The recent cold weather will remind you more than ever; it’s time for a holiday. No one likes waking up to cold feet that snuck out of the covers overnight, or those moments standing outside the shower waiting for the frigid water to heat up. You would much rather be basking in the sun on an island paradise, or planning the adventures of the day in an exotic wonderland. You are not alone in this feeling either.
With long work days and the cold not helping at all, we all yearn for the escape of our reality. This is especially prevalent in the up and coming millennial generation, who value experiences over material possessions. But we can’t all live in a constant state of vacation (as much as we wish we could). So one trend that is dominating many different consumer markets is the quest to bring little bits of escape into our everyday lives. This is called escapism.
What is Escapism?
Reading a book that takes us away from our own lives and into the characters’ is a form of escapism. It is simply the things we do that let us break away from reality for a moment. Exercise is a great example that is good for both our bodies and minds. Even sleeping is a form of escape that lets us break away from our stress.
A little positive escapism can actually be a really good thing for our mental well-being. One method we can use to escape is through our noses. Not sure what we mean? It’s called “escapism scent”, and we’ll go into more detail so you can understand the concept in full.
We know scents have the ability to take us back into our memories, but can they transport us to places we’ve never been? Picture this: You are walking through a food court when the smell of paella hits your nose. The mix of that mediterranean sea scent and the zest of citrus; instantly you are walking the beaches of Spain. Or when you use your coffee scented scrub, you are taken to the rich rainforest of Brazil.
It’s such a powerful tool that it is even used by themed escape rooms to set the scene. An escape room is a real-life game where you are placed into a room, and given clues to try and escape from the room. The objective is to solve puzzles in order to get out of the room in time. Picture this: you are trapped in a prison cell, wrongfully accused of a crime. The room is dark, the air smells of concrete. The game now gives you clues on how to escape your fate before you get caught up in the prison riot.
Escape room customers need to feel like they are really trapped in the theme – it needs to be as believable as possible. Scent ensures a lasting experience and an emotional attachment to a fabricated game. It’s quite a unique way to improve a consumers impression, and it doesn’t only extend to this type of brand.
How Your Brand Can Benefit from Escapism Scent?
The perfume industry has been using this phenomenon for years. Making your personal scent match the experience you want to have is the most obvious way to escape. But there are also ways that brands can have the same effect. By using scent marketing, a brand can influence their customer’s experience, and therefore also their perception of the brand.
How does this phenomenon work? Scent helps a brand differentiate themselves from competitors by forming a deeper emotional connection with their consumers. For example, when you walk into the swimming costume section of a retail store, and you smell the familiar scent of sunscreen and chlorine, you are instantly transported to that products ideal experience. You can now actually picture yourself using the product and without even realising it, have formed an emotional connection to that brand.
Is Escapism Scent for Every Brand?
The list of brands that can benefit from this type of scent is pretty big. We’ve used holidays as good examples, but it really could be anything. The scent of leather in a luxury car dealership provides an escape for car-enthusiast customers, reminding them of the best parts of long drives. What you have to consider is how you want your customers to feel about you? Then use a scent to create that experience. By tapping into the market of experience, your customers will associate you with the escape they crave.
Keeping their interests and hobbies in mind, what do you think is your customers’ ideal escape?