Contributed by Christina Jacobs – Mombati Writers Group (MWG)
An old song of romance spoke of love and affection as the “tender traps” of a relationship. The reality in today’s “product” world, however, is different.
A good fragrance holds more power than love that comes from a place of significance.
Many brand owners use certain scents to lure in customers into retail stores and other facilities, making it the “tender trap” of the modern industrial sphere. Like a beautiful string of musical notes blended to a harmony of perfection, an intimately crafted and carefully diffused fragrance with its top, middle and finishing notes has an equally powerful effect on the sense of those it comes in contact with.
Whether it is an enticing oudh fragrance oil for a loved one or an appropriate aroma chosen for diffusion throughout a cozy space, fragrance has an undeniable ability to inspire moods, bring up past memories and touch the limbic nerves that other forms of “commercial” elements can’t.
The cliche fragrance attraction
No doubt, perfume branding is an intelligent concept; an artform that shakes deepest emotions, and at its worst, mocks our smarts as a consumer. It is difficult to sell a fragrance – making considerable sales on a product that is meant to be communicated to our nose buds is tricky to describe and evaluate with the existing media. In turn, this leaves scent makers with other means, often trying to create an image of people and lifestyle associated with the perfume.
More and more statistical proof has gone into proving the effectiveness of scent to direct emotional responses and stimuli of consumers, but as a fragrance manufacturer, is scent the only element that attracts customers towards your product?
If you pay close attention to the pattern of some fragrance brands, the decades-old “story book” tips are still relevant today. We all know how “deeply” emotional perfume can be. The main aim of any scent brand is to develop an image the wider masses can connect well with.
Now, the feature can have a model or celebrity in an appealing setting on a luxurious real-estate house containing expensive materials. According to the parody by the comedian Neel Kolhatkar, this is what pushing good quality of, say an oudh fragrance oil, is all about. The pattern is so common that you might think it has stopped affecting individual mindsets.
How on earth can something so cliche work on an educated customer, anyway?
But it does. Every single time.
The high-quality KFC aroma
Let’s talk about the good ol’ fried chicken. Fastfood-goers can pick up a quick big bag of fried chicken at the nearest KFC and keep the savory sensation going on even after the last bite through the ever so replenishing zinger. The decades-old fast food brand has been bringing in loved ones together at the dinner table around a bucket of fried chicken. According to scientists, the scent of chicken causes a “Pavlovian” response, making the passive “sniffers” ravenously search for the source.
Humans, however, don’t always run for a bouquet of roses or a bed of royal roses when dabbing on perfume, so why is it that people start craving for fried chicken as soon as the smell wafts underneath their nose?
It has a lot to do with how our brains are wired. The fried chicken fragrance not only tells us that we are getting a generous reward of good quality protein but also lights up the brain’s amygdala – a very sensitive area of our brain where emotions are processed. The bite of KFC, thus, becomes a source of familiarity, reminding us of the days of family picnics and the smell of herbs drifting in the air.
Yes, as consumers we are attracted to things that smell spectacular, wringing our amygdala, but also pay close attention to quality and the deep emotional connection we share with each one.
The “other elements”: Familiarity, bottles and just good perfume
People want products that are exciting and advanced but still feel familiar. A too traditional output feels boring to most of us, but too much novelty becomes equally frightening. There is no efficient way of telling a scent enthusiast how the fragrance smells or feels like, especially if it is a familiar one. Hence, as a perfume maker, you need to consider placing both new and existing elements in the visuals of the product.
How do you do that, though?
First move is to make the fragrance acceptable. Devise a detailed blueprint for a scent that the audience has utilized, both commercially and personally, a zillion times. The second step is to create a perfume or sultry oudh fragrance oil with advanced features. Now that your brand has utilized all “acceptable” cues of pushing the consumer’s emotional buttons, it is time to showcase some upgrades: the carefully designed perfume bottle. The latter is one of the, if not only, secret weapons of the perfuming realm that communicates the message that your scent is, indeed, distinctive.
If you visit a department store, you are likely to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of fragrances in the perfume section. With such a wide range to choose from in between the aisles, the eyes will catch the most peculiar shape of glass and mix of bewitching colors. Once procured, a customer will want something “known” in order to make the final purchase: a close-to-home fragrance. Nothing too exhilarating. Just good old perfume in a fancy bottle.
It’s not just formulae, it is creativity
The creative perfumers are more than just chemical experts working on formulae. They are artists, working hard at innovation, while perfecting the ancient flair of fragrance creation.
Those with impeccable mastery in the field are responsible for training technicians, upcoming apprentice perfumers and making the sales staff aware about their product. It is the lab research on new materials and stretching the boundaries of industrial science to create new experiences, together, that makes any product more attractive to a common customer.
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