Our series on scent marketing continues with number 5 – The importance of investing in consumer research.
After an advertising agency puts the results of their creative labor in front of a client, one or even several rounds of consumer research usually follows. Corporate marketers in general are risk averse and want to make sure that they are making the best decisions. Unbeknownst to most consumers, fragrance marketers such as Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and COTY do the same before they launch a new fragrance.
When it comes to scent marketing, only recently the Scent Marketing Institute has proposed similar protocols for the “non traditional” users of fragrances, such as brands engaged in scent marketing. Often, in the scent-design process decisions are made based on key executives’ personal preferences, trust in the perfumer’s expertise or after cutting the creative process short because of budget concerns. But how does the scent resonate with employees and staff exposed to it for long working hours and the customer walking into the store?
It sounds like a no-brainer that any brand should look into these questions and apply at least some of the methods (perception testing, benchmarking) currently available. Is the scent perceived pleasant in general? Is it too strong and overpowering or too weak? Is it “congruent”, meaning matching the customers’ expectation? Research shows that a scent perceived as “feminine” turns off male customers, that a coconut scent released in winter confuses everybody – unless you walk into a travel agency promoting summer vacations.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Harald Vogt
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