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Tempting Mix Of Scent And Sound Sells

May 2007

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ASIA is headed for a marketing revolution, according to Equal Strategy, a company which has just begun to offer music and scents as
part of customer experience services to help businesses in Asia project consistent brand images and stimulate spending.

Simon Faure-field, chief executive officer of Equal Strategy, which he started in Singapore, believes strongly in the evolution of
marketing from product based to customer experience-centred. He said: ‘Growth has been in four-digit figures for the company. Businesses in
Asia are beginning to realise that they cannot ignore the other human senses when branding.’

‘Businesses are not just selling products anymore, they are selling experiences’ said Mr Faure-field. ‘When you walk into a shop you don’t
just see things, you hear things, you smell things. Music sets the mood. And the sense of smell is the only sense directly connected to
memory. Customers remember if a place smells nice or not – it cannot be neglected.’

Equal Strategy started in 1998 providing companies with telephone recorded answering services to help them project a consistent brand
image when interacting with customers. Their services currently cover telephone recordings, messages broadcast within shops, special music
playlists, and fragrances connected to air conditioning systems.

Eighteen months ago, after Mr Faure-field concluded talks with Belmay, a leading global fragrance house, Equal Strategy started
providing retail shops, showrooms and banks a branding package which included specifically designed music playlists and fragrances.
The company said that fragrances can be customised for particular brands, and can even have odour-cancelling properties.

Equal Strategy provided furniture giant Courts, with a total customer experience package just three months ago. Courts had been using its
telephone message system and retail outlet music services for about a year, but only installed their first branding fragrance this year to
complete an aggressive marketing initiative.

Courts has a small black-box, imported by Equal Strategy from a US technology company, in a few of their outlets, which carries
playlists created by Equal Strategy’s music programming partner to promote or suppress a particular mood in different areas of the shop.

Mr Faure-field said behavioural studies have shown that specific moods can be created in different retail areas by combining smell
with hearing.

An example is using a high-energy citrus fragrance combined with techno music in the mp3 players section and a calming lavender scent
with slow jazz in the bedding section.

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