Scent marketing for wine?

by Eve Resnick on December 8, 2008

in General

80% of brand communication is visual or auditory. “According to the Sense of Smell Institute in New York, the average human being is able to recognize approximately 10,000 different odors. People can recall smells with 65 percent accuracy after a year, while the visual recall of photos decreases to about 50 percent after only three months”, writes Ana Paula Palombo Terzi in her article on

Wine – like perfume – is about the 5 senses: visual, olfactory, auditory, sensory and tactile. Because marketing is very much about visual arts, most marketers forget the importance of scent in branding wines. Especially on web sites! Branding wine is about creating an emotional link between the wine consumer and the brand. Who doesn’t remember the wonderful evening spent with friends during the summer drinking this light and delicious wine? You kept such a wonderful memory of the smells of this summer evening that you bought a case of the wine and drank it at home with some friends a few months later. When you opened the bottle, all the fragrances of this summer night came back: the night blooming jasmine if you were in California, the lavender and the thyme if you were in Southern France…

How can we re-create the scent experience on a web site? Of course, there are now a few softwares, such as the iSmell of the defunct Digiscents. More interestingly, the sense of scent can be carried by logos, images, names, etc. Marketing is no longer enough to close a deal – it initiates the relationship between consumers and brands. A strong relationship is based on an emotional link that the olfactory sense can convey deeply. According to Palombo Terzi, “Scent marketing goes beyond creating an olfactive equivalent for a brand; it engages consumers to experience a brand on a deeper level and recall what the brand is offering them. Scent marketing aims to create emotional content and stir these emotions—not just on an olfactory level, but in a multi-sensorial context that exploits the complex inner workings of the human mind that bind physical sensation with emotions, attitudes and perceptions.”

Isn’t it exactly what wine is all about? Cheers!

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