Smell the Wheat Grass and Oranges

Does your brand have a smell?

I’m not talking about how many of your employees shower regularly (lets hope all of them), or the woman on fourth floor that no one will get on the elevator with because her perfume (or the amount she wears) has a way of removing all the oxygen from the air in a 6ft radius.

I’m talking about the touchpoints of your brand. When consumers come in contact with your brand, do they smell anything? If they don’t, should they?

Chances are you haven’t given it much thought unless you are selling home and beauty products or you’re competing in the food industry (taste and smell go hand in hand). But what about if you’re brand consists of consumer electronics or home appliances? Does it scent matter? Or better yet, what if you are an accounting firm, beauty salon, home builder, or any other business competing in the service sector, smell surely doesn’t matter to you. Or does it?

Martin Lindstrom, author of Brand Sense, writes,

Scents evoke images, sensations, memories, and associations. Smell affects us substantially more than we’re aware of. We underestimate just how large a role it plays in our well-being… Smell can alter our mood. Test results have showed a 40 percent improvement in our mood when exposed to a pleasant fragrance particularly if the fragrance taps into a happy memory. 

Dennis Syracuse, senior vice president of consumer retail sales, was quoted saying,

“From research, we found that scent is closest to the brain and will evoke the most emotion, even faster than the eye.”

Scent not only ties into our memories, but also into our emotions.

So maybe it is time to start giving smell some thought. Should smell become part of your brand mix?


To find out more about scent marketing be sure to check out the recent additions to Brand Strategy Insider by Harald Vogt, a guy who knows smell for a living:


What brands do you closely associate with their smells?

This afternoon I asked myself this question and immediately thought of Jamba Juice (which is one of the reasons for the graphic above) and the strong citrus smell in all of their stores. This is interesting since I haven’t been there in well over a year. This was followed with a craving for one of their fruit smoothies.