Scent can be evocative, alluring or even repulsive—and now constitutes a tactic brands are employing in their services as well as in complementing promotional stories about the company.
Companies are always competing to engage a larger share of consumers. With the rise of sensory experiences in the telling of marketing stories meant to heighten interest around a product or service, playing to consumers’ olfactory sense has become a major tactic to pique customer appeal for companies spanning various industries. Here’s how four brands are using scent as a communication tool to bring a brand story to life in a meaningful and memorable way.
The Pernod Ricard-owned whisky brand Ballantine’s created multi-sensory activations at three airports to allow duty free visitors to smell, touch and taste the Hard Fired flavor. The whisky tasting activations included a charred bar that was constructed from the charred wood of the whisky barrels and smelled of wood smoke and vanilla to highlight the unique smokey taste of Ballantine’s Hard Fired drink. The bar also featured charging points for passengers to charge their phones while visiting the activation.
Glenlivet, The Aroma Installation
The Aroma Station is a hands-on aroma installation that contains pure essential oils each representing one of the flavor notes of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve scotch. Guests start the experience by pressing a button to dispense a particular aroma of Founder’s Reserve before individually experiencing the pineapple, marzipan and hazelnut notes that make up the flavor profile of the spirit. As they make their way through the other flavors, consumers gain a deeper understanding of the multiple notes that give each expression its distinct character.
French biotech company Kalain specializes in creating“olfactory links” to the dead— fragrances intended to invoke the scent of a loved one, be it a parent, a spouse, a child or a pet. Using keepsakes to evoke past experiences, Kalain allows people suffering from loss or dealing with an absent family member to send in their clothing so the company can create a customized perfume from that material without destroying it. Customers then can spray the perfume at home to help remember their loved ones and help them with the grieving process.
Augmenting brand stories and services using the power of scent is just one way that brands are increasing consumer engagement. For more information on this trend around sensory immersion, see PSFK’s report Introducing Scents Into The Brick-And-Mortar Experience.