Mercedes-Benz 'Han Sun' launches fragrance as a 'branding tool'
Using scents and perfumes to connect with consumers and foster brand loyalty can be a smart strategy for companies in any number of markets and industries looking to distinguish themselves from the competition.
“[Savvy] marketers are using scent as a branding tool - from airlines, upscale hotels and retailers to top-tier spas and celebrities,” according to Sue Phillips, fragrance developer as well as president and founder of Scenterprises, a global marketing and branding consultancy.
“The reason we have come up with the fragrance is because we wanted to form a stronger emotional relationship with the brand Han Sung and our customers,” explained Ulf Ausprung, the dealership’s CEO, at a recent launch event.
Tried and true
Perfumers and fragrance makers know full well that scent is compelling. “Customized fragrances are a strong branding vehicle,” confirms Phillips.
She encouragingly asks her corporate clients, “So, how does your brand smell?” “And, what does your fragrance say about you?”
As a branding tool, custom scents can increase sales in retail locations; moreover, well-blended fragrances can increase employee productivity, Phillips points out.
The showroom approach
Going forward, Han Sung Interior Fragrance will be in showrooms throughout Korea. Han Sun, the largest official Mercedes-Benz dealership in the country, celebrates 30 years in business this year, according to The Korea Herald. And that’s one reason the scent was launched now.
The scent was blended, by perfumer Christophe Laudamiel of Iscent, to suggest qualities of the car and of the business’s values. “Ausprung also provided three keywords to inspire the perfumer ― ‘pioneering’ …, ‘authenticity,’ and ‘noblesse oblige,’ reports Bae Ji-sook for the Herald.
Consumers appreciate and often anticipate the fragrance of brand or retail space. And before long, every brand will take advantage of this sort of Environmental Scenting, predicts Phillips. “More and more consumers are now attracted to complex scents and as long as those scents are congruent with the brand,” she explains.
Of course this is not the first time that the auto maker’s name has been involved with fragrance. Mercedes-Benz first branded scent for men first launched in 2012 in collaboration with perfumer Olivier Cresp, who described it as “[oscillating] between the fusing effect of the citrus cocktail and the addictive sensuality of an elegant woody sillage.”
Since then the automaker has put its name on new men’s and women’s fragrances in 2013, 2014, and 2015, according to fragrantica.com. It seems that existing and aspiring Benz customers make for aromatic brand ambassadors.
Scent can make or break a first impression. “Consumers react to their environment, whether consciously or unconsciously, as soon as they enter a space and draw conclusions about the entire company,” Phillips tells Cosmetics Design.
There are commonalities among consumer responses to scent. Women prefer vanilla, she notes. While, American consumers in general request “fresh and clean” fragrances.
She points to factories in Japan that have increased productivity with the scent of lemon and a bookstore in Belgium that increased sales 40% with the scent of chocolate, as valuable instances of fragrance in business.