What Does Your Brand Smell Like?

Tracy Pepe of Nose Knows Consulting asked that question. It might seem strange but when you consider consumers are 100 times more likely to recall something with an associated smell than they are something seen, heard, or touched, it makes sense.

I’m still processing the first day of Shopper Insights in Action 2010 sponsored by IIR US. It had everything from “scentvertising” to a neuroscientist (Mark Changizi) who conducts basic research in why our vision has evolved the way it is to Kit Yarrow who wrote Gen BuY and can explain Gen Y behavior better than most.

Mike Kitz of OfficeMax talked about how they took insights like “7 of 10 small businesses are started by women” and repositioned their business to focus on women shoppers. Insights had a major impact on their brand portfolio. They went from 0 premium brands to 14 in short order, all focused on “OfficeMax Eve’s” desire for fashionable designs in everyday office products. Results: “wildly successful”.

Liz Mohr from ConAgra and Donna Wydra from Ipsos spoke about their efforts to bring meal solutions to non-traditional retail outlets such as Dollar Store or your local drug store.  Those are not the kinds of places that come to mind when I think of “meal solution” but it turns out when they took insights and turned them into smart actions, they made some good progress.

Erik Keptner of Ahold USA spoke of their “Power of 3” strategy. Based on 3 customer fundamentals, 3 key constituents, and 3 key trends, They launched Scan It: a customer-facing, hand-held, scan-and-bag solution that marries self-service with targeted, in-aisle marketing.

So, as I process through what I’ve seen and heard today, I think one key takeaway for me is this: smart people are turning insights into action. I’m really looking forward to Day 2 tomorrow. Now I’m going to go figure out what ThinkWay smells like.