Smells Like Social Media

Scent for social mediaWe’ve seen some unusual fragrance concepts, but how about a scent “Made for Social Media?” The new unisex fragrance, suggestively named Erox, comes from online community operator Crowdgather (CRWG). The scent incorporates synthetic human pheromones, and, according to the announcement, it has been “proven to increase feelings of arousal, excitement, social warmth and friendliness in both female and male users.”

Crowdgather intends to use online communities and social media to market the fragrance. CrowdGather CEO Sanjay Sabnani hopes the launch of Erox will “showcase how powerful a channel this can be for launching and selling future products.”

There’s little doubt that product buzz can spread via online communities and social networks, though the introduction of a pheromone-based cologne seems a bit of a stretch for a firm running forums that cater to writers and paintball enthusiasts, among others.

The social tie-in does raise the intriguing possibility of an aroma-generating peripheral device for your PC. What if every time you logged into a community, a USB-connected device released a little blast of Erox at you? Even if the pheromone performance claims are bogus, a scent could set a mood or perhaps boost recall of your last experience on the site (see The Brut Effect). And, as a long-time community architect and admin myself, I like the idea of spreading warmth and friendliness – it might cut down on flame wars, trolls, and other bad behavior.

Neuromarketing might be the perfect blog community to run such a test… stay tuned for ordering info! ;)

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Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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7 responses to "Smells Like Social Media" — Your Turn

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Rod Dunne 29. June 2011 at 7:44 am

I would have thought the scent of Social Media would be well-brewed coffee! ;c) It does however sound a little bit like jumping on the social-bandwagon.

Its worth a try however. In a similar vein, some kindle readers do note the downsides of using ebook readers as being (i) the lack of page texture & (ii) no scent of the book pages – if I recall, I even think some bright spark created a book-scent spray for Kindle users.

Surely, these are novelties but scent marketing does work. After all, its why your major coffee shop always has a fresh pot brewing to draw in passing traffic… maybe that USB scent device isn’t such a bad idea!!

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Roger Dooley
Twitter: rogerdooley
29. June 2011 at 10:29 am

Agree, Rod, SM does seem to run mainly on caffeine!

Roger

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Raymond Matts 29. June 2011 at 9:23 am

Interesting since humans can not detect pheromones…. one more jumping on the bandwagon of marketing hype with no relevance to fragrances.

Using the idea of scenting marketing is an amazing tool when done by experts who understand the properties of fragrances and what they can do.

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Roger Dooley
Twitter: rogerdooley
29. June 2011 at 10:38 am

I agree on the marketing hype part, Raymond, though I’m not sure about the pheromones. Humans are definitely receptive to some scent cues they may not recognize or be aware of. For example, see Olfactory Cues Boost Testosterone. There have been other tests that showed similar subtle effects on male and female preferences.

Roger

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Mehernosh Malia 10. July 2011 at 1:00 pm

Scent marketing is quite an interesting subject from the pov of a food marketer. Whiskey made in India (and I am talking of the well established brands) add food-grade scents to enhance “consumer” experience and i have heard of international yoghurt manufacturers spray fresh fruit scents on the inside of the lids — the question is — if you are a packaged food marketer, cud u use scent marketing to attract a potential customer on a crowded super-market shelf ? (i.e. before she opens the package) do you know of any such developments in packaging or point-of-sale material ?

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Roger Dooley
Twitter: rogerdooley
10. July 2011 at 3:11 pm

MM, other than the occasional scratch & sniff label, I don’t recall seeing packaged goods applying scent to the outside of their product. Supermarkets, though, are masters of scent marketing. From the smell of baking bread in the bakery, to coffee in the coffee aisle, and rotisserie chickens (perhaps an innovation peculiar to the US market), they fill the air with appealing scents.

Roger

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how to make a mobile version of your website 14. July 2011 at 8:50 pm

Its funny ironic that social media has a smell, what is that smell? i thinks i smells good! I thought it was a real fragrance. Yes social media should have a great unisex fragrance to attract;)

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