M’sian Startup Customising Aroma Oil For Brand Marketing
A whiff of lavender takes me to a relaxing spa where I first had a facial, while the Chinese feng you jing the oil takes me back down a winding road to Genting.
Distinct scents can transport me to a specific moment when I first met him. Smell is said to be the most influential in triggering memories among the five human senses.
Sensory Hub capitalizes on this emotional trigger. While most companies use mediums such as audio or visuals to capture the attention of the public, the company makes custom fragrances for brands.
Don’t let your nose run
Jayden Lee, who founded the company in 2014, believes there is a gap in the way companies approach the brand. Most advertise by appealing to the eyes and ears of the audience, making them wonder, what about our noses?
He rang: “It’s just as important as the other senses! Thus, we saw an opportunity in this market as it creates value for many brands, hotels, automotive showrooms, real estate auction houses, entertainment venues, among others.
When I came across this company, it reminded me of a Febreeze UK marketing initiative. He launched a few fragrances for brands, from KFC candles to Burger King fragrances.
However, Sensory Hub was not based on this idea. Jayden shared that scent marketing has been around for a long time.
Think Cinnabon with its sweet scent of cinnamon rolls iced with sugar syrup. It’s SOP for their franchises to place their ovens near the front of their stores where the buns are baked every 30 minutes.
Some stores even heat extra leaves of brown sugar and cinnamon to keep the aroma in the air.
Five-star hotels also use scent marketing through diffusers in their lobbies and washrooms. The luxurious and welcoming scent is usually enough to put the guests in a relaxed state.
Where I think Sensory Hub stands out is in the way they are able to design bespoke fragrances for individual brands.
A brand perfumer
Their tailor-made creations are made by an outsourced perfumer in France who uses a mixture of raw materials and natural essential oils.
This process can take 2-3 months after you understand a brand’s message compiled by the local team.
The Sensory Hub team will first visit a company to get an idea of the atmosphere, design, furniture, colors, etc. from his store. Samples are selected to receive feedback which will then undergo changes until customers are satisfied.
It is not too difficult to create unique fragrances, even for customers in the same industry. Jayden said each brand usually has a separate marketing message to convey.
“For example, Brand A might want calming scents for their restless customers, while Brand B might want an energetic scent to stimulate their customers,” he explained.
Once the curation is complete, the aromatic oil is installed in the building’s vents and diffused through the air conditioning ducts. Diffusion systems can cover spaces as small as an elevator or as large as a shopping mall.
Scents can last up to a month before needing to be restocked and serviced by the team. In total, diffusion systems and oils can cost anywhere from RM100 / month to RM4,000 / month depending on the size of the space.
A house that smells like a hotel
So far, they have served a wide range of clients across multiple industries, such as Zouk, Hong Leong Bank, Mah Sing Properties, Jaya Grocer, and Lexus showrooms.
Since most of their customers are B2B, the company took a plunge during the AGC. They were, however, still able to serve 30% of their clients in essential services.
“We have been successful in covering revenue with our hygiene department as we have seen an increase in demand for hygiene products and services such as toilet paper, disinfectants and disinfection services,” Jayden said. .
The perfume company is currently launching a mini version of its diffusers that can meet the B2C segment. These products will be in the form of deodorants for the home or the car.
This idea was born from feedback from customers who were so fond of their perfumes in showrooms that they also wanted it at home.
Jayden joked, “After all, who wouldn’t want their house to feel like a five star hotel?”
- You can read more about Sensory Hub here.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Jayden Lee, Founder of Sensory Hub
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