domingo, 21 de junho de 2009

Brazil embraces scent branding

Brand Channel has posted an interesting piece about Brazil’s use of scent branding, otherwise known as “olfactive” branding. Apparently numerous Brazilian businesses, including spas, gyms, medical facilities, hotels, pharmacies, banks, restaurants and supermarkets, as well as product brands are using “olfactive logos,” or signature scents for brand recall. Olfactive logos are being used in advertising campaigns, including scent-producing ads in movie theatres. According to the article, Brazil is a natural candidate for the use of scent branding because of its culture of human sensuality.

Branding by the Nose in Brazil
by Ana Paula Palombo Terzi

Besides sight and hearing, taste and touch can add extra, valuable dimensions to the brand experience. Despite the obvious and strong influence these four aforementioned senses inherently possess, they—either individually or together—may not fully capitalize on the opportunities presented by a variety of businesses and branding challenges. Branding experts, in these cases, have learned to tap into the powerful emotions triggered by the sense of smell.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the faintest scent can evoke numerous, even conflicting, memories and emotions. No other sense can revive experiences and recollections so vividly as the sense of smell. Words, objects, pictures, scenes, images and songs are not as powerful and dynamic when it comes to recalling cues—even ones buried deep in the human mind—as scents and smells.

“When a scent triggers recall, you are caught in a wave of emotion and evocation like no other,” says Rachel Herz, an expert on the psychology of smell and author of the book The Scent of Desire.

Smell is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week sense. It is turned on all of the time, both when people are awake and sleeping. But does this olfactory fact present actual, viable and achievable branding opportunities and new areas for the branding industry to explore and benefit from? Absolutely.

According to the Sense of Smell Institute in New York, the average human being is able to recognize approximately 10,000 different odors. People can recall smells with 65 percent accuracy after a year, while the visual recall of photos decreases to about 50 percent after only three months.

Scent branding, of course, isn’t a new revolution in the branding industry, but it is an important and growing marketing segment, particularly in Brazil—a nation and culture known for its sensuality. Scent branding highlights smell as an emotional cue that induces positive behavior, accentuates brand attributes and generates recall—that subconscious action sought by every ambitious brand strategy.

“Big global brands set the trend which spurred scent marketing in Brazil. Brazilian brands, big and small, are now creating their olfactive logo, a scent signature which helps generate brand recall,” explains Elaine De Oliveira, olfactive marketing consultant for Biomist, one of the pioneers of scent marketing in São Paulo, Brazil.

Marcelo Ginzberg from Air Berger, a French consulting firm that established an office in Brazil in June 2008, says, “A wide variety of businesses have been adopting olfactive logos—hotels, spas, medical facilities, pharmacies, gyms, restaurants, banks and supermarkets have capitalized on scent marketing to attract consumers.”

“Our culture is highly sensorial in many aspects,” says Janice Zanatta, olfactive marketing consultant for Good Smell Consultoria in Curitiba, Brazil. “Its colors, rhythms, textures and forms require a great spectrum of scents to express and communicate all this diversity.” Zanatta believes the growing interest in scent marketing in Brazil is a direct reflection of the country’s diverse and complex culture. She cites as an example Les Lis Blanc, a Brazilian fashion brand, with credit for linking its olfactive logo to its consumers’ positive experiences with the brand.

Brazilian baked goods brand Bauducco also strategized with olfactive marketing to appeal to a younger demographic in Brazil. A chocolate fragrance was diffused into movie theaters at the same time they ran a preview commercial for its signature product, the panettone. The campaign was a success.

Part evidence, part theory and part science, scent marketing demonstrates that the category can be an important component for brand communication and can positively and dramatically impact sales, even though it is still hard to measure a direct correlation with return on investment.

Experts in olfactive marketing agree that the right scent in congruence with a solid marketing mix helps define a brand’s personality, adds clarity, differentiation and value, and has the power to raise awareness and brand recall. Congruency would be, for instance, linking low-arousal lavender scents with relaxing tunes or high-arousal grapefruit scents with energizing tunes, depending on the brand context. It is an artistic pairing of experiences that requires an almost chef-like expertise as well as branding and marketing acumen.

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