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In its continual drive for innovation, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. has identified a largely uncharted area in the fragrance market—and it smells like your favorite brand.
Building on the idea of sensory branding—connecting consumers to a brand through the senses—IFF has been partnering with companies in the U.S. and Europe to help increase their brand identification with consumers through the use of scent. It is an aspect of branding that has only begun to be explored by companies. However, IFF has been researching this area for years, developing proprietary methods to understand the connection between fragrance and emotion and apply that knowledge to branding.
“Brand owners are becoming more aware of the importance of scent in sensory branding. Of all the senses, the sense of smell is ‘hard-wired' to the emotional centers of the brain. Scent is the new—and last—frontier of emotional branding,” said Alex Moskvin, Vice President of IFF's internal brand development agency, BrandEmotionsTM.
“IFF has pioneered the creation of scents within sensory brand identity systems. A ‘brandscent' can enhance significantly people's perceptions and experiences of a brand. For example, we have found that people spend more time in-store and browse more products because of the ‘scent identity effect.'”
IFF recently partnered with branding agency Lippincott Mercer on a sensory brand identity project for Samsung. IFF's challenge was to create a brandscent for Samsung Experience Stores that resonated with target consumers in all key markets around the world. Visitors to the store in New York City's Shops at Columbus Circle are already experiencing the brandscent IFF developed.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, Dutch advertising agency FHV BBDO recently approached IFF to assist them with an advertising campaign for athletic shoe retailer Foot Locker. The campaign, promoting a line of exclusive sneaker models, was targeted at “sneaker people”—those who love the smell of a new sneaker and love buying them. IFF captured the smell of a new sneaker and bottled it for Foot Locker to use for in-store sampling and as part of its print and outdoor advertising campaign throughout Europe.
“Scent has a unique power to evoke memories and emotion, and branding with scent allows companies to build a stronger connection between their products and the consumer,” said Angello Kostandas, Regional Marketing Director Functional Fragrance Europe. “Not only does IFF have the creative expertise to create an unconventional fragrance like the smell of a new sneaker, our marketing and consumer insight knowledge enables us to create unique fragrances for any product.”
In addition to scenting a store, a brandscent can also be incorporated into products (via scented plastics using IFF's PolyiffTM technology), into packaging, and into marketing materials—from scented business cards to scented product brochures. Another IFF technology, Sensory Perception™, allows fragrance to be incorporated into textiles, such as clothing, carpets, and furnishings. Winner of the 2005 FiFi® Award for “Technological Breakthrough of the Year,” Sensory Perception offers a unique opportunity for companies to brand their textile products with a signature scent.
“IFF is confident that brandscents will play an increasingly important role in emotional branding and we have the expertise and technology needed to help companies take advantage of this powerful branding tool,” Moskvin said.
IFF is a leading creator and manufacturer of flavors and fragrances used in a wide variety of consumer products—from fine fragrances and toiletries, to soaps, detergents and other household products, to beverages and food products. IFF is dedicated to The Pursuit of Excellence in every area of its business, using knowledge, creativity, innovation and technology to continually provide customers with the highest quality products and service and superior consumer understanding.
IFF has sales, manufacturing and creative facilities in 31 countries worldwide and annual sales of $2.0 billion. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.iff.com.
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