Sensory Marketing: What’s Next

“In five years every computer, game system, home entertainment system and other digital systems will come with a scent component” said Bill Wiles, CEO of Scent Sciences at the Scent Marketing Institute’s Scent World Expo, the largest scent and sensory marketing conference in the world, at the Gansevoort Hotel in Miami Beach last week.

He described how scent will be delivered by a personal device that will respond to different settings and environments. Already his firm has had inquiries from the military (use for rehab of vets); early education (as a learning aide especially for teaching language); in gaming (videos) and home videos (send images of a family get together at Christmas with a pine fragrance). And one of my favorite uses for hotel wakeup calls – a focus group’s preferred scent? Bacon!

Other interesting facts/research which you might have missed from our conference tweets:

  • A home improvement company in Germany uses the smell of freshly cut grass in their shop. The result? 49% increase in customer satisfaction with employees.
  • A liquor store plays French music in the background one day. Result? A  70% increase in sales of French wine.
  • Which scent is most effective in retail malls? Depends on the density of the crowds. Citrus works well in medium density,  lavender in high density.
  • Scents are proven to make the distance and walking time in malls seem shorter.  They also increase the number of words and recall of key events remembered.
  • The latest in events? A customized scent for the event. For Katy Perry’s 2011 concert tour  featured a scent of cotton candy. Other custom scents have included dirt, chocolate chip cookies, gummy bears and holiday fragrances.
  • Other things to come: packaging and even bottle lids that emit scent; point of purchase scent emitters for consumer products (e.g. teas, deodorant).

Meant to trigger memories and travel experiences, we’ve seen destinations dabble in scents ….last year we reported on Scent of Departure, perfumes sold in airport duty-free shops that were meant to capture a city’s fragrance in a bottle. Created by Parisian Gerald Ghislain and Magali Senequier, the scents represent Munich, Vienna, Istanbul, Budapest and Frankfurt. And the country of Lithuania conveyed their identity via perfume with a scent of the same name.

Miami is the latest destination to get a scent: At Scent World Expo, the Scent Marketing Institute unveiled a new fragrance “Miami.” A great way to express what Miami as a destination is all about – it has that sensuality, it’s the sun, sea, the spirit of Miami. The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau will be using the scent to promote the city at events, in promotional items and as a personal fragrance.

Miami scent


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