The second installment of our series on our partners who have achieved record success and just how they did it

by Heather Lane

Scent is on track to become a fact of doing business across the globe. On the forefront of this technology is scenting leader Choi A Reum, CEO and Scent Director for iSCENT in South Korea.

iSCENT is a provider of Prolitec’s AirQ commercial ambient fragrance, servicing businesses throughout South Korea and recognized as one of the top scenting companies in the nation. To explore how iSCENT has achieved such national success, we asked A Reum to pick a top client and walk us through her process.

Enhancing the showroom experience at Han Sung dealerships

Han Sung Motor is the largest official Mercedes-Benz dealer in Korea, with showrooms and services centers spanning across the nation. Han Sung Motor enlisted the help of iSCENT and what began with one location, soon flourished into a powerful partnership.

“We started with one showroom by installing a scent with a concept of a relaxing space in an urban area gifting an aromachology effect,” A Reum said. “Customers visited the showroom had positive reactions over time. Since then, we have been proceeding scent marketing to all showrooms across the country for more than 2 years systematically.”

A signature scent specifically designed for Han Sung Motor is used in every Han Sung showroom, according to A Reum. The results – scentsational.

To evoke the feeling of luxurious leathers, the carefully crafted scent radiates undertones of mimosa, along with lilly and gardenia. Hints of sandalwood and bergamot were infused with chamomile to transport customers back to the dawn of German engineering in the automotive industry. These scents are tied together with a touch of jasmine to reflect the excellent service and innovation Han Sung Motor offers.

“We could see customers stayed longer in the showroom as the scent was very pleasant, which naturally increased sales,” A Reum said.

So how do you select a scent?

“It is like a curator introducing a great painting and selling it to a customer,” A Reum explained. “The idea of olfactive branding is that you can look beyond the traditional or conventional ideas and touch-points of how to talk about a brand or a product, and create more emotional engaging connections.

As CEO and Scent Director for iSCENT, A Reum’s role is to select scents that appropriately represent the client’s brand. Choosing the right scent can create a memorable impression on customers for all the right reasons.

According to A Reum, the science on ambient scenting speaks for itself. Scent appeals to people’s emotions, creating a powerful connection to the brand and the environment it’s diffused.

“The way that works is that when you smell something, the olfactive nerve simulates the emotional cortex of your brain and it creates what I like to call these little scent emoticons, so you have scent and emotion linked together in your olfactive memory. And in your olfactive memory, these kind of little scent memories just kind of float around and they’re intimately linked together between scent and emotion, and so the next time you engage with the brand or the product, you automatically and instinctively have the same emotion that you did the first time you smelt the brand or the product.”

What does Han Sung Motor have to say?

Han Sung’s goal of creating stronger emotional connections with their brand is now a reality, according to Han Sung CEO Ulf Ausprung. He announced that the dealership had found the most “effective way” to build stronger customer relationships is through scent. Ausprung said that iSCENT and their dedicated team have helped car shoppers enjoy the ride before they even get to the wheel.

“With the help of a world-class fragrance-maker we have translated the sensory experience into a great fragrance,” Ausprung said. “Our customers love it.”

The launch of the fragrance was met with great fanfare, receiving a write-up in The Korean Herald, South Korea’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network (ANN).

Moving forward, what does the application of ambient scent look like in South Korea?

“It is not an exaggeration to say that scent/fragrance has become people’s one of daily necessities, present in everything from fabric softeners to hair products. As such, it is the time for brands to implement marketing strategies that approach their customers with their own personality (scent).

Scent is the most underused of our senses and yet it creates lasting memories. These memories are beautiful events in our lives where scent plays a major role. A distinguished signature scent will create a buzz, encouraging people to enjoy their surroundings, remembering the experience and talking about the brands. When done right scent can inspire customers to come back or linger longer.

I strongly believe fragrance industry will have infinite achievement and development in the future.” – A Reum


About the Author

Heather enjoys delving into research exploring the ways fragrance impacts people in their daily lives. She is a VP at Prolitec, a global provider of ambient scenting, and is working towards her MBA at Tulane University in New Orleans.

When not studying the fascinating ways fragrance interacts with the world of business, Heather renovates historic houses and gets her hands dirty with her non-profit ceramics arts studio.