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Sensory Branding

Scent Marketing Success: Step 9 Of 10

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Our series on scent marketing continues with number 9 – Carefully handle objections

Admittedly there is plenty of room for interpretation on the “pleasantness” of a scent. The same applies for some consumers’ notion that scent marketing is sneaky on a subconscious level. There is no general answer that would justify or condemn scent marketing in general.

However, some of us suffer from chemical hypersensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivity, contact dermatitis and hyperosmia, sometimes resulting in asthma and panic attacks.  While their number is fairly small, their advocates are extremely outspoken and enjoy heightened attention from the media. So we need to act responsible and react with compassion.

Fact is, there is scent all around us. Garbage on the sidewalk on a hot summer day, the guy next to us on the subway, the street vendor selling his pretzels – nobody can reasonably object to those.

In scent marketing it comes down to managing scents:

•    Providing for a mechanism that puts the consumer in control over having an olfactory experience or not – depending on her personal preferences and potential medical condition. This also means to keep public spaces clear of scents.

•    Delivering an appropriate quality and quantity of scent. Let’s not be tempted to buy scents from dubious sources and/or countries that do not have institutions overseeing ingredients and manufacturing processes.

•    Make it easier for the consumer to relate to the scent we deliver to avoid confusion and minimize negative reactions. Coconut smell does not belong in a supermarket around Christmas – but it works year round in a travel agency selling tropical vacations.

•    More is not always better. Do not overpower the customer or your store personnel with scent. Anosmia, the absence of the ability to smell, occurs when a person is exposed to scent regularly and will almost certainly tempt the store manager to crank up the system to unacceptable levels.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Harald Vogt

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