Has this gone too far? “Smellerific” Gift Cards!


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I am all for finding ways to make personal connections and for using sensory elements to enrich experiences, but can you apply those strategies to gift cards?

The key paragraph in a recent NY Times story read as follows:

“This year, retailers’ gift cards record messages, light up or smell like gingerbread. Some feature the work of noted photographers, others incorporate personal photos. Some can be sent via text message or Facebook posts, and others are tactile (like the one with little holes for a finger puppet).”

Need I say more?  Will any of this work?  Will people actually buy a gift card because it smells like gingerbread?  Why not?

Spend a little time with the work of Martin Lindstrom and you will appreciate the power of neuromarketing and the role of factors like olfactory and color branding.  For example, did you know that Singapore Airlines has a branded aroma that is sprayed in all it’s planes? Or that the smell of Play Doh contains vanilla because of it’s primal olfactory power?  (Who doesn’t remember that Play Doh smell?)

If a gift card can use smell, how about you?  Do you have an olfactory or visual color strategy to build emotional connections to your brand?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Michelli, Ph.D.
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., an organizational consultant and the chief experience officer of The Michelli Experience, authored The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the best-selling The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary.


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