Aromas can play a significant role in our daily lives and the virtual world is highly influencing us more to take the leap of faith and create magic with our senses.
We were taught about the five senses in our childhood and the sense of ‘smell’ is the one of those that triggers our subconscious memory and it’s intuitive to the events around us. This goes back to the classic Annie’s song, “You fill up my senses like a night in the forest…” and so on, John Denver describes the scent of his woman. Smell is a chemical language that is most of the time taken for granted. It is so natural to us and reminds us of memories, that we do not have to put in a lot of thought and effort. However, the pandemic has changed our lifestyles a lot.
Senses that travel
While digitization has taken place and our screen time has increased enormously, all the other senses are very much active and put into conscious use. Smell is critical and how one link to the digital world is challenging. In the past, a lot of experimentation has been done capturing scents from nature and mimicking them in the lab to re-create the same magic as one would experience. From the smell of coffee in coffee bars to the aroma of popcorn in movie theaters. Virtual electronic noses were invented to analytically deep dive into fragrance specifications to be ahead of competition.
“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will.” quoted Patrick Suskind in his 1985 novel, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Tricks of the trade have been creating this fantasy of smells not so familiar, packaging them with colors, concepts, ingredient stories, enhanced mood music playlists have persuaded us to stay at stores for longer, shop more and control our thoughts through neuroscience technology.
Driven to act
Smell can help us make choices and decisions to try and buy products. Many perfume, cosmetic and beverage companies are engaging consumers through social media with their fragrance and flavor wheels to opt for their preferences on how the product would smell or smell and taste like. Visuals play a key role in helping consumers pick their brand. It is all about the perception created of what we are exposed to: What you see, is what you believe!
These days edible fruity flavors are found in lip care, beverages are inspired by lavender flowers, candles come in aromas of bacon and thus, cross category fertilization is a trend that is picking up. And the involvement of Millennial and Gen-Zs has been tremendous returning to nostalgic memories when it comes to aromas.
The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) techniques going viral on Instagram and Tik–Tok during lockdowns have boosted the rise of influencers and bloggers that review products and spread the word. Today it is not the celebrity endorsement that works but ordinary users that leave more credibility especially the usage ideas of innovative formats that are popular on YouTube.
More is yet to come!
This is just the beginning, and the world is yet to witness a huge revolution of metaverse calling. Chatting with virtual bots and artificial intelligence devices, virtual gaming and role-playing avatars are no less than an alien arriving on our planet and creating a ‘world within a world.’
Every conversation and movement are captured to extract data, thereby closely monitoring day-to-day activities, from our actions to what is going on in our minds. There are pros and cons to every sci-fi made real, but eventually using these to the best of our advantage is co-creating a world of instant, faster and agile consumerism. The question is are we ready to trust this new world?
Aromas & Sensory Expert working in an MNC
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The skincare industry has always been a very traditional space in the way business was done. Heavily brick and mortar, mass targeting when it came to marketing, touch and feel factor was crucial and only the big boys had a stake in the game. Well, all of that is being challenged and the disruptors are here to stay.
The health and well-being industry went through a seismic shift during the pandemic when, time at home increased exponentially and the need to engage and connect reached an unusual high. This interesting combination led to niche skin care brands finding innovative ways to not only build a community but use digital platforms to engage, interact and show customers how to maximize their time at home while achieving that sought after glow and Zen vibe.
Online shopping platforms and social media tools gave brands the much needed space to create content that was amplified to customers who were hungry for relatable content and the need to find a calm in the chaos of the pandemic. Customers interacted with each other and shared feedback on the efficacy of brands and were not shy to voice their opinions about the drawbacks of a product. This forced brands not only to be transparent about their sources but also held accountable to high standards which in turn made online skincare shopping more appealing.
Taking this conversation forward we talk about business growth alongside trust and community in the skincare world. The natural and organic beauty product market is expected to touch $54Billion by 2027 and digital has a strong role to play in this. Direct to consumer on online market places has been a game changer and will contribute heavily to this forecast. Social media product tags will also be a big part of the sales numbers for skincare brands.
Never before has it been this pivotal for brands to be present and be seen on the phone screens of Gen Z to Millennials.
Baréskin calls its’ customer base the “CircleOfTrust” which cements how important the factor of trust is in a world where digital interaction is the only option sometimes. Community building and a strong story, backs this brands success and there is no looking back. Frequent LIVE sessions with the founder, supporting other female-led brands, taking transparency of toxic ingredients seriously and authenticity of its content are all part of the brand ethos which the founder has ingrained in all aspects of the business. This has to seamlessly translate to the customer which is when the magic happens.
Capturing this wave will mean staying agile and on the ball more than ever before but fortunately for us, we take this challenge on as an opportunity to grow to our full potential.