Don´t turn up your nose to a strong identity

By | March 24, 2011

You will remember in an earlier article you read about registering trade marks. Well let’s take that a stage further and list the sort of things that can be protected by registration. In addition to names and symbols, slogans, colours, shapes and even smells can be exclusively yours by applying to register them as your particular trade mark. The variety that raises the most eyebrows is smells. Some examples of applications to date are; the smell of lavender in respect of automobile tyres by a Japanese manufacturer, the smell of stale beer for the flights on darts and tennis balls impregnated with the whiff of newly cut grass.

Now, a brand new wave of odours are making their presence smelt in the marketplace.

Some enterprises are spraying the air of their establishments with a distinctive fragrance that they hope will support brand awareness amongst their customers. That well known retailer of expensive shirts THOMAS PINK has chosen air dried linen as its olfactory mark and some stores in the United States are currently being used to assess client reaction.

The first class and business class lounges in BRITISH AIRWAY’S locations at London and New York airports are now sprayed with meadow grass so that the company’s high flying clientele will experience a stronger brand awareness as they linger between flights.

In an effort to capitalise on these growing needs of the marketeers, new forces are being called into play and companies are being formed to exploit the burgeoning demand. There are now sensory design research laboratories emerging plus commercial interests who concentrate on meeting a variety of requirements.

Some of the marketing giants of soap powders and the like are interested in being able to get prospective users of their products to enjoy a whiff before purchase and appeal to the pocket through the nasal passages. To this end a US point of sale company has developed a method of applying advertising patches to the floor of supermarkets, which, when walked on, will cause to be emitted the smell of an adjacently merchandised product.

Already, a wide selection of other marketeers, from after-shave to coffee suppliers are examining the potential to highlight their offerings, where it matters, at point of purchase.

Research is now being expanded into wider applications and the notion of having cash desk computer printers that can emit odours when, for instance it is dispensing a receipt. This marketing device could be used to prompt customers to purchase another product that is being promoted in store.

And then there are sound trade marks those that assist you to recognise brands by assaulting the ear. You may not realise it but there are many sounds in your daily life that you use to alert you to what’s happening. For instance, you’re in the kitchen and hear the signature music for Fair City, so you rush into the living room to watch the programme; a simple example of a possible trade mark since that particular music is used to distinguish one offering from that of another. J S Bach’s “Air on a G string” has been registered as a trade mark by the manufacturers of HAMLET cigars. The sound of a certain dog barking helps identify, and brand, DULUX paint while the unmistakable noise made by the exhaust of a HARLEY DAVIDSON is registered a its exclusive trade mark.

For those in the field of marketing, begin a New Year by considering how you can utilise these additional forms of branding to augment the products or services you promote. We should not lag behind in this country but avail also of the publicity that will attach to those who are the first to file these novel forms of branding. You never know, you might get a mention in an article such as this one!

Liam Birkett

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