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March 2023

Smells like branding to me.

Yes, you can own a scent.

Anybody who’s ever walked into an Abercrombie and Fitch knows what I’m talking about. They have a proprietary scent that is probably as recognizable as their logo. Years ago, we were looking at a Darling Homes model home near Houston. That home smelled SO good and SO homey that when we contracted to build, I inquired about it. Turns out, that scent was developed specifically for them. They owned a scent.

I like restaurants that smell good.

Because I work primarily in the restaurant branding business and I’m also a consumer, I’m keenly aware of how important the smell of a restaurant is.  Scent is an important part of the customer experience and it works best when it is integrated with the overall branding. Tip for newbies – yes, your restaurant should be clean but it should not smell like cleaning supplies.

Last spring, we were awarded work for the international yogurt franchise, Yogurtland. During the project, we researched scent systems and discovered ScentAir who has been in the business for more than 20 years and has offices on three continents. They work with hotels & resorts, retailers, restaurants, offices, and casinos to name a few.

Our journey to find the perfect scent for the yogurt brand began with a discussion about what emotional connection we wanted to make with customers. The obvious answer is sugar – the ultimate dopamine-delivering scent of something sweet. Since froyo doesn’t really have a specific scent, we selected from samples of baked goods scents like those with vanilla and brown sugar. The scent is delivered via a small unit that plugs in and operates via an app where you can control the frequency and intensity.

I can think of so many brands that I could identify by scent alone – Auntie Anne’s, Starbucks, Subway, Nestle Toll House Cafe, Cinnabon, Burger King, Jimmy John’s (the “Free Smells” neon is genius).

What if packing peanuts smelled like peanuts?!*

If you think your ONLINE brand can’t take advantage – think again. Brands are using scents in their packing materials! Amazon – listen up – there’s opportunity here -ask me about scented ink!

*Would you have to include an allergen warning I wonder…