The PRG Ideas Exchange is a series of monthly invite only events, which has been designed to delve deeper into the minds of some of the most creative people in the events industry, for an exchange of inspiring ideas.
In December, our guest speaker was Simon Harrop, Founding Director of The Aroma Company. Simon is an expert in multi-sensory brand marketing. His business provides strategic brand development and promotion through the sense of smell to brands.
Simon spoke about the ways in which multiple senses combine to make even more compelling branded experiences. The Aroma Company is a leading innovator of scent marketing technology, and Simon and his team have been globally recognised as industry experts.
Established in 1993, this small, unique and close knit team has built close relationships with agencies, retailers and the world’s global consumer goods companies. Anyone looking to improve their brand identity and presence in marketing campaigns using the sense of smell are their kind of customer!
Research has shown that of the five senses smell is the sense most linked to our emotional recollection. So, when linked to a product, it can reap dividends. Studies have shown that 75% of emotions are triggered by smell which is linked to pleasure, well-being and memory.
The Aroma Company enables brands to put this information to great use in terms of their own promotion and marketing campaigns. Incorporating scent into communications can enhance the connection with the brand, influence the buying process and get consumers talking about and interacting with the brand and campaign.
Five Fascinating Facts About Our Sense of Smell:
At the breakfast meeting, Simon Harrop shared some intriguing facts about our sense of smell.
1. Powerful emotions and memories are triggered by smell which is handy when you want people to buy your products. One of the most evocative smells from childhood is the smell of wax crayons. A survey found that 85% of all people remember their childhood when they smell Crayola crayons. When Crayola recently tried producing these products without their distinctive scent there was uproar!
2. The sense of smell is the first of all our senses to develop. Even before we are born, our sense of smell is fully formed and functioning.
3. The human brain can process roughly 10,000 smells in an area the size of a postage stamp, each triggering a neural response.
4. The smell of a new leather jacket or pair of shoes makes most people happy. But to some people a new car smells best of all. An artificial “new car smell” is sprayed inside new cars that lasts for six weeks. And while not everyone can own a Rolls-Royce, at least you could get the smell. The car manufacturer has reproduced the scent of the 1965 Silver Cloud and sprays it under the seats to recreate the smell of a classic Roller.
5. All over the world, top hotel chains have devised their own signature aromas. ‘Sheratons’ smell like fig, clove and jasmine; Westin lobbies go for white tea while the Four Points venues smell of cinnamon. Montcalm in the UK have used Simon’s expertise to create their own ‘scent butler’ where guests can choose what smell they want their room to smell of!
And Did You Know...
Our mood will increase by up to 46% if exposed to a positive picture
Our mood will increase by up to 23% if exposed to a positive taste
Our mood will increase by up to 29% if exposed to a positive touch
Our mood will increase by up to 65% if exposed to a positive sound
Our mood will increase by up to 75% if exposed to a positive smell
Harrop gave guests a sneak peek behind the scenes at the Aroma Company, with examples of recent projects the team have worked on:
Tiffany & Co’s Immersive Christmas Installation
A Christmas campaign for Tiffany last year saw the Aroma Company work on an immersive Christmas installation to go into St Pancras station in London. Tiffany needed the Aroma Company’s expertise in diffusing the fragrance, making sure it was safe and ticked all the boxes and paperwork to make it satisfactory for TFL.
Simon’s team worked with Tiffany’s fragrance oil and created cartridges to put into scent diffusers, programmed to release fragrance at a beautiful ambient level at specific intervals for commuters and shoppers to enjoy. The diffusion kit was built into the ‘presents’ and base of the tree, so the tree not only smelt beautiful, but looked incredible. A multi-sensory, immersive Christmas extravaganza!
Visit York’s Scented Guidebook
Under the guidance of the Aroma Company’s sensory experts, Cow PR and their client Visit York were able to create the UK’s first scented travel guidebook to replicate the aromatic experience of twelve popular York destinations and events.
The events and destinations were matched to smells ranging from lavender fields, manure, Wensleydale cheese, to the peculiar smell of ghost (which was surprisingly realistic!) As well as the scents, the Aroma Company also produced the final guidebook, which utilised Touch to Smell technology. Gently rubbing or touching the scented pages released a generous amount of fragrance to sample.
Coca Cola’s Out-of-Home (OOH) Campaign
The Aroma Company worked with Exterion and VGL on London's Underground, this time, with Coca Cola and their limited edition Cinnamon Coke. The campaign took place over Christmas 2018, and was designed to take customers on a sensory brand experience as they left the station.
The activation included cinnamon-scented exit corridors and a vinyl wrapped escalator with LEPs (escalator panels) with the cinnamon scent having been designed and supplied by the Aroma Company.