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Marketing Matters: Leveraging Scent to Deliver on Brand Promise

By: Liz Grubow
Posted: May 3, 2007, from the May 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Whether the aroma of a particular cologne or of a beloved dish from childhood, scent—more significantly than any of the other senses—is capable of bringing memories sharply back into focus. Brands are acting on this principle when packaging and marketing both existing and new products.

More than ever before, marketing and design trends in the bath and body industry are pointing to scent as the most underutilized brand equity for capturing consumers’ often fickle purchasing fancy. According to Quest International, an international corporation specializing in the creation of flavors and fragrances, “Fragrance, as an emotional sense, is a key way for brands to convey real meaning as well as functional benefit to users.”

Current challenges with scent are twofold: integrating scent into a brand design can be an arduous process; and once a product has incorporated its signature scent, the challenge is to deliver that scent experience in a unique and pleasurable way.

In our caseload, we have found that creating a scent that is inextricably linked to a brand has become increasingly important, as products in the bath and body industry continue to multiply and diversify. “A brand scent can significantly enhance people’s perceptions and experiences of a brand,” said Alex Moskvin of International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF).