sábado, 25 de julho de 2009

Olfactory branding

Anyone afflicted with a bout of nostalgia will tell you how certain smells push them in the long forgotten worlds of past memories- some happy, some sad. Fresh rain on the asphalt reminds me of my adolescent monsoons in Bombay and a pomogrante scented candle from Henri Bendel reminds me of a particularly happy time in my life that is only a faint, hazy memory that I try recalling everytime I light that candle.

I read this fantastic article in BrandChannel today about brands learning to incorporate an olfactory element in their overall experience. Remember those Westin Hotel advertisements promoting their White Tea scent? Even Anthropologie stores have a french chatlet-like feel to it, complete with the music and the amalgamated scent of the soaps, candles and perfumes.

Another example are magazines -- esp. fashion mags. I typically relate my copy of Vogue to rich, expensive perfume (even though the strips are only advertisements) I've already written about scented credit cards and scented cell-phones in the past, it will be interesting to see how brands, both physical and virtual experiment with this emerging technology.

This also reminds me of a lovely short story I read aeons ago. The story is set in a little town of Europe. Mr. Thimble owned a flailing hotel that losing all it's customers to his competitor's hotel that was right down the road. So in an effort to lure back his customers, Mr. Thimble hired the best chef in the country and decided to rename his restaurant to "The Seven Bells," But he asked the painter to draw only six silver bells below the name. When the hotel reopened the next day, people were puzzled about the new name and the bells. Invariably, some would walk inside the hotel to point out that there were only six bells painted and the seventh bell was missing. Once inside the hotel, the delicious smell from the chef's kitchen had them extend their stay to lunch or dinner and if they were tourists, they often ended up staying at the hotel. Slowly, the word spread about the food and Mr. Thimble's six bells became the pride of the town!

You get the idea? (yea, he also went on to live a happy life )
August 14, 2006

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