SMELL OH SMELL – How important is Sensory Branding?

Smell is the only human sense that brings floating molecules from our environment directly in contact with our neurons. 

For e.g. the smell of coffee actuallly gives us a energy spike. I am talking about just smelling it and not even actually drink it.  

So have you ever imagined what it can do to a brand and its experience? If not, please start imagining now. 

Did you know that smell of Cinnamon makes you a better person. I mean a nicer kinder person. It could be right because whenever I have walked beside a Cinnabon outlet; I have actually become a nicer person and bought a cinnamon roll 🙂 jokes apart, i think the cinnamon smell really pulls you to that counter. 

The same applies to Cookie Man too; they are strategically located at most of the key entry/exit points (not food courts) inside a mall and make sure they bake their cookies at the peak time to draw traffic to their outlet. Interesting isn’t it?

I run a coffee business by the name of Flying Squirrel Artisan coffee and when you walk into our micro-roastery in Koramangala, Bangalore; the only smell which you will get is that of freshly roasted coffee. Now as a business owner, you would be pushed hard to take decisions like whether to serve freshly cooked food or include breakfast to your offering or you could be like a regular cafe with only short eats. But one thing what we have done is to make sure that the smell of coffee overpowers any other food smell because the first association which we want for the Flying Squirrel brand is coffee. 

The magic of smell works great for Bakery & Confectionary brands too. I am sure you already got the smell of a freshly baked bread now. That’s the power of sensory branding. Now, imagine using smell to your brands advantage at a brand activation event in a mall or at a large exhibition hall where everyone is me-too. I already see people flocking at your counter. Do you? 

– Laeeq Ali, is a serial entrepreneur, investor and brand specialist. His passion lies in influencing business brand growth using the power of ideas. He believes that brands need to figure out their ‘raison d’être’ sooner and be more purposeful and meaningful.