Marketing channels the sense of smell


The Spanish magazine Distrito Oficina devotes an article to olfactory marketing, a method of transmitting values through fragrances, gaining increasing favour with businesses

Using the sense of smell to communicate and transmit certain values is not something new. In the 17th century, the French courts were already distinguished from each other by the aroma given off by their gloves, impregnated with the characteristic fragrance of each court. The traditional use of incense in churches has a similar purpose,” the Spanish magazine Distrito Oficina says at the beginning of an article on the olfactory marketing strategy that many companies are leveraging to promote their own identities, with fragrance seen as a new channel of communication, more powerful even than sight and hearing.

That characteristic aroma that identifies each space and that customers are able to distinguish among hundreds of fragrances is called an odotype,” the DNA of a company  in fragrance form, says the magazine. The process begins with the selection of values and meanings to be distilled in the preparation that will target the olfactory receptors. Psychology and memory are the two basic components of odour retrieval and identification, like the “clean smell” of childhood.

The big firms in the fashion and retail sector were the first to grasp the importance of these techniques and many of them use their own odotypes in all their establishments, the world over: business premises, auditoriums, theatres, press rooms, showrooms, hotels and even vehicles. In e-commerce, which has seen an acceleration with the pandemic, this experience is associated with the smell that the wrapper gives off when opened to reveal the purchases made online.




Original Text: Albert Majós

Photo: Getty images

Magazine: Distrito Officina

Publisher: Distrito Ediciones SL.

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19 January 2022