Scented coatings are an important component in multisensory marketing. They have a specific impact on the customer’s sensory perception and emotions, so that they remember the product more intensely and for longer. Photograph: Follmann
Pleasantly fragrant packaging
Appealing to our senses
We all know that it can be someone’s smell that decides whether we like them or not. No matter how hard they try, if you can smell a rat, you’ll run a mile. It’s similar with packaging. Ideally, it should speak to us through at least one of our five senses. In most cases it’s our visual perception that encourages us to pick up a packaged product. However, studies have shown for quite a while now that it’s not just our eyes, but also our nose that plays a role in choosing a product. This is why stores often use tantalising smells to guide us to specific products and arouse in us the desire to buy them.
One product that is naturally associated with our olfactory sense is of course perfume. Anyone wanting to buy a scent has to have a good sniff first. Specialist retailers therefore have testers with test strips or even samples, although these are only offered for a small selection of fragrances, as they can be quite expensive to make. So why not put a fragrance on the actual packaging, as a way to illustrate the product inside? It’s already being done for washing powder which is sometimes sold with a perforated mini-package, giving customers an inkling of the fragrance inside.
Studies have shown that customers make more specific and faster purchase decisions if they can smell the fragrance of a product at the point of sale. Photograph: Follmann
A totally new idea for adding fragrances to packaging comes from the specialist packaging company Follmann whereby micro-capsules are enclosed within an oil-based scented coating, giving off a fragrance as soon as it is touched. Even after one year, the coating apparently preserves its scent 1:1, accurately reflecting the product within. The new process can easily be applied to shrink-wrapped products in the cosmetics and perfume industries. Not only does it save on the production costs of lavish samples, but it also reduces the unnecessary and undesirable opening of packages by customers who often want to test a perfume, shower gel or cream right there, at the store.
According to the manufacturers, Folco Scent coatings perform well on production machinery, and the washing intervals of the rolls are apparently even better with large quantities. The technology can be applied in sheet-fed and web offset as well as in flexographic and screen printing.