Robb Report – Scent Marketing

Of all the senses, smell triggers the most intense associations. Smell according to Simon Faure-Field of Singapore based consultancy Equal Strategy, is a key to making client spend more time in commercial, retail, and hospitality environments.

Inspired by the work of Danish brand guru Martins Lindstrom, Faure-Field decided to combine sound (curated background music) & smell (signature scents) to set cooperate entities from each other when he moved to Asia in the late 1900’s. It’s this practice of scent that makes Equal Strategy uncommon. “Most marketing budgets focus on communication to appeal to our eyes, yet often our decision is based on what we smell,” says Faure-Field.

Concocting the right smell for a property can take several weeks. “We meet with the general manager and his management team to discuss and refine how the hotel’s brand can be translated into music and fragrance”.

Equal Strategy then formulates an identity statement: potential scent and genre of music are developed on the basis, and before long, the hotel has a “sensory identity”, as Faure-Field calls it.

Equal Strategy offers off the shelf fragrances and can also craft a client’s bespoken aroma from scratch. The company works with a German fragrance company called Drom to customize the scent.

Smell serves as geographic touchstones and Equal Strategy is sensitive to ensuring its offering create a sense of place and welcoming environment. 

While scent branding isn’t new – Westin Hotels and Resorts started introducing its White tea scent in its properties a decade ago- its importance is beginning to gain traction.  ”We hope businesses realise that sensory branding is every bit as effective as more conventional marketing” Faure-Field declares.