Singapore-based environmental brand guru Simon A. Faure-Field has been interviewed this month by Sky Radio Network. Sky Radio Network provides business, technology, health and entertainment programming to some of the largest airlines in the world, including United, American, Delta, Northwest, US Airways and America West.
The network’s in flight talk show, which feature some of the world’s top business, political and marketing luminaries, is hosted by Los Angeles-based anchor Dennis Michael. Steve Forbes, Phil Dusenberry and Bill Katz of BBDO, Sumner Redstone of Viacom and John Eyler, Jr. of Toys “R” Us are just some of the top branding names to have appeared on the show, which regularly features Fortune 500 CEOs and former US presidents.
Mr. Faure-Field addressed such brand-related questions as how businesses are increasingly combining the new art of fragrancing with more traditional techniques of music styling.
“We use a scientific and systematic approach to combining the two. As humans we’re affected by the appeal of our surroundings and our surroundings influence our behaviour.” Low tempo music used in supermarkets, explained Faure-Field, had the effect of increasing sales by 38%. Meanwhile, according to a study by Nike, the subtle fragrancing of their trainers caused customers to want to spend $10-15 more on the fragranced (as opposed to the non-fragranced) product.
Said Faure-Field, “The use of fragrancing really started off in the hospitality industry with such chains as Westin diffusing signature fragrances in their lobby areas to create a sensory association in the minds of their visitors and guests. Music was also standardised to create a consistent experience in all the properties’ different lobbies around the world.”
Dennis Michael then turned the discussion towards how this branding tactic already in use was being brought into play in the Asian market. In response, Faure-Field gave the example of Singapore’s DBS Bank, the largest in Southeast Asia, which sought to express the “Asian” character of its brand through a combination if Asian sensory cues such as curved corners to reflect Asian warmth and a variety of Asian textures and materials, as well as “Asian” fragrances such as ginger flower and low tempo “Asian” music.
Faure-Field then cited the examples of two Asian hotels – Naumi and M Hotel – which have leveraged on these sensory branding techniques to create a uniquely Asian ambience for their guests.
Bringing the talk full circle, Dennis Michael anticipated the use of these techniques in North America. Replying to the question, Faure-Field said that, “In North America there has been a phenomenal amount of research on music and fragrance and how this actually enhances consumer behaviour. But the US is very much a commoditised market and businesses have not been adopting these practices as well as they could be, but looking ahead we foresee a change. Business are looking to create a more integrated brand experience for the customers and we’ve identified a number of new customers who are looking to adopt a multi-sensory approach, such as the Pan Pacific Seattle for example.”
Sky Radio Network is closely associated with Northwest Airlines, the world’s fifth largest airline which, together with its global travel partners, serves over 750 destinations in 120 countries on 6 continents. The U.S. system spans 49 states and the District of Columbia. Faure-Field’s sensory branding gospel will therefore reach an impressive number of top executives and decision markers who fly regularly on the airline both within the US and on international route.