Most businesses are focused on visual appeal, but research shows a direct relationship between scent and sales, and Air Aroma is pioneering that concept in Thailand.
John van Roemburg, CEO of Air Aroma Group, notes that smell is the “most powerful sense when it comes to long-term memory of experiences, places or products”. His company is providing solutions to help businesses implement scent marketing as part of their overall branding strategy.
This is, however, not a new concept. It was first noticed by Marcel Proust in the early nineteen hundreds and has since become known as the Proustian Effect. Proust observed that particular smells can take one back in time and create a vivid memory. For example, an experiment conducted in a fashion store showed that sales can be dramatically increased by the use of aroma. “When feminine scents such as vanilla were applied in the women’s clothing section of a major department store, sales of all female apparel actually doubled,” says Martin Lindstrom, a top global brand advisor and the best-selling author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy.
Fragrances can have a reducing effect on irritation, stress, depression and apathy and can reinforce positive emotions such as happiness, sensuality, relaxation and stimulation.
Another study conducted on public transport was aimed at showing how moods could be altered by aroma. The results revealed that women experienced a significantly higher sense of security through scented public transport. While men said they felt a higher sense of comfort during their travels.
One business sector that has embraced the idea of scent branding is hotels. When pleasant smells are encountered by a guest entering a hotel lobby, it triggers an immediate emotional response, which brings out a positive association with the hotel. “When we smell, we react with emotion rather than logic, and research has shown that a positive emotion leads to positive attitudes” says Tony Wright, managing director of Air Aroma Thailand. People tend to notice the aroma first before they notice other factors, making fragrances a good medium to make a lasting first impression.
One of the first hotels in Thailand to adopt the aroma branding concept was The Rembrandt Hotel and Towers in Bangkok. “The Rembrandt has been using scent branding for more than two years”, said GM Eric Hallin. “Since the introduction of scenting in our lobby and all other public areas we have received many favourable comments from our guests. The new freshness of the lobby has added a new dimension to our renowned guest services.”
Different aromas tend to affect different groups in different ways. A hotel that is aware of this fact can use aroma very effectively. For instance, stereotypically speaking, floral aromas such as jasmine and frangipani appeal to the Asian market, while woody aromas appeal to Westerners. There are also aromas that are more attractive to the young or old and male or female. Combinations of these factors can be used to more closely match the scent to the hotel demographic.
Air Aroma offers bespoke scent creation services, thus a company’s identity can be solely theirs to own and build to identify the brand and suit the market in which the hotel operates.
With more than 10 years experience, Air Aroma has been providing consulting services to companies wanting to implement scent marketing as a part of their broader strategy to reinforce a brand. Air Aroma is able to do this with hypoallergenic, purely natural essential oils or blended fragrances. Their essential oils range has anti-bacterial properties that naturally break down existing malodours, while still stimulating body and mind. With their patented cold-air diffusion technology, Air Aroma says it guarantees the right scent, with the right intensity, without compromising the integrity of the fragrance.
For more information go to www.air-aroma.com