporate identity. It can also make client interactions more pleasant and memorable. Companies can diffuse their branded scent in office spaces, conference rooms, reception areas or even their showroom spaces. This creates a cohesive brand experience and can positively influence employee productivity and client perceptions.

  • Lamborghini: Maison 21G designed a bespoke fragrance to complement their vehicles, enhancing the showroom experience for discerning clientele.
  • Bawah Reserve Hotel: Infuses its signature scent into hot towels to enhance the passenger experience and reinforce brand identity during their private flight. They also set up Maison 21G unique perfume Ateliers in their Spa to propose new activities to their guests.

A branded scent in retail shops aims to create an inviting and memorable shopping experience, encouraging customers to spend more time and make purchases. Retail shops use scent diffusers to release their signature fragrance throughout the store. This can create a pleasant shopping atmosphere, increase dwell time, and enhance the overall perception of the store and its products with the use of retail scent marketing.

Examples and Cases

  • Charles and Keith: Offers a warm shopping experience, heightened by Maison 21G's bespoke sage and leather fragrance, reflecting the brand's modern aesthetic.
  • Piaget: Their signature scent created with Maison 21G grace their boutiques with timeless elegance, captivating luxury watch enthusiasts and jewellery connoisseurs alike
  • Coach: their original scent was developed in Singapore for their new experiential flagship store of Duxton and they are extending their new scent all across Asia new store openings

Businesses across various industries can create powerful, lasting impressions that drive customer loyalty and enhance brand identity by strategically incorporating scent marketing.

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