Capturing the elusive essence of a particular brand in the form of a signature scent is no easy task and one that is best left in the care of professionals, such as our master Alpha Aromatics fragrance artists, who live, know, respect and understand both the language and power of perfume. Its allure is always remarkable, and leaving a fragrant trademark trail in the minds of consumers is a uniquely special challenge.
Scent Marketing isn’t a new phenomenon and has long been employed by casinos to enhance their environments and customer linger time. Hoteliers too, have long relied on the power of scents in their lobbies and other public areas to induce good feelings among guests who wish to de-stress and escape from their every day agendas.
We touched on the process before, but how exactly do you create a signature scent for a private label that says all you want it to say about your your brand or does all you want it to do to further reinforce your goals and messaging? This article delves into the unique process of scent branding, aroma marketing and creating designer fragrances for signature scents, private labels and celebrity brands.
Statistics Concerning Commercial Perfume Creation and Scent Branding
The global fragrance market is estimated to garner about USD 43.6 billion by the year, 2021. According to Jennifer Dublino, vice president of development at Scent World Events, a trade group in Scarsdale, New York, the industry is growing at a rate of about 10% annually. Several important studies over the years have cemented the power of the human nose when it comes to marketing, branding and selling almost everything. A Samsung study found that when consumers were exposed to a company scent, shopping time was increased by 26% and they visited three times more product categories.
A scent marketing study conducted by Martin Lindstrom, a well-known author and brand consultant concluded that up to 75% of human emotions related to memory are triggered by smell and that the impact of a brand message is increased by 30% when more than one sense is engaged and by 70% when three senses are involved. His results clearly indicate that advertising emphasis based on sensual perception is by far, the most powerful tool in a modern marketer’s arsenal.
The managers of the New Balance shoe store in Beijing which opened in 2009, understood that “it was no longer enough to present or provide products or services in a strongly branded visual context; the brand needed to connect and engage with all five senses of the customer in order to create resonance and establish long-term loyalty.” In keeping with this idea, the store introduced notes of wood and leather that imitated the aroma found in a shoe store of decades past in the hopes of conveying ‘heritage and craftsmanship,’ It was successful, as the scent resulted in consumers spending more time in the store
Understanding Scent and Aroma Marketing, Scent Branding and Ambient Scenting
These terms can be confusing and while some are synonymous, others are not. When seeking to create a signature scent, it is vital to understand the differences between them. While scent marketing, scent branding and aroma marketing are synonyms in the sense that all three refer to a general type of sensory marketing targeted in part to the consumer’s sense of smell, scent marketing specifically, goes way beyond just diffusing a pleasant aroma within a commercial given space. It is designed to improve the consumer shopping experience, increase sales and develop brand awareness, which subtly nurtures brand loyalty.
Ambient scenting is synonymous with scent marketing because it is similarly created to fill the air with a specific scent in order to influence consumer behavior. It is, in its own peculiar way, a fragrant Venus Fly Trap that does not kill its unwitting visitors but rather gently holds (alright, traps) them so they can capture their interest. It enhances any commercial space by adding something pleasant to the consumer experience in the hopes of eventually manipulating that feeling into a purchase. Whether a real estate agent is brewing coffee or baking apple pie (or using scents that give that impression) before an open house, the idea is to create an ambiance of home, and hearth.
Scent branding refers specifically to the creation of a signature scent that is associated with a brand and evokes certain emotions. It draws upon “social developments, cultural movements and sociological changes.” It involves blending a company’s brand identity, marketing messages and target audience and developing a fragrance that intensifies these three aspects. In the words of Roel Ventura, a Seattle-based designer of business environments, “it’s a way to market above the clutter.”
Signature Scents For Private Label Fragrances (Perfumes)
While the custom label on a signature scent may seem to the uninitiated like the last superfluous flourish for a private brand, this does not diminish its importance to the potential consumer. It is a visual cue and marketing tool that is just as important in helping a signature scent stand out as any other aspect that is integrated into the creation process. Scented labels have been around for as long as scent marketing and they are recognized as tools that complement this final frontier in the world of marketing. Signature scents for labels placed on candles and personal care products have many variations and can suit any theme or season. Some are always more popular than others. For example, autumn is perfect for pumpkin, cinnamon and green apple blends. But a label that is run with a low quality press will result in poor image quality.
Developing a unique signature scent for a brand’s private label is one of our many specialties. The use of private labels is a very helpful tool in the expanding brand recognition arsenal. The idea behind private label fragrances is to communicate company vision, instill brand loyalty, and ultimately, smell like nothing else on the market, the latter of which sets a private label fragrance apart from competitors. A private label fragrance line can be either a small limited edition of a few dozen perfumes or it can comprise a much bigger collection of thousands of pieces. Either way, Alpha Aromatics is there to guide their clients through the signature scent process from beginning to end.
According to Alan Hirsch, neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment & Research Foundation in Chicago: “Smell has a greater impact on purchasing than everything else combined. If something smells good, the product is perceived as good.” Complementing a label design via a chosen scent never goes unnoticed or fails to make a lasting impression on consumers.
For the last decade, Andreas Keller of the Rockefeller University has conducted ongoing, diverse studies concerning the power of the human sense of smell. One study indicated that humans have the capacity to recall 35% of what they smell, compared with only 5% of what they see, 2% of what they hear, and 1% of what they touch. Once the domain of big design houses, private label fragrance manufacturing conducted by the expert perfumers at Alpha Aromatics is becoming more and more popular among small and medium-sized companies.
So much about successful scent labels depends upon the printing industry and flexographic, sheet-fed, offset, web press, gravure and screen printers. The experts at Alpha Aromatics have their own specialized technique for creating scented labels, which according to the company, “entails mini scratch and sniff circles, which air fresheners utilize. Success is dependent on the fragrance being micro-encapsulated into a slurry mixture ink-type, which is then applied as a top coat layer (like ink) of the printing process by the printing company.”
Signature Scents, Designer Scents And Celebrity Brands
The world of fragrance is replete with confusing terms. We have in fact just graduated from defining all of the nuances between scent branding, aroma marketing and others of its ilk, but here we are again with different fragrances, diverse compositions and purposes and the very same sense of bewilderment as to what they all mean.
A signature scent captures the total essence of a brand or person. It should be chosen subjectively, based on personal (or brand) feeling, as it is emotion that propels a particular scent into signature category. The selection of a signature scent should never be based on fragrance notes or ingredients, but rather on the idea of who you or your brand are, and which aspects you wish to convey to either yourself or potential consumers.
Celebrity fragrances promote both the celebrity and the brand in question. Media personalities rather than famous perfume houses generate their selling points and success, as users identify with the qualities presented by the scent’s endorser. Designer scents, on the other hand, are created by and linked to fashion houses or designers. They are usually released in large quantities and with very broad distribution. These fragrances tend to be expensive, as they are made with ingredients of a much higher quality than standard perfumes. They maintain their popularity in the highly competitive fragrance market but they do lack the exclusivity so many users covet due to their fame and availability.
The Celebrand (Celebrity) Perfume
The popularity of these fragrances, such as: Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds; Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty; Halle by Hallie Berry; Heat by Beyonce; Radiance by Brittney Spears, and Eva Mendes with Circa, are propelled by the special allure of the celebrity endorsing the scent. The celebrity fragrance sector was a booming business in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, but the role of celebrities in the modern world is evolving into other aspects. Fame-centered marketing still has a limited appeal among fragrance consumers, and minimalist marketing coupled with subtle luxurious flourishes help to maintain their relevance and engage consumers.
According to research conducted by Mintel, the trend for celebrity fragrances is no longer appealing to consumers. Even where they were formerly the strongest in the United States and Great Britain, they are now considered passé, as only 7% of US consumers and 5% of UK consumers say that they have purchased a fragrance because a celebrity endorsed it. Despite these figures, advertisers still believe that fame-based marketing has a limited but malleable appeal among fragrance consumers that can work well by moving these scents closer to other sophisticated fragrances that rely on low-key marketing and subtle luxurious flourishes.
The very popular commercial for White Diamonds, is the centerpiece of an estimated $20 million campaign. It is styled like a film and there’s a marketing reason for that. According to Mindy Goldberg, executive producer and co-owner of Epoch Films in New York: “That’s because Elizabeth Taylor was a great movie star. More than just seeing her posing, we wanted to give her a scene and see her acting. In the scene, Ms. Taylor, who is drenched in diamonds, (some really hers, some borrowed) watches a high-stakes poker game being played by a mysterious group of men. The youngest and handsomest is about to fold his hand when she takes off her earrings and drops them in the pot on his behalf. ‘These have always brought me luck,’ she says.”
The role of celebrities in the modern world is changing, and fragrance is only one category where this is evidenced. Many celebrities are now businessmen and women whose fame serves as a platform to bolster their own fashion or lifestyle brands that are inspired by their own favored concepts and way of life.
Signature Scents For Products
Proper scent marketing via a signature scent is the key to the provision of a memorable shopping experience for consumers who are enamored by brand names. Research has indicated that the right scent in the right place can open peoples’ wallets. The chosen scent should reflect company values and be designed to serve as an olfactory logo directed to appeal to its consumer target base. The experts at Alpha Aromatics specialize in manufacturing scents for everything from fine perfumes to beauty and personal care products, diffusers, candles, etc. A signature scent tells the story of a brand and it is a powerful tool for marketing these types of products. It all boils down to one simple equation; good fragrance + a good product = a great consumer experience.
The consumer experience hinges upon the promise that all products must always deliver their intended function. For example, a shampoo that pledges to eliminate dandruff must do exactly that in order for the consumer to be happy. If that shampoo also contains a memorable fresh scent in addition, the combination can only be a winner in terms of sales. Research indicates that fragrance affects the moods of shoppers and a good product with a poor fragrance strategy is not likely to fare well with consumers. In today’s crowded marketplace, fragrance changes the game and gives products a distinct edge among others waiting patiently for selection on the store shelves.
Fragrance is often a deciding factor, and it is a matter of survival of the nicest smelling when two similar products are offered at similar prices. By enhancing the consumer experience, fragrance also simultaneously creates a bond to the brand in question. According to Nikki Enriquez, a fragrance marketing coordinator, in the case of beauty products that are specifically designed to suggest the whisper of glamour and elegance, it is the chosen fragrance that makes or breaks these feelings. Shrewd brand marketers know very well that ad campaigns featuring the sense of smell are 100 times more likely to be remembered than those involving hearing, seeing or touch.
Scent Interpretation is Generational and Cultural
Developing a signature scent for any product or business is a highly complicated process that requires consummate skill and the expertise of professionals. Cultural perception is one of those intangible concepts that only those who really respect and understand the power of perfume recognize. A glowing example of cultural differences in scent perception comes from a luxury men’s clothing store in Hong Kong known as PYE. The very expensive iris molecule combined with the dry paper scent of papyrus is a boon to business in China, but it would have been a disaster in the USA, where such an aroma is connected with the scents of baby powder and laundry detergent. Scent is also generational because most of our scent memories are formed in our childhoods.
Alpha Aromatics and Their Expertise in the Creation of Signature Scents
If that old adage, practice makes perfect, has any truth to it, the perfume innovators at Alpha Aromatics are already there and have been for many years. After more than seven decades, their perfumers and chemists are flawless in their creation of unique perfumes, which are used both as signature fragrances and as ingredients for product lines involving cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, lotions, candles and a host of other diverse applications.
The innovative chemists and perfumers at Alpha Aromatics areamong the most talented in the world and they take great pride in the personalized relationships they have established with everyone they have ever worked with, whether that association involved a large job or a small one. Some of the richest and most powerful brand names in the world seek out their unique scents and according to perfumer, Roger Howell, “We know how important branding is for the continued growth of our clients’ product lines, and we pride ourselves on building scents that build great brands.”
Scent branding represents the creation of a consumer experience that coalesces with the art of fragrance and science. It is fitting that this doesn’t even sound easy, but for the experts at Alpha Aromatics, the task represents just another day at the office.
Call our team today and get started on the creation of the perfect signature scent for your product line, whatever it may be.
Final thoughts about perfume:
A perfume is like a piece of clothing, a message, a way of presenting oneself…a costume that differs according to the woman who wears it. ~ Paloma Picasso