Nancy Daskalou, Key Account Manager at Scent +, answers our questions about Sensory Marketing and its possible applications in Hotels11 mins read
Our 5 senses decisively influence the consumer behavior of travellers, having the ability to create both positive and negative predisposition to visitors in fractions of a second. This conclusion emerges from a number of research papers of modern Psychology & Neurology which, analyzing the spontaneous behavior of consumers, concluded that consumption is an impulsive energy and rather emotional than logical.
Modern Marketing deals very closely with the 5 senses, establishes its existence in different consumer behaviors, analyzes their impact on everyday life, and constantly researches new ways of application for the benefit of both businesses and consumers. Especially in the hotel industry, where the object of reference is the guest experience, the application of Sensory Marketing finds a 100% response and is completely measurable.
So, the combination of the two most fundamental human senses, smell and hearing, can give an even greater impetus to the creativity of a highly interactive and energetic environment on the one hand, but also lead the visitor to the ultimate hotel experience. Of course, choosing the ideal scent or sound is a complex process, in which hoteliers must take into account many parameters.
Understanding the need for training on Sensory Marketing and with more and more hotels wanting to provide the ultimate guest experience, we will host in a know-how interview, Nancy Daskalou, Key Account Manager at Scent+, one of the leading companies in Sensory Marketing, which helps hotels enhance their guest experience through the use of the two most important senses, smell and hearing.
First of all, Nancy, thank you for accepting to answer our questions on Sensory Marketing, an innovative topic indeed. Starting our interview, I realize that Sensory Marketing is addressed not only to hotels but to all businesses. What is Sensory Marketing and how does Scent Plus offer this service?
Firstly, I would like to thank you for having me, since Hotelier Academy is a reference point for all modern hoteliers as it has great expertise in the subject. In addition, the joy is mine, since, in turn, I will be able to initiate you to the world of Sensory Marketing.
To begin with, Scent+ has been present in companies for over 30 years, through Scent Marketing (olfactory marketing), and its evolution. While following the trends of neuro-marketing science & psychology, Scent+ enhances the experience of consumers/visitors adding the sense of hearing, which significantly increases the sales potential, the offer of experiential activities, and many more benefits for both businesses and consumers. So, skillfully combining fragrance and music, it was led to Sensory Marketing.
When we say Sensory Marketing, we are referring to the integration of the 5 senses; sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, in the purchasing process, in order to influence consumers and create a relationship with the brand on an emotional level. Its application can concern all senses together or some.
At Scent Plus, as I mentioned, we currently combine 2 of the 5 senses and by studying the needs, values, and characteristics of a business, we propose and implement specialized solutions.
Could you explain to us how hoteliers encounter the integration of senses in their Marketing Strategy? Is it something that impresses them?
The connection of Scent+ with the “hotel world” is a key pillar of our strategy and an integral part of us. We already maintain several collaborations with well-known hotels of various categories (resorts, boutiques, city hotels, etc.), on the one hand, because sensory marketing finds perfect application in the hotel industry, since the shaping of an experience is a matter of major importance for today’s hotelier and, on the other hand, because in the hotel industry hoteliers keep up with marketing developments, follow new market trends worldwide, read research papers, and are generally informed, realizing, therefore, the necessity and effectiveness of using senses as a means of communication.
Hoteliers who want to add value to their business, to stand out from the competition, to make their guests happy, as they will have lived a unique experience during their stay at the hotel and have trusted the proposal of Scent+ to achieve this, are only winners and this is something that is reflected both in the positive reviews and in the creation of repeaters! What may impress them and seem particularly attractive and interesting to them, is the combination of the two senses, that is, how fragrance can be combined with music.
Choosing fragrance or music is considered by many to be an “easy task”. What are the criteria for selecting the right fragrance and music for each accommodation and how can the combination of the two enhance its branding identity?
Generally, yes, choosing a fragrance can be considered an easy task. If you want to achieve a pleasantly scented space, yes, it is an easy task, after all, all fragrances smell nice. But if you want to create a communication environment between the company and its audience, to create an experience based on the concept and to use the fragrance as a sales tool, investing in it, then the task is not easy at all. So, it depends on the philosophy and vision of each company.
For us at Scent+, the goal is for our experienced partners to suggest the right fragrance for the space, the one that will highlight the values, personality, and characteristics of the company. Now in relation to your question about the selection criteria for the right fragrance and the right music, we study in-depth the hotel brand, the hotel concept, its audience, its location, and what is the message that this accommodation wants to convey. Do not forget that the hotel industry is based on the experience and the facilities it offers to the visitor/traveller. Regarding the promotion of the hotel’s brand identity, for us, it is probably the main goal.
It is a fact that regardless of their size or category, tourist accommodations tend to form their own commercial identity, which should be unified, and we, with our contribution, strengthen this direction. Research shows that a place that is properly scented and has the right music is recorded positively in our memory and stands out from the competition. Therefore, when the fragrance meets the music and these two “forces” are harmoniously combined, they can create the ultimate brand identity, which will be captured in the most powerful and effective way in the minds and hearts of consumers.
What is the process you follow to create a personalized fragrance and music selection suggestions for a hotel? I mean, could you create a custom combination of aroma and music for its spaces?
The process behind proposing the right fragrance and music is to study the hotel brand, its style, its audience, its location, and what message this particular accommodation wants to convey, as I have already mentioned. In order to achieve the best results, our team collaborates with leading perfumers, who create the olfactory proposals and experienced music curators, who create the music lists. They study and propose solutions according to the concept.
Of course, those who wish to receive a custom proposal for their Scent Branding are given the opportunity, only the process of recording the business profile becomes much more meticulous, following a specific questionnaire. Our perfumers study the brand values and the personality of the company, decode them into aromatic notes, and create the first samples of the “Aromatic Identity” of the accommodation. Then, after consulting with the hotelier in regards to the samples we have created, we end up with the final fragrance that will represent the brand.
Finally, the customer will receive a special certificate of uniqueness and exclusive use of the fragrance – which will bear the Brand and their signature.
In which areas of the Hotel is Sensory Marketing applied? Do you advise hotels to use the same fragrance and music in all areas or should they differ, and why?
The application of sensory marketing takes place in the lobby, which is the most important point of application as it is the traveller’s first contact with the hotel, after booking, where they will express their first feelings about their choice. Other places are also the F&B outlets, the spa, places of entertainment and leisure, etc. Our advice to hoteliers is that every case is different. Depending on the hotel concept, we suggest corresponding solutions for the music in each space, but also for the aroma.
For example, Food & Beverage outlets can offer visitors a unique experience of emotions but also make them stay longer, resulting in higher consumption. The combination of aroma, for example, chocolate and brandy, in perfect harmony with the appropriate background music can highlight the personality of the accommodation and get the visitor to feel maximum satisfaction and a strong desire for consumption. Their satisfaction will be reflected in positive reviews on social media but also in their return to the accommodation (repeater).
Let us now turn to the practical part of Sensory Marketing. What kind of equipment is needed to apply both the fragrance and the music? Does it need maintenance, and if so, what kind of maintenance is necessary and, finally, is it provided by Scent+?
The application of sensory marketing is proposed and implemented by us. We provide new technology atmospheric mechanisms that diffuse the aroma in a natural way. Every month our specialized partner visits the site and takes care of both the maintenance and the proper operation of the mechanisms. Finally, in the matter of music, we use an innovative, specialized program, the melody mixer, which works without the internet, provides the highest sound quality and is updated automatically from Amazon. All our actions are always in full consultation with our customers and the needs they have every time.
What other potential does a hotel get from implementing Sensory Marketing? Can it contribute to the upselling policy?
At Scent+ we consider the upselling perspective of hotels through Scent Marketing extremely important, as it is an additional incentive for them. In addition to enhancing the overall experience, hoteliers can also generate significant revenue by promoting small product purchases based on the hotel’s unique fragrance. Branded products such as wooden sticks, scented candles, scented wipes, fabric fresheners, etc., can either decorate the rooms, to upgrade the hotel experience, be given as travel gifts, or even be put up for sale so that departing travellers can get a “smell” from their trip. Until their return…
Paris Sklavos is an Authorized Content Developer at Hotelier Academy, and one of the emerging professionals in the field of tourism, specializing in writing travel guides, hotel promoting articles, and educational content for hoteliers. His interaction with the industry over the last six years, having worked with more than 200 hotels and written 100+ travel guides, has given him a complete picture of the industry, and the ability to see through the eyes of the consumer and the hotelier.