The majority of you will read this and hear 'Focus Brands International' and have no idea who that company is, but I guarantee 90% of you have eaten their products or at least heard of them. Focus Brands International is a privately owned company that owns 5 different world wide food brands:
Many of us have engaged in a mouthwatering Cinnabon after walking through the mall and breathing the sweet aroma of frosting and cinnamon. Do not be ashamed to admit to your gluttonous behavior because we have all done it. I am guilty of being at the Boca Mall last weekend with my Sister-in-Law and while on the way to the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale (Yes ladies it is still going on! BUT HURRY!) and walking by the 1 of 2 Auntie Anne's in the Boca Town Center. The freshly baked pretzel bites were screaming my name and here I go giving in to their stinky, smelly, but 'ohhh so good' marketing technique.
Everyone has a different approach to marketing and for the Focus Brand International franchises their approach has made them a hit. Their signature marketing tactic is smell. Research has proven that 80% of taste is aroma. So how have they used this to their advantage? Smell has been linked with 'involuntary memory'; these memories are triggered by different scents that induce powerful and vivid memories and are more realistic than a 'voluntary' memory that is person is purposely trying to recall. By using different scents a brand is able to develop a stronger and more emotional relationship with the consumer. Once the scent becomes embedded in a person's brain, the experience with the scent can be revived when introduced later. Cinnabon has used this 'stinky' marketing to help restore their customers' experiences and reintroduce the craving for their product to generate sales.
Like I mentioned earlier, everyone has been in a mall shopping when all of a sudden....."Cinnabon... you want a cinnabon.... you NEED a cinnabon...." happens. The smell of the cinnamon rolls is so powerful that in an instant your mouth is watering and you are in the line. But how and why does this happen?
Cinnabon bakes their products and when baking the natural aroma of the buns is released. But, they can't bake all day long to continue to maintain that smell... Correct! Cinnabon actually uses top of the line cinnamon scents and air fresheners to help maintain the succulent smell that never fails. By continuing to release the scent into the air, mall shoppers are constantly being exposed while walking by and some will give in, thus creating sales. Focus Brands believes that smell marketing is one of the strongest ways to create and maintain their brands' relationships with their consumers. By associating the smell of fresh baked goods with the experience, they are able to 'involuntarily' reenact these experiences with the exposition of their smell to their consumers thus creating a demand to relive the positive encounter.
This marketing technique has also been used by bookstores (Barnes & Nobles), coffee shops (Starbucks), fast food restaurants (McDonald's and KFC), and even retail stores (Abercrombie & Fitch). Next time you're out shopping, check to see if you can smell your products marketing!