Marian stayed home to raise Michelle and her brother, Craig, skillfully managing...
Written by Jennifer Dublino, on June 8th, 2010
Supposedly the retailers are fighting with the brands over their right to use Scent Marketing at the Point of Sale. At least that’s what they say when asked why there is so little of it.
Actually, they may have other fish to fry. Demands for contributions to the retailers’ marketing efforts are running high, space on the shelf is limited. The retailers say “What if we would let everybody do it?” Besides, there’s not enough power supplies in the store. Excuses, excuses… More reasons against Scent Marketing than for it.
As a result a whole category has dried out. A future for those small, effective devices placed at the point of sale that looked so promising 10 years ago never happened. Not that they don’t exist. Early prototypes and units built on spec in small manufacturing runs are collecting dust in warehouses in Germany and California. And those are only the ones we know of.
The fine fragrance industry seemed to be a natural target when units from (now defunct but leading an interesting afterlife in cyberspace) aerome entered the US market. Little did they know that the ScentStrip® was considered the better solution by the majority of beauty brands and retailers. Cheap to make, easy to distribute, no batteries required. But let’s not forget that the prime purpose of the full-color, printed fellow was sampling of a product, not necessarily marketing of, say, a category. Interestingly enough ARCADE Marketing, maker of the trademarked ScentStrip®, is looking into novel approaches and diversifying into an extended, “non-traditional” client base for it’s long-running and very successful product. And guess what, Starwood Hotel’s Westin brand ran a scented insert (alas, not made by ARCADE) in Fast Company and WIRED magazine.
Scent on the printed page/piece of paper/coupon probably has the best chance of becoming the most effective, low cost Scent Marketing vehicle of the future. It certainly appeals to brands with relatively low-cost products (toothpaste, snacks, pizza, etc.) and creates only little logistical challenges compared to electricity-driven devices that need to be refilled, recharged, and ultimately recycled.
Another way is to incorporate scent into the packaging of a product. It’s plastic container, secondary packaging made from cardboard, the product’s cap or closure, the product label. Companies such as ScentsationalTechnologies have made great progress in the field and some brands are (slowly) being sold on the idea.
So what happened to the two bright-eyed German guys from aerome that drove their rented convertible all the way to Santa Barbara airport where – right under the control tower - ScentAir’s Forrest Fleming kept the secret to environmental scenting? They tried hard to forge an alliance between small (space) and big (space) but Forrest didn’t want to hear about it. ScentAir, under new leadership and saddled with lots of money, became the 800-pound gorilla of the industry, aerome went out of business and the other guy started the Scent Marketing Institute.
But that same night, after getting brushed off by Fleming, they had drinks with his VP of marketing, Carmine Santandrea. And he, today, with his ScentAndrea line of products is one of the last men standing between the product on the shelf and the consumer in the aisle.