Marriott Hotels & Resorts and the first Renaissance Hotels & Resorts under the Marriott Hotel Group have gone live with Equal Strategy’s advanced environmental fragrancing solutions for their Malaysian properties “great rooms”, beginning with the Renaissance Melaka Hotel.

Marriott Hotels & Resorts’ “great room” concept, introduced last year, redefines the way that guests relate to and use the common spaces within hotels like lobby, check-in areas, restaurants, social areas, and retail outlets. The concept of the great rooms will be to create “more fluid, organic spaces where individuals can enjoy public privacy”. The new model is also expected to create some trends by giving guests fresh ways to work and play within the property that they couldn’t outside of the hotel.
By removing architectural barriers, the spaces will be designed to adapt to guests’ needs. The “great room” zones will include welcome, individual, social and business zones. The great room concept was conceived around the ideas of “relaxing work” and “social business.” Relaxing work has been defined as a much less formal way of working in the presence of other people, akin to the way people work at Starbucks.

Marriott’s “Great Room” fragrancing project implemented by Equal Strategy is designed to standardize music and fragrance across hotels in Marriott’s brand portfolio. Equal Strategy has delivered the fragrancing for various Renaissance Hotels in Malaysia including the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel (Zanzibar Mist), Renaissance Kota Bahru Hotel (Calypso Orange) and the Renaissance Melaka Hotel (Calypso Orange). On 6th November 2007, the Renaissance Melaka Hotel went live with the fragrancing of its hotel lobby. It was followed a few days later by the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur (East Wing-Lobby and West Wing Lobby Lounge).
According to Simon A. Faure-Field, CEO of Equal Strategy, Marriott Hotels & Resorts is one of the major international chains leading the pack in terms of introducing innovative new ways in which guests are able to relate to the interior spaces of a hotel.

“The chain has examined the latest evolving guest behaviours, both socially and also at work, and have redefined their spaces into ‘zones’ which support and extend those new behaviours. This is incredibly inventive for a major hotel chain to think outside the box like this and break the mould of its previous service model.”

“Equal Strategy is proud to partner with the two chains to provide a signature scent to those spaces which supports and compliments the underlying role of the space and imprints a recognisable sensory cue which guests will find pleasing and which reinforces brand recall and loyalty.”

Equal Strategy has consulted other hotel chains, as well as boutique properties, on similar sensory branding solutions including Westin Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Pan Pacific, Naumi and M Hotel to name a few. This same month Equal Strategy has also delivered musical styling to four different outlets of the stunning new Raffles Dubai property. The company is the only one of its kind in the Asia region advising forward-thinking hoteliers on the deployment of these sensory brand techniques.

Faure-Field started his business in 1998 providing companies with telephone recorded answering services designed to help them project a consistent brand image when interacting with customers. His company’s services currently cover telephone on hold messaging, messages broadcast within retail businesses and hotels, the creation of music playlists and fragrance deployment which is the most sophisticated system available in Asia.

Mr Faure-Field is the only consultant in Asia Pacific specializing in combining music with fragrance to synergise a consistent brand experience for customers. His work is solidly grounded in behavioural science research and draws extensively upon the finds of researchers in the field of effects of background music and atmosphere on retail environments. In the retail arena, studies by Areni and Kim, for example, noted that music can be a critical component of store atmosphere, playing a role in the decision-making processes.

Their studies, and others show that if shoppers stay longer and travel slowly through a store, they are likely to purchase more. Another study by Milliman found that the tempo of music can affect a shopper’s pace of movement around the store. For this reason, the music tempo at Borders is slow and relaxed. Creating the right ambience in a store through music can have other benefits too, such as facilitating discussion between customers and sales staff, something that can be carried over into the hospitality field.

Faure-Field also collaborates with world-renowned fragrance house Belmay and Australian company Brandaroma to design fragrances to positively reinforce brands positioning. The system, which creates an aerosolised fragrance deliverable through the property’s air conditioning system, also has the ability to cancel out malodorous smells like body odour and residual cooking smells emanating from kitchens and food preparation areas. Odourfoyl has the ability to actually change the genetic structure of bad smells so that the brain can no longer recognise them.

About Equal Strategy

Equal Strategy delivers “music”, “fragrance” and “recorded telephone messages on hold” to businesses in a scientific way that enhances the overall customer experience of the brand and causes the customer to stay longer and buy more! Equal Strategy is the only company in Asia that specialises in deploying “music” and “fragrance” solutions to business where the two senses are stimulated in synergy with each other. Sound and smell deliver stimuli directly to the memory centres of the brain, influencing behaviour and creating suggestion at both the conscious and unconscious levels. Decades of behavioural research into the habits of consumers has found that “consumer arousal” can be either stimulated or suppressed through the use of mood settings like music and fragrance.