How To Set Your Brand Apart Using Smell

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What makes people prefer one brand over another and become loyal to it?

With the volume of competition that businesses face in most industries, it’s never been more important to stand out and develop a unique identity and value proposition.

Nowadays, the branding experience is no longer focused on the final destination only – the consumer buying a product or a service. It’s mostly about the experience each brand provides.

Now, it’s more about the journey.

Developing the deep emotional connection between a brand and a consumer is what prompts your ideal customer to buy the ticket for the journey, again, and again.  

Scratch under the surface and you find that the latest trends in behavioural economics suggest the same: it’s all about offering the highest value proposition – and making the strongest emotional connection.

Which is where sensory branding – olfactory branding, in particular – may help.

Follow with us here to get better insights into the key elements of value proposition and how you can enhance your brand’s value proposition by using the most powerful human sense – smell.

What sets great brands apart?  

Setting a clear value proposition is much more than just coming up with an aesthetically pleasing logo or a witty slogan.

According to Jean Gianfagna, there are 6 key factors in building a great value proposition:

  • A clear identity like Apple and Louis Vuitton have  
  • Be trustworthy – VISA and Amazon are leaders in the area
  • Offer great value for their money or in other words, make them think your brand is worth it – think Target, H&M but also, luxury stores like Tiffany and Pandora
  • Consistency, or in other words, products that never fail like Mercedes Benz
  • A voice so distinct you can recognize the brand even when there’s no logo present – Coca Cola and McDonald’s are champions in the area  
  • Develop intimacy with the customer – the cherry on top. When Google customizes the homepage on your birthday or Starbucks baristas write your name.

Ultimately, it’s not about you explaining how great a brand is.

It’s about helping your ideal consumer see how great of a fit they are for your brand.

Once they do that, you won’t have to constantly remind them of your brand – they’ll remember it regardless.

And if you add a touch of scent, they may just never forget.

Increase Value Proposition by Using Scent

Olfactory branding is the ultimate tool for creating a memorable experience.

According to BrandSense, the olfactory sense has been estimated to be 10,000 times as sensitive as taste, with about 400,000 identifiable odours.

And yet it takes less than a second for your brain to link between a familiar scent and a happy memory – completely involuntarily.

Bearing all of that in mind, here’s how adding a touch of scent helps you set in stone each of the building blocks needed for creating an outstanding value proposition.

1) Mark your identity as clear as possible

No one has ever mistaken an Apple product, right?

But you don’t have to be a multi-billion-dollar company to set your brand apart.

Developing a custom-made signature scent may be the way to go. Not only it reinstates the fact that you mean business, but it also creates a memorable connection with your customer.

Take Singapore Airlines – and their Stefan Floridian Waters. The scent is diffused around the cabin during each flight but they haven’t fallen short on the details – it’s discreetly sprayed on their hand towels as well and even their cabin crew wears it!  

2) Trust is just another emotion

Multiple studies have shown that scented environments are more relaxing – and may alter consumer’s behaviour.

But retail stores aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits. Banks and other institutions are just as eligible for adding a touch of olfactory branding in an attempt to build greater trust.

For instance, Lloyds Bank in London’s Clapham Junction offers visitors a unique chance to dive into a world of white tea and thyme, promoting a relaxed and welcoming environment.  

3) Enhance the value that a brand offers

A brand that never fails to reinforce the value they offer is Pandora. Their multisensory branding campaigns always put the consumer at the centre of attention and create a truly unforgettable experience.

PANDORA multi-sensory campaign

A study found out that people spend more in an environment with warm smells – think musk and vanilla.

Which means, scent has another hidden ace in its sleeve – it can subconsciously alter perceptions and influence buyers’ decisions. Now, that’s not something to take for granted!

4) Consistency to make it work in the long run

Consistency is much more than just the visual side of branding.

It’s about aiding loyal consumers to recall their last interaction with a brand by pulling on an emotional trigger – the same one that gets pulled each time you sniff your mum’s lemon scones.

Well-established brands like Marriot and The Ritz-Carlton are well aware of this.  

Actually, a famous anecdote goes that a branding specialist was told that a budget hotel chain – targeting a much younger audience – isn’t supposed to “smell expensive” like The Ritz-Carlton does. It may disengage their target market!

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5) A distinctive voice to cut through the noise

Talking about lemon scones…

Ideally, that’s the same emotional effect you’re looking to achieve with your custom-made scent branding. If a customer walks in with their eyes closed, they’d know exactly where they are.  

For instance, Starbucks shops smell the same all around the world – the aroma of freshly brewed coffee isn’t there by accident. There’s food alright – but did you think it’s a coincidence you can never smell it?

6) Scent is a foolproof way to develop a relationship   

Gone are the days when branding was a one-way street. Multisensory events are slowly becoming the norm for leading brands.

Now, it’s crystal clear that unless a relationship – nay, a friendship! – is established between a brand and its clients, there’s a slim chance of brand loyalty ever developing.   

Smell can touch people on a deeper – and more emotional level – than anything else. Actually, 75% of all emotion on a daily basis is triggered by smell.  

Brands like Burberry, Conrad Hotels, United Airlines and many, many more are aware of the fact – and they may be leaders in the area just because of it.  

Ready to start your sensory branding journey with us?

Click here to find out more about olfactory branding or contact us by clicking here.  

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