Hospitality and retail companies are fascinated with branding, some right down to their customers’ senses. Allison Shipp, account manager at scent marketer Air Aroma, said by creating a dedicated scent all your own, your guests can form memories bonded to the scent, ensuring they come back.
“Your sense of smell is tied directly to the part of your brain that categorises memory and emotions,” she said. “They remember the meaning of these things for all eternity.”
Shipp said her company first puts together a brief on a brand’s ideal customer, then combines it with the brand’s idealised self-image. So if there are roses in the logo, they will work the scent of roses into the overall concoction. The article further explains that when a proper essence is derived, it is installed using mist diffusers in select areas of the hotel, often in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the most consistent effect.
Trent Freeman, director of operations at the Valencia Group, advises that the lobby entrance, meeting rooms and public hallways are the key areas to odorise, while the guest rooms should be odorised to a milder extent.
“When doing room inspections, we make sure the scent is up to par, but we don’t want to overwhelm,” Freeman said. “Guests love it, but the practice can face negative feedback if they are exposed to it too much.”
And for the hearing senses, many hotel brands are taking a new music-centric focus that is putting playlist curating and the act of choosing live acts into the limelight. The article refers to consider Matthew Watts, director of music & marketing at Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, who has made it his mission for Hard Rock’s sonic identity to match the look of its resorts. There are also “vibe managers” on property to act as touchpoints between guests and the property in order to organically control entertainment.
“Everybody is a music expert!” Watts said. “The vibe manager interacts with guests and will program what they like into play, but crowdsourcing can be a scary thing if you get diehard fans [of certain genres] calling for something. For us, we have experts in place to create those experiences.”
Watts also said the biggest mistake hotels make sonically is the desire to capture a customer base that simply isn’t at their property. Also, a party playlist isn’t always what is desired so it is best to leave it to the guests.
“At our San Diego property, guests are asked at check-in about their favourite genres, and we have that playing from their guestroom TV when they walk in,” Watts said. “Sometimes you will walk into a New York hotel that is sounding super hip, but the guest staying there may not be looking for that and there is a disconnect.”
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