BY Kai-Chin Shih/ 3 MAY 2014/ TOKYOJAPAN/ talkairlines.wordpress.com
The airline business is one of the most fascinating businesses in the world. It covers such a wide range of fields that pretty much everything can be related to it: restaurants, hotels, luxury brands, artists, furniture companies, psychologists, industrial designers, and many others. All of these industries collaborate to bring passengers the finest and most unforgettable in-flight experiences. In this post, >talkairlines will be discussing about how the fragrance and music industries play a role in the airline business by creating sensory branding for carriers around the world.
The recently rebranded Spanish flag carrier, Iberia, has started using its very own scent, the “Mediterraneo de Iberia”, on all of its flights and lounges. The new scent, designed to give passengers a sense of well-being when they board the plane, has top notes of lemon, bergamot orange, and orange blossom; heart notes of rose, iris, and jasmine; end notes of white musk, vanilla, and sandalwood. The delicate fragrance was created with a Spanish touch, which is consistent with the new Iberia brand personality. Also newly introduced is the airline’s newest on-board music selection. The selection, consisting of 12 culturally-rich music pieces, will fill the passengers with Latin/ Mediterranean freshness and energy. Passengers can enjoy the music, now being played on all Iberia flights, while boarding or leaving the plane.
When reading the introduction of the new Iberia scent, the first thing that came to the mind of >talkairlines author was the fruity & tropical scent of Wynn Las Vegas. Casinos and hotels have been using fragrances for decades as they are essential to enhancing brands. Scientific research shows that the sense of smell has quick access to the part of the brain linked with emotion while vision only goes to the part linked with rational thinking. By using scents, companies can create a unique and comforting environment, thus leading to the customers having an unforgettable experience and willing to stay loyal to the company.
There are a couple of airlines that have been using scents since years ago. One of the most notable airline fragrance is that of Singapore Airlines. “Stefan Florida Waters”, a scent created exclusively for Singapore Airlines, has been used since the 1990s. Not only is the fragrance used in the cabin, it is also worn by cabin crew and blended into hot towels. According to CNN, the scent helped create emotional responses from the customers and contributed to more customers willing to fly with the carrier again.
Music is also something that creates emotional connection for brands with their customers. Imagine boarding a plane without music and the only thing you can hear is the mechanical sound humming in your ears. Even if the you are sitting in a luxury suite, you will still feel like it is just another plane ride that is nothing special at all. However, with a little music such as light music or easy listening, the same seats will seem different. You will feel like you are on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro enjoying a cup of cocktail while listening to Bossa Nova. This is the magic of music. Just like scents, music is essential for companies trying to create a calming atmosphere. If the appropriate music is chosen, it will directly affect the passenger experience and thus lead to long-lasting memories. For example, the boarding music of Etihad Airways, regarded as one of the best among that of other airlines, plays an incredibly important role in creating the Etihad experience. It helps passengers feel less stressed and thus leads to them having the impression of “Eithad is an airline that can provide me a comfortable and relaxing journey”.
In conclusion, sensory branding is an indispensable part of the airline business. In modern day traveling, lie-flat suites and gourmet dining are not the only factors that lead to customer satisfaction. Details such as background music or a light scent in the air are all essential as well. Through sensory branding, carriers can appeal to the different senses of passengers and thus have emotional connections with them. This will help create memorable experiences for flyers and lead to them becoming frequent flyers of the airlines.