I give my fair share of presentation and speeches each year, and a question I frequently ask the marketers, CEOs, CCOs, and advertisers in the audience is, what does your brand smells like. Scent, a key part to sensuality, seems to be on the verge of becoming big business, and cities might even benefit from the adoption of a scent – or it would if city planners knew what was good for them and city citizens.

A recent article in the New York Times provides a few justifications for cities and designers to embrace scent: the scent of lemon and blossoms can encourage people to be cleaner; flowers can act as natural air fresheners; scent can encourage recovery, creativity, memory, and reduce stress – the smell of spiced apple has even been shown to lower blood pressure.

When scent is one of the biggest triggers for memory, a brand (whether it be a product or city) should embrace a fragrance that a person can attribute an experience to – and please not the smell of Times Square on a hot and humid New York summer’s day. It could create a more harmonious environment, or spring a memory on a visitor years after they last visited you

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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