ROBB REPORT – Scent Marketing

Of all the senses, smell triggers the most intense associations. Scent marketing, according to Simon Faure-Field of Singapore based consultancy Equal Strategy, is a key to making client spend more time in commercial, retail and hospitality environment.

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Of all the senses, smell triggers the most intense associations. 

Scent, according to Simon Faure-Field, founder of Singapore-based consultancy Equal Strategy, is key to making clients spend more time in commercial, retail, and hospitality environments.

Inspired by the work of Danish brand guru Martin Lindstrom, Faure-Field decided to combine sound and scent to set corporate entities apart from each other when he moved to Asia in the late 1990s. It’s this practice of scent marketing management that makes Equal Strategy a little uncommon. 

“Most marketing budgets focus on communication that appeals to our eyes, yet often our decisions are based on what we smell,” says Faure-Field.

Concocting the right scent for a property can take several weeks. “We meet with the general manager and his management team to discuss and refine how the hotel’s brand can be translated into music and fragrance”.

Equal Strategy then formulates an identity statement: potential scent and genre of music are developed on the basis, and before long, the hotel has a “sensory identity”, as Faure-Field calls it.

Smell serves as geographic touchstones and the right scent offers a sense of place as well as creates a welcoming environment.

Equal Strategy offers off the shelf fragrances, however most clients choose to design a bespoke aroma from scratch. The company works with leading German fragrance company called Drom, who designs and manufactures perfumes for Chanel and Bulgari, to customise the scent to the direction set by Faure-Field.  

Smell serves as geographic touchstones and Equal Strategy is sensitive to ensuring its offering create a sense of place and a welcoming environment.

While scent branding isn’t new – Westin Hotels and Resorts started introducing its White tea scent in its properties a decade ago – its importance is beginning to gain traction. “We hope businesses realise that sensory branding is every bit as effective as more convectional marketing” Faure-Field declares.

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