Ever wonder if that hint of fig & lavender you detect when you enter a particular hotel is a faint whiff of lovely perfume? Most likely it's not -- what you smell is the subtle odour of brand marketing. Yes, hotels brand get you with design and decor, but your nose also is enticed into brand loyalty.
This is how it works according to Heather Balsley, SVP of America’s Brand Management for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), who was kind enough to explain the process of scent selection to Hotel Chatter
Do scents really help build brand loyalty?
Research showed that 35 percent of Fortune 500 brands* had adopted some level of sensory branding philosophy. The research also showed that after sight - which naturally was a key part of the brands’ sensory experience already - smell was the most important of the five senses and responsible for a large part of a consumer’s emotional response to a brand.
Balsey then explained that scents have actual effects, in additional to smelling lovely. For example:
Sage notes clear the mind, are uplifting, and relieve depression.
Bergamot is known as nature's sedative. It relaxes the brain waves and is very calming.
Peppermint is known to improve physical performance and increase alertness and concentration.
Citrus oils like orange and lemon are considered 'pick me ups' and stimulate brain waves.
Rosemary stimulates the nervous system and increases energy and memory.
Scent Australia created the scent of the ‘garden of carthage’ especially for the Intercontinental Hotel’s 5 star Australian properties. This is the defining scent of luxury featuring rose, spice honey and floral notes.
So next time you go to a wonderful smelling hotel, know that they created that scent with you in mind.