Customer expectation is evolving and increasing, and brands need to remain one step ahead. According to Assurant, 88% of consumers expect their experience with the companies they use to keep getting better in the future, and a report by Salesforce found that 76% of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere — switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations.
Being consistent with high brand expectations, ensuring customers can walk in and have the same brand experience regardless of location is a critical factor for any retailer, and the automotive retail sector is no exception. Whether it’s the first or one of several visits a customer makes (and Buyacar.co.uk state that a third of consumers visit three dealerships, 33.4% visit four or more, and a total percentage of those visiting at least three is 67%), they should be presented with a consistent, signature look, feel and smell of the brand.
During our recent research one multi-brand automotive retailer commented:
“As a retailer, we invest money into the site because we appreciate the atmosphere and first impressions play a part in someone’s choice. The first contact and reaction to the customer is very important, but all senses support that.”
Signature scents for brand impact
As brands move to position themselves as way of life experiences, ‘sensory signatures’ are becoming more and more common. Amplification of the impact of individual sensory elements, used holistically can generate enhanced involvement and create a consistent, recognisable brand identity.
Research tells us that people can recall smell with 65% accuracy even after a year. It is clear that with such a powerful memory attached to our olfactory systems, car brands that are choosing to create signature scents, or olfactive logos, that deliver a strong yet subtle brand affiliation, are reaping the rewards of having loyal customers who feel like they are a part of the brand from the very moment they enter the showroom.
In a competitive environment, where customers are increasingly discerning, these signature scents can go a very long way towards enhancing your brand and providing a more powerful customer experience, giving clear differentiation against your competiton. They are based on a deep understanding of your customers and your brand strategy and create a sensory experience your customers will associate with your brand, no matter which branch they visit.
Signature scents are unique and become a true part of the brand, allowing consumers to experience the brand with all of their senses. When someone walks into car showroom with a signature scent, they instantly recognise not only the logo, but also certain colours, style and décor that are part of that brand identity. Scenting is part of the overall experience.
Creating your ideal signature brand fragrance
A signature scent can take weeks of consultation, design and testing to get it right, but the experience is enjoyable, and the results are outstanding. It’s not just about what you want to scent to do or say, it’s about how you want to make your showroom feel. It’s essential to make sure that we understand the essence of your brand, so that the perfect emotions can be evoked.
This whole experience is described perfectly by one of our master perfumers, Christophe Laudamiel, in our ‘Composing Your Brand Fragrance’ video. Not solely a master perfumer, Christophe is also a scent composer, Osmocurator™ and trained chemist who has created fragrances for Houses such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Tom Ford, Clinique, Michael Kors and Abercrombie & Fitch. He has become a global leader in the creation of scent for spaces, and is known for his pioneering work across fragrant applications.
We also work with Raymond Matts, former Vice-President of Estée Lauder Fragrances Worldwide. Raymond is a world renowned ‘Nose’, creating leading fragrances for some of the world’s most exclusive perfumers, such as Estée Lauder, Clinique and Tommy Hilfiger. He works with our scenting specialists to teach, create, innovate and inspire the use of scenting as a brand marketing tool. Described as a fragrance architect, Raymond has spent two decades understanding and creating fragrances to harmonise our senses.
We know that engaging all of the senses in balance creates stronger message structures from the brain, creating differentiation and stronger memories of a brand. Our specialists work hard with Christophe, Raymond and you to make signature scents perfect for your brand. It’s a fascinating process that we outline in our Ultimate Car Showroom Experience report, including:
- Briefing for the ultimate brand fragrance
- Understanding the essence of your brand
- Creating the brand connection through emotion and experience
- Perfumery: A fusion of art and science