The Importance Of Scent Branding – Why You Need An Olfactory Logo

The expression, the sweet smell of success, does not translate in modern terms as originally intended when coined seven or eight decades ago. With the proliferation of scent as an increasingly effective advertising tool, it more appropriately refers to olfactory logos today and their power to reach the minds, hearts and purses of every day consumers.

The logo as a singular concept refers to the visual interpretation of a brand, and some logos have become permantly ingrained in our consciousness and pop culture, like Coca Cola and Nike, for example.

While visual logos are important, there is an increasing need to reach consumers in more ways than just optically, and statistics show that brands are having much more success reaching consumers through Olfactory logos, or branded scent.

Considering that the average consumer is besieged with up to 5,000 ads of all types every day, it’s no wonder we’ve become numb to their messaging. Scent however taps into the olfactory bulb, and opens up subconscious connections to consumers that other forms of advertising are not capable of affecting. While the challenges of using an olfactory logo in commercial interior environments vary, the positive effects it provides are pretty much consistent across every industry.

The olfactory strategy involves the harnessing of our most potent sense, that of smell, and savvy brand marketers are very aware that harnessing ad campaigns that feature the sense of smell are 100 times more likely to be remembered than any ads involving hearing, seeing or touch. Much like a graphic logo, the olfactory logo is used in any commercial, retail or business environment.

Studies, Statistics And Relevant Information About Olfactory Logos

Identifying an olfactory logo for any kind of business or industry involves much more than just selecting the right fragrance. The proper scent is always the direct result of careful study to determine how the choice reflects the personality of the brand.

According to olfactory branding expert, Tatiana Bettoni, a studied proposal must include: interpreting materials and signs, brand history, concepts and feelings. Above all, the choice involves the set of emotions and experiences linked to the brand, in order to bond with customers by surrounding them with objects and sensations that transmit pleasure, wellness and harmony.

Identifying the personality and characteristics of a particular brand is the key to selecting the right scent. Brand image always represents the tangible benefits of any given brand, but personality concerns an emotional association. Any signature scent must correlate to both the images and emotions of the brand.

We recently wrote about how to choose the perfect fragrance for your interior, but briefly, when trying to identify the perfect scent, you must ask questions like: Is your brand edgy and fun, relaxed or high-powered? Who is your target market? Are they young, middle-aged or seniors? Are they mostly male or female? Are they bargain-shoppers or luxury buyers? All of these elements can be matched with a scent that embodies them.

The power of olfaction and its influence on brand ownership, which creates preference and recognition among consumers, has been the subject of several important studies. A 2005 study conducted by Ahuvia concluded that consumer-purchasing decisions especially among younger consumers are greatly influenced by socializing agents such as family and peers. Emotional connections towards a specific brand can be motivated by the symbolic pursuit of unattainable ideas.

A 2006 study headed by Bijal Trivedi focused on gender-preferred scents and their power to influence purchases. Results indicated that both men and women linger in stores and spend money when an ambient scent is present. It also revealed that scent preferences depend on distinct geographic and cultural factors.

A 2010 study conducted by Bradford and Desrochers revealed that up to 84% of customers in a shoe shop were more likely to buy shoes or like them more when shopping in a scented environment. In addition, research participants said they would pay 10-15% more for the product.

According to the Scent Marketing Institute (SMI), the emotional stimulation of an olfactory logo plays a critical part in stimulating revenue. For example, leather and cedar motivate sales of expensive furniture. In a recent study, sweet citrus almost doubled the average total purchases in a retail store. We recently reported on the numerous research-backed benefits of controlled scent marketing on a businesses bottom line.

Psychological and Cultural Factors Associated With Olfactory Logos

Marketers must realize that branding from the point of view of the consumer is based on a series of experiences that together form the story of the brand-customer relationship. Sensory cues, particularly smell, greatly affect consumer preferences and purchasing behavior.

One study conducted in 2005 by Valkenburg and Buijen examined brand awareness in children. The study highlighted the influence of environmental factors such as television, parents or school peers in children’s brand awareness. This research makes an important distinction between brand recognition, which is necessary for purchasing a specific brand, and brand recall, which concerns the extent to which a consumer can remember a brand name.

Some Examples of Olfactory Logos and Why They Work

In the same manner as a graphic logo, the olfactory logo is used wherever the brand is present. After repeated exposures to the olfactory logo the smell becomes strongly associated with that brand. Creating such a logo is also known as scent branding, a marketing phenomenon that the experts at Air Scent have been doing for more than seven decades. Some successful examples of companies that have had great financial success with olfactory logos are Abercrombie & Fitch, W Hotel, Westin Hotels and Sony retail stores.

The signature scent of Abercrombie and Fitch, Fierce, is as its namesake suggests. Dispersed in high concentrations in all of their stores, this strong, edgy fragrance is very appealing to young, upscale consumers and is the number one selling scent for men in both the United States and Europe. This demographic can easily identify Abercrombie and Fitch jeans just by their smell, which lingers even after they get them home, prolonging the shopping experience.

Hotels seeking to create an olfactory logo must take into account brand image and history, the type of area, such as the lobby or guest room, to be scented as well as lighting and furniture. Perhaps most important is the knowledge of the set of emotions and experiences that are linked to both the brand and the hotel. This is the key to developing that all- important bond between guests and the objects and sensations surrounding them that transmit pleasure, wellness and harmony.

Most of the major hotel chains use olfactory logos. At the Westin, a cool and relaxing white tea fragrance blended with wood cedar and vanilla wafts through the air, and the St. Regis features an elegant blend of rose, sweet pea and pipe tobacco. The luxury chain, W hotels, which are owned by Marriott International, caters to a younger crowd and they are notorious for their beauty offerings. Their olfactory logo sparkles with lemon and lime blossom.

Sony retail stores have an olfactory logo featuring notes of mandarin orange, bourbon and vanilla. Vanilla makes women feel welcome and comfortable, the mandarin whispers of elegance, and the bourbon appeals to the men. This olfactory logo wafts through the stores all day diffused by superior electronic diffusion systems.

The Future of Olfactory Logos

The future of scent marketing is now, as olfactory logos are the final frontier of branding. Iconic perfumer, Coco Chanel, once said A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future. The same can be said for modern brands trying to compete and survive in today’s marketplace without a signature scent.

A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan and Rutgers University concluded that scents significantly improved consumers’ memory about products (brand recognition). Pleasant shopping experiences no matter what the product or service inevitably increase any company’s bottom line.

Why Air Scent Offers The Best Scenting Services Available 

With well over seven decades of seasoned experience behind everything we do, our air freshening systems and odor neutralizing products have become the leading, industry choice for global brands, distributors and air care suppliers. Even more, we are eco-friendly and cost effective; two important considerations when scenting any commercial space, whether large or small, and our innovative state-of-the art technologies, air freshening systems, fragrance creation, and odor control strategies can be used for every application and adjusted for any size requirement.

Even more, we are the only scenting company with its own in-house fragrance division. This coupled with our numerous years of experience, enables us to present one of the most diverse libraries of fragrances to choose from when identifying the perfect olfactory logo for your brand. Or, if you’re looking to create a newly-formulated, signature scent, we are uniquely equipped to originate a premium fragrance that meets any of your wildest whims or desires.

The New and Improved Aroma Beam

We know full well that a scent is only as good as the diffusing systems the disperse it, and we’re constantly innovating our products to improve performance. The newly released Aroma Beam is the latest in cutting edge scent diffusion air freshening systems.

This dry vapor fragrance diffuser system provides coverage for up to 50,000 cubic feet. It is perfect for retail environments, hotels, car showrooms, healthcare facilities and countless others, and works by utilizing one-of-a-kind cartridges that are specifically designed for linear diffusion over a period of 30 days. Its compact size, no spill system, multiple mounting options and mobile controlled APP, enabling daily, hourly and monthly control from the convenience of a mobile device, are just a few of the many reasons the Aroma beam is the best on the market today.

If you’re a business owner, an advertising agency, or an air care supplier/ distributor, and you’re looking to match one of our many scents to a brand or business, or create a signature scent, don’t hesitate to speak with our team. A better ROI tomorrow depends on an olfactory logo provided by Air Scent today!

Final thoughts about scent:

Scent is like cocktails without the hangover, like chocolate without the calories, like an affair without tears, like a vacation from which you never have to come back. ~ Unknown


You May Also Be Interested In

9 Keys To Running A Profitable Air Freshener Service Business

For most of us who either work in or frequent restaurants, business offices or any other commercial environment, an air freshener is one of those things that no one really thinks about (not even like Cole Porter’s proverbial bell that now and then rings.) The truth is that without air fresheners…