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Just Follow Your Nose!

By: Rick Ruffolo
Posted: November 1, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 5 of 6

“At Crabtree & Evelyn, we are using scent to create ‘indulgent moments’ in and out of the store,” says Tom Woodside, vice president, marketing and e-commerce, Crabtree & Evelyn. “In store, we partnered with Scent-Air, a fragrance technology company, to fragrance our stores and also into the lease line area to attract customers. Out of store, we deliver scented direct mail, catalogs and samples via e-commerce fulfillment. We have found the combination delivers an attractive ROI.”

Where To Turn?

As might be expected, there also has been a sudden influx of people and companies claiming to be experts in this nascent field of branding through fragrance. Caveat emptor. Don’t be fooled—if it smells fishy, it probably is (especially in this field). Like other new marketing tools that have emerged in the past decade—including the World Wide Web, digital marketing, e-commerce and social media—many consultants and companies have rushed in an attempt to be perceived as the leader in the scent marketing space. Some genuinely add value. Others … well, you decide.

The best advice from those with decades of experience in fragrance and leading global brands is to be prudent and pragmatic while also pushing yourself to be imaginative. Be open to learning something new and seek out partners who are experienced enough to know they don’t have all the answers. The best approaches involve some well-thought-out test scenarios, coupled with savvy marketing/merchant instincts—before rolling out the program in a broad-scale initiative.

An Integrated Experience—All Five Senses = A Perfect 10

In summary, like all elements of the marketing mix, branding through fragrance needs to be integrated as part of the total brand positioning. Integrating all five senses in a cohesive manner is a testament to the authenticity of the brand— the 360-degree brand experience.

Without integration, the brand will lose relevance. With it, the sky is the limit as the impact can provide a truly exponential brand lift.