23/05/2017 - 10:39

Innovation in the air as Crown sniffs an opportunity

23/05/2017 - 10:39

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Crown is hoping to provide its customers with a memorable sensory experience.

Sean Lewer (left) and Andrew Cairns say brand fragrancing is the new force in marketing. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A famished shopper might be attracted by a recognisable smell wafting from a food franchise, but can that olfactory connection be made by other businesses?

It appears so.

Resorts giant Crown has enlisted the services of a Perth-based firm to develop a suite of fragrances for its luxury Crown Towers Perth, tapping into a fast-growing evolution in marketing and brand identification.

The initiative is designed to cement the impression of ultra-luxury, according to Crown Perth Hotels executive general manager Andrew Cairns.

Mr Cairns said brand fragrancing (the association of a particular brand with a fragrance) was growing in popularity across the globe, particularly in the hospitality sector, as hoteliers sought every possible angle to create a point of difference.

Research conducted by the Global Journal of Commerce and Management in 2013 showed ambient scent had the strongest impact when it comes to enhancing customer satisfaction, through the creation of a welcoming, fresh and pleasant environment.

Mr Cairns said Crown had partnered with Welshpool-based odour prevention and brand fragrancing group World Environmental Technologies to develop a signature scent for the Crown Towers hotel, aligning it closely with its Melbourne counterpart.

“It’s not unusual for a hotel to do this, but what it does is cement a brand impression,” Mr Cairns told Business News.

“It’s that last sense, if you like; you’ve got all the other senses that are heightened when you walk in – sight, touch, all of those things are there, but a scent is more unique and it’s more of a lasting sense.

“It really rounds it all off, and that’s what luxury experiences are all about, giving a whole sensation.”

Mr Cairns said Crown had also developed a range of scented candles for guests to purchase, while a mist spray was also in the works.

“It’s about that sensory experience that is creating an iconic smell that people can take with them, or when they walk in it brings back those memories,” he said.

World Environmental Technologies business development manager Sean Lewer said the concept of brand fragrancing was still something of an untapped market in Australia, but was gaining significant momentum overseas.

“You have to go abroad to really see the full impact of the concept,” Mr Lewer told Business News.

“In the US, I saw an article where a nationwide steakhouse was promoting a new steak, and they had the scent of steak just pumping out on the highway.”

“So what does that do? It tantalises the taste buds and everyone turned around, made a u-turn and went to the steakhouse.”

Mr Lewer said WET had developed a proprietary fragrance diffusion system, which comprises scent-creating units that are connected to a building’s existing ventilation and air-conditioning ducts.

“The technology is in the diffusion boxes, which is something we’re quite proud of because we’ve created that ourselves – it’s not something you can buy off the shelf,” he said.

“You put the fragrance inside a canister, you then pump air into the fragrance, which converts it into a fog, and then the fog is pumped into the air-conditioning ducts.

“On the gaming floor and throughout reception you need a big delivery system. Our reservoirs can hold between five and 10 litres of the fragrance, which lasts roughly about a month, depending on the size of the room.”

Mr Lewer also said the brand fragrancing concept was also not limited to a physical building, with scents able to be embedded across a broad range of marketing materials.

“What we are trying to do is offer an overall package to a customer,” he said.

“They can then tie their sent into all of their marketing, i.e. their leaflets and brochures that they send out to customers.

“You open up an envelope, and bang, the scent hits them. We’re trying to change people’s perceptions around marketing, which takes time and it’s hard.”

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