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February 4, 2009

I Love the Scent of Naming and Branding in the Morning

NoseSmell.gifI am always fascinated by the naming and branding behind new scents, and today's Wall Street Journal has given me food for thought.

Interestingly, the scents attached to cleaning products are the "the lowest-hanging fruit as far as new-product innovation is concerned -- you don't have to change a capability or substantiate a new claim." Just cook up a new scent, add a good name to it, and viola, you have a new and improved version of the same old formula.

Of the over 3,000 new cleaning products introduced last year, a whopping 93% had a new scent, an increase of 100% over 2004. Consumers today, referred to at Procter & Gamble as "scent seekers," are going for unique scents like "Moroccan Bazaar," "Brazilian Carnaval," and "Hawaiian Aloha."

Then there is the importance of scents in retail environments, for example, after Westin hotels have cleaned up with their "White Tea" scent guests can ask for it in the gift shop.

Home scents have also moved beyond just cleaning products; check out the offerings from Fruits & Passion. There is even a chart that tells us how certain scents make us feel:

  • The scent of talcum powder makes us feel safe.
  • The smell of apples and cucumber makes a room feel bigger.
  • And the scent of pumpkin pie and lavender are especially arousing scents for a man - though the smell of the sweat of nursing mothers is the big turn on.
The most intriguing, however, are the personal scents we like. Some want to smell like Wall Street (brisk citrus), or Park Ave (which smells like florals).

Now, whether or not Wall Street actually smells like brisk citrus is almost irrelevant. The most important element to a name is its ability to interest the consumer in learning more. And really, I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to take a whiff of Wall Street in a bottle.

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Posted by William Lozito at February 4, 2009 9:07 AM
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