Hotel’s Top Marketing Tactic is Invisible to the Eye (But Not the Nose)

Inside the World of Scent Branding

When you step foot inside a ritzy hotel lobby, what’s the first thing you notice? Maybe it’s the over-the-top decor, ambiance lighting, or the smooth melody of jazz instrumentals playing softly in the background. In reality, on a subconscious level – before the brain even processes sights and sounds – your emotions and behavior are already being influenced by the most powerful sense of all: scent.

Out of all our senses, scent is the only one to bypass the cognitive part of the brain to go straight to the limbic system; the area where all our memories are stored. It’s because of this ability to directly influence behavior, that scent marketing has become a popular trend in industries like retail, restaurants and hotels. 

Translating a Brand Into a Scent

 Hotels start by defining their brands’ personality, tone of voice and overall emotions they would like associated with the brand experience. Since scents are known to evoke particular feelings – for example, jasmine to promote feelings of relaxation – emotions are on the frontline when it comes to crafting a brand’s signature scent.

For example, inspired by 1 Hotel Miami Beach, our “My Way” scent is a woody and alluring blend of sandalwood and warm cedar, complemented by subtle hints of iris. The results are a sensual and luxurious ambiance that’s synonymous with the vibes at this swanky South Beach hotel.

Beyond creating a unique brand experience within their property, most hoteliers now offer guests the ability to recreate the “hotel room feel” at home through our hotel inspired collections of candles, reed diffusers and even luxury bath soaps!


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